On Saturday I celebrated my 24th birthday, and I thought I would honor the occasion by listing the 24 best moments of the Knicks season.
1. Carmelo Anthony's 62 point night.
2. Tim Hardaway's rookie game performance.
3. Beating the Heat that one time.
4. The day Mike Woodson was fired
4. um...??? Oh I know: we won on opening night and were briefly over .500!
5. I think there might've been a game in which no one was injured.
6. Iman Shumpert's dunk over Indiana. What? That was last season? Oh, well let's count it anyway.
7. That time I overslept and got to miss the beginning of an afternoon game.
8-24. (Scene missing)
Player of the Week - Cole Aldrich
Aldrich and Iman Shumpert were the only two Knicks to see the court only once this week, so they were the only ones who only lost once this week. As such, it was a two-man race for player of the week, and Aldrich's performance in the one game he played made him the runaway winner.
In Monday's loss to the Mavericks, Aldrich got just over eight minutes of playing time. He was 1-1 from the field for 2 points and also had 3 rebounds. In his limited minutes, the Knicks were a +12, giving Aldrich the highest +/- on the team that night. Aldrich became the first Knick this season to come off the bench and have a team leading +/- of at least +12 while shooting 100% from the field. Last season, only one Knick accomplished that feat, as Steve Novak did it on March 22nd in a 99-94 win over the Raptors. Interestingly enough, Novak now plays for the Raptors. Therefore, you should expect to see Aldrich suiting up as Dirk Nowitzki's backup in Dallas on this date next year.
Opposing Players of the Week - Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion, Jose Calderon, Dirk Nowitzki, Samuel Dalembert, Vince Carter, Brandan Wright, Devin Harris, Wayne Ellington, DeJuan Blair, Jae Crowder, LeBron James, Shane Battier, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Norris Cole, Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, Michael Beasley, Greg Oden, Rashard Lewis, Toney Douglas, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Jermaine O'Neal, Steve Blake, Jordan Crawford, Marreese Speights, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah, Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Hinrich, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, DJ Augustin, Tony Snell, Erik Murphy, Jimmer Fredette, and Tornike Shengelia
The Knicks didn't feel like playing any defense this week so everyone from Lebron to Shengelia was able to do whatever they wanted on the court. As such, I am awarding the opposing player of the week award to every single player who played against the Knicks this week. Except Mario Chalmers. Fuck that guy.
Bluecheese's Rambling Stat of the Week - (WARNING! May not end in a coherent thought)
Tyson Chandler had 8 points and 22 rebounds in Sunday's loss to the Bulls. Chandler also had 23 boards against the Hawks just over a week ago, but before that no Knick had grabbed at least 22 rebounds in a loss since Zach Randolph had 22 in a 103-91 loss to the Rockets on January 5, 2008. That night, Yao Ming had 30 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 blocks, becoming the first Knicks opponent to reach all those numbers since Ron Harper on January 7, 1989, in a 104-96 Cavs win. That game was a then-franchise record 11th straight win for Cleveland. They next matched that record on January 11, 1992, when they won their 11th straight by beating the 76ers 108-102. The Cavs wouldn't win another 108-102 game for another 12 years, until March 8, 2004, when they beat the Hawks by that score. For Atlanta, it was the first six point loss they suffered in nearly a month, since they had lost to the Nets on February 18, 2004. In another game that night, Zach Randolph came off the bench to score 17 points on 6-12 shooting to help lead the Trail Blazers past the Clippers 101-86. Randolph was the first Clipper opponent to score 17 points on 6 made field goals as a reserve since Al Harrington did it just over a year earlier, on January 26, 2003, in a Pacers 108-101 win. In another game that night, the Knicks beat the Suns 106-98 despite a prolific rebounding night from Bo Outlaw. In the loss, Outlaw became the first Knicks opponent with at least 12 rebounds in 22 or fewer minutes since Vlade Divac did it in the Hornets 85-78 win on March 11, 1998. The Knicks lost that game despite a great performance by Charles Oakley, who had 8 points and 22 rebounds. In doing so, Oakley became the last Knick to ever have exactly 8 points and 22 rebounds in a game...until Tyson Chandler did it against the Bulls on Sunday!
Last Week in Jared Jeffries History
On March 2, 2011, Jeffries played his first game in his second stint as a Knick after playing a year in Houston, helping New York beat the Hornets 107-88. Jeffries was 0-1 from the field in 24 minutes that night, the start of stretch of just over 112 minutes, spanning 4 and a half games, without a FG made. That epic string of futility led directly to the creation of the Jared Jeffries Shot Tracker.
Last Week in Jared Jeffries Shot Tracker History - a rare JJST mistake!
The Knicks Did it First
There were a few non-Knicks stats that would have been fairly impressive last week, had the Knicks not accomplished them first:
1. On Sunday, Alec Burks had 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 fouls off the bench in the Jazz 94-91 loss to the Pacers. The last reserve before Burks with exactly 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 fouls in one game: Anthony Mason, who did it in the Knicks 99-93 loss to the Bucks on April 17, 1995.
2. On Saturday, Trevor Ariza scored 40 points on 14-23 shooting in the Wizards 122-103 win over the 76ers. The last player before Ariza to score at least 40 points against the 76ers on exactly 23 field goal attempts: Al Harrington, who did it while playing for the Knicks on October 31, 2009. The Knicks lost that game in overtime 141-127.
3. On Friday, Goran Dragic scored 40 points to lead the Suns past the Pelicans 116-104. The last player before Dragic to score at least 40 in a game against the Pelicans: Carmelo Anthony, who had 42 in the Knicks 98-91 win on February 19th.
4. On Thursday, the Wizards had 22 assists in their 134-129 triple overtime victory over the Raptors. The last team before the Wizards with exactly 22 assists in a triple overtime win: the Knicks, on November 1, 2006, in a 118-117 triple overtime win over the Grizzlies. The Wizards leading scorers on Thursday night, Marcin Gortat and John Wall, both had 31 points. The last time a triple OT winning team's leading scorer had 31 points was when Quentin Richardson had 31 in the aforementioned Knicks win over Memphis.
5. On Wednesday, the Trail Blazers crushed the Nets, winning by a score of 124-80. The last team before Portland to beat the Nets by at least 30 points: the Knicks, who beat Brooklyn 113-83 way back in December.
6. On Tuesday, Kyle Lowry shot an abysmal 0-9 from downtown in the Raptors 99-93 victory over the Cavaliers. The last Eastern Conference point guard to go 0-9 from three point range in a road win: Charlie Ward, who was 0-9 from three in the Knicks 94-88 victory in Boston on November 24, 2003.
7. On Monday, Dirk Nowitzki hit a crazy buzzer-beater that bounced high off the rim before dropping through the net to beat the Knicks 110-108. The last game-winning shot that I can remember taking such a strange bounce off the rim before dropping through the net:
Movie of the Week - Titanic
The Oscars were Sunday night and I was looking forward to using the Best Picture winner to make jokes about the Knicks season. Then 12 Years a Slave won the Oscar. Instead, the movie of the week will have to go to another Best Picture winner, Titanic. In the words of former Knicks great Micheal Ray Richardson, "The ship be sinking." James Dolan, Steve Mills, and Mike Woodson have all helped steer this Knicks franchise directly into a proverbial iceberg. And while each loss makes it seem more likely that Melo will be jumping on the first lifeboat, us fans have no choice but to go down with the ship.