I don't have much to say. The Knicks tried to give a game to the Pelicans, but Carmelo Anthony wouldn't let them. He's really great, and it was nice to see him not only bully the Knicks into the lead, but keep them there down the stretch with some isolation jumpers. Melo had help along the way-- Tim Hardaway Jr. and Masked J.R. Smith both scored splendidly off the bench-- but he also had to outpace the usual defensive mess. FARTDOG gave every Pelican ball-handler every opportunity and Tyson Chandler left the rim perpetually unattended. This box score says Luke Babbitt only scored 7 points, but I'm pretty sure he had 190.
But Melo's rugged as fuck and can't stand to lose, and that manifested in big shots this time around, not forced misses or ill-fated kick-outs. He just shot to kill and finished the job for what felt like the first time in this forsaken wreck of a season. That was Wednesday night's main development, I'd say. Melo put the team on his back and they didn't fall off. And for that, the Knicks clawed out a second-of-a-back-to-back win against a bad, short-handed bunch of Pelicans. And hey, doing that is better than not doing that. Wins are good.
I have few notes and almost none of them are about the basketball:
- I don't think I'd ever heard Clyde talk about what it was like not only to get traded to the Cavaliers, but to get traded by Willis Reed-- the Knicks' coach and GM in 1977-- to the Cavaliers. He described being hurt not so much by the trade itself, but by Reed failing to let him know before it happened.
- And it was timely, because the trade deadline is hours away, and some Knicks must have been wondering if this was their last game in orange and blue. Iman Shumpert may have dodged the already-dwindling prospect of a trade by spraining his knee on a botched Rondo maneuver against Anthony Davis.
- Pablo Prigioni produced pretty much all his offense in the first couple minutes of the game. He buried a quick couple of threes off the catch with an outstanding loose-ball save in between. Then he just got beat repeatedly for the rest of the night. Same goes for J.R. and Timpleton, both of whom hit jumpers and got to the rim some, but gave as much as they got.
- The arena in New Orleans is Smoothie King Arena now, and the announcers got complimentary smoothies. Clyde: "I got the muscle smoothie!"
- When Luke Babbitt heated up in the fourth quarter, Clyde took it as evidence that he didn't want to go back to Russia. Yes, these notes are all about Clyde.
- I had NO idea-- zero percent idea-- Alexis Ajinca was still in the league, let alone in a position to start for a Western Conference team when they're down a few big men. I'm still a little baffled. Like, I need warning before I watch Alexis Ajinca play. I need to do my hair and stuff. This was such a surprise.
That's it. I must sleep. When I wake up, we'll gather up the late-night trade whispers and plow forth into the 3 PM deadline. I hope the Knicks don't do anything foolish. I hope Iman Shumpert is maximally okay. Like everyone said, thank you, Melo, for tonight. For everything. You continue to be great. Good night.