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Knicks 113, Jazz 109

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(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

That's right, kids. My over-negativity and reverse psychology finally worked, as the Knicks defeated the "far superior" Utah Jazz in rousing fashion this evening. A few key stops and one big rebound from Zach Randolph made up for other errors to secure the close, surprising victory. Game notes:

  • Randolph came out hot like fire. He seemed intent on getting inside, and his groovy little lefty hook running across the paint was as effective as ever. Zach does so much better when he gets towards the hole, because the motion and leftiness on that shot makes it pretty much un-blockable.
  • We all know I like the concept of player hybrids. How about Mehddy Okurry? A hefty 7 footer with all of Curry's power and touch around the basket and Okur's range? Still wouldn't be able to defend or rebound, but he'd have a filthy offensive repertoire. And a very interesting brow.
  • Marbury started rolling a bit later than Randolph, but came out hot as well. Steph stuck a couple threes, including a 4-point play, and threw a beautiful over-the-shoulder pass to Zach in transition for the and-one. His game-long confrontation (to use a Clyde word) with Deron Williams was awesome. Steph threw up 28 and 6 on 9-14 shooting, while D-Wil had 26 and 8 on 10-16. I also never knew that Williams had such a good crossover, but that thing is vicious. He broke at least 6 ankles on the night.
  • After Quentin Richardson hit a 3 (and he did hit a couple, finally), "Soulja Boy" played over the PA. I don't know if they were going for "QQQQQQ!!!!!!", but they should.
  • Isiah Thomas' pupils must be the size of half dollars. Shit is terrifying.

    Uncanny.

  • Clyde being interviewed in one of those new MSG commercials: "I like pizzazz". True enough.
  • You know that Sports Authority commercial with the badass girl running in the rainstorm? That is the fakest rain I've ever seen. I am now a Dick's man for life. That came out wrong.
  • I don't like these new Nissan trivia questions with the multiple choices. I boycott them by never texting in my answer.
  • Something I don't think I've ever seen from Isiah: a one-guard lineup- Nate, Humpty, Jeffries, Lee, and Curry. Wasn't outstanding and didn't last long.
  • In the least exciting news of the year, both Collins brothers were in the house. Jason was interviewed in the second quarter. All around the tri-state area, nobody cared.
  • Morris Almond was seen sitting behind the bench in a suit. If the Jazz are gonna steal Mo Nuts away from his adoring fans at P&T, they should at least have the courtesy to give him some tick. Bastards.
  • Hey, Licia? No one cares how long you've been a Knick fan or how you yell "brick" when the opposing team shoots. Please shut up. And get a less ridiculous name.
  • How come the commercial with Jimmy Carter commercial always gets cut off? Is it just up here? I always see him say "I was born with my father's eyes. My brother and sister were born with his--"...and then I have to fill in with "PANCREATIC CANCER!". Every time. If they're gonna cut the ad short, they should at least give it a couple more seconds to get some of the message across.
  • Clyde referred to the Utah power forward as Carlos "Boozer and Bruiser" at halftime. Are we to deduce that he was boozing and bruising in the first half? Because I'm almost positive that violates some league policy.
  • Quentin Richardson's post-up spin move is one of the nicest in the league. Lightning quick.
  • This game had more excitement throughout than we're used to. Perhaps the greatest moment was Jamal Crawford in transition beating a man by dribbling behind his knees and then passing to himself around his back to finish with the right hand. I needed to see the replay before my mind could even comprehend what he did. All these exciting plays...I wish Gus Johnson had been doing the play-by-play: "Crawford pushing the ball...one-on-one...goes behind-the-back-MAHHH!!!"
  • Kenny Smith has always liked calling David Lee "Shallow Water", but he seems less like that lately, doesn't he? I'm used to seeing Lee finish around the basket no matter what, and he's still good at it, but he does miss some close shots and dunks these days. I'd say Paul Millsap was this game's "Shallow Water". He out-Lee'd the man himself 13 points, none of which came from outside of 2 feet from the rim.
  • I know Humpty "loves to the lead the break", but that doesn't mean he should. Pass the ball to a guard, kiddo.
  • Clyde usually mispronounces names, but rarely does he commit a factual error as egregious as naming Illinois as Ronnie Price's alma mater (Utah Valley State, of course). Speaking of Price, he's a stinky undercutter who almost put Q-Rich back on the injured list.

    Careful, Ronnie.
    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Maybe someone else (Barnesgasm, I would bet) has pointed this out before, but the familiar "duh-nuh (clap clap), duh-nuh (clap clap) DUH-NUH (clap clap)" they play at the Garden sounds exactly like the hook to Ludacris' "Move Bitch". Good call by my roommate.
  • Nate was seen celebrating clutch plays from the bench by slapping the nearest ballboy.
  • Deron Williams tried to rattle Jamal Crawford by saying something to him as he approached the stripe for his game-clinching free throws. Swish and swish. Bite it, Deron.
  • I'll give Stephon Marbury the benefit of the doubt on his postgame interview and say he was simply out of breath. He used about 25 permutations of the same four words to answer Al Trautwig's questions.
In summary, it was a surprising and invigorating victory that makes the recent losing streak even more baffling. This team clearly has the talent to slay formidable opponents. It's just a matter of getting their collective shit together on a nightly basis. The biggest issue was deficient rebounding, particularly allowing Utah second-chance opportunities, but good shooting from all lines and some handsy defense and clutch play earned the Knicks a win. Thanks to everyone who participated in the game thread. Celtics on Thursday. I'll see you tomorrow.