Early in Sunday's game, LeBron James could barely walk in the straight line and things were going great. Raymond Felton was dominating in transition, J.R. Smith wouldn't miss, but most of all, LeBron couldn't throw an accurate pass or get a shot to drop. The Knicks led 16-3 early, and had LeBron finished the game with 48 turnovers and 0-16 shooting, they probably would have won.
But LeBron's really good, the Knicks are quite bad, and this was obviously never going to happen. Just like the season itself, the Knicks were doomed all along and any apparent promise was a mirage. The Knicks didn't get totally throttled, but after that hot start, they couldn't come close to outpacing their own horrible defense on LeBron and his shooters. Carmelo Anthony remained stinky with that shoulder bothering him, struggling to find clean touches against Miami's fronts and doubles. Felton's foul trouble kept him off the floor for stretches and Pablo Prigioni couldn't replicate his ability to beat Miami's pressure off the dribble. New York's offense crumbled in a way their defense couldn't forgive and now their season is almost certainly over. It was over already, but now any foolish hopes of recovery have all but extinguished.
BUT FUCK ALL THAT J.R. SMITH FOREEEEEVEEEEERRRRRRRRRR. This was like the famous Bill Walker Miami game, except way better/more depressing. For a while, J.R. was legitimately the best thing the Knicks had going. While Melo struggled, J.R. got unbelievably hot for the third straight game, dropping five of eight threes in the first half. And while I doubt the Heat ever felt threatened in the second half, J.R.'s splashing staved off garbage time on several occasions. As the game slipped away, J.R. only grew bolder. He got some lovely off-the-ball looks (including one out of a timeout) to pop out and hit an eighth three, then a ninth to tie John Starks, Latrell Sprewell, Toney Douglas (present!), Carmelo Anthony, and himself. Then the Knicks ran him off a pin-down coming out of a timeout and BOOM. Ten threes. The decades-old ceiling on New York's single-game three-point record was finally busted.
But J.R. wasn't done. Well, he was done making threes, but he wasn't done chucking. Without a hint of shame and with LeBron guarding him, J.R. hoisted three more three-pointers in 1:20, all of them at least 25 feet away from the rim, none of them with squared feet or room to release. They all missed, but that's not the point. The point is J.R. Smith now holds the ALL-TIME, ALL-NBA record for three-point attempts in a game with 22. And the Knicks record for makes in a game with 10. Those are records that, like LeopardSuit said, J.R. Smith was born to break. Especially the attempts one. THIS WAS A WONDERFUL AND HISTORIC OCCASION AND I REFUSE TO WORRY ABOUT THE KNICKS' SEASON BEING PRACTICALLY OVER THAT HAPPENED MONTHS AGO WHETHER YOU ADMITTED IT OR NOT APRIL IS FOR HEROES AND J.R. IS THE GREATEST AND MOST HEROIC KNICK IF NOT THE GREATEST AND MOST HEROIC AMERICAN EVERRRRRRRRRR