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Knicks 92, Raptors 74

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AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Well, I asked for a blowout, and a blowout I received. The Knicks, ignited by Renaldo "Humpty" Balkman used a spirited third quarter run to bury the Raptors by 18. Game notes:

  • Al Trautwig pointed out before the game that without Q, Lee, and Crawford, the Knicks lose 42 points on average.
  • I think the key to T.J. Ford's passing game is that he gets into the paint really early in the shot clock. He likes to drive and kick as soon as he brings the ball up, which makes for some ridiculously wide open threes for the Raptor forwards.
  • Someone in the crowd was wearing a green Eddy Curry jersey. I think March 17th is pretty much the window for wearing those ugly things. At midnight on the 18th, that piece of shit best be retired to the closet.
  • Have you ever noticed that Clyde adds an "r" to a lot of names? He kept referring to "Borsh", "Garbrajosa", "Borkman", and "Bargnarni" during this one.
  • Serious question: Can Eddy Curry palm a basketball? He seems to have very small hands, which might be one of the reasons he's become "Mittens". Even on his hook shots, it looks like he's starting at the shoulder and balancing the ball on his palm, not grasping it with his fingers.
  • I don't know if you're familiar with it, but there's a frequent commercial on MSG for SoundWaves, a car audio store here in Jersey. Well, the guy who says "SOUNDWAVES" sounds exactly like Mumm-Ra from Thundercats. MUMM-RAAA!

    "SOUND WAVES!"

  • Something I forgot: Sam Mitchell and Stephon Marbury were teammates in Minnesota.
  • Al Trautwig did a little sideline reporting by telling us about the stamp collecting convention that was going on simultaneously at the Garden. He showed us a stamp that's worth $42,000. He finished his bit by gushing that it was "really cool to enter the world of philately". Thank you, Al.
  • Key juncture of the game: With about 8 minutes left in the third quarter, Curry picked up his fourth foul and took a seat. Balkman checked in. From then on, the Knicks were in constant motion. They swarmed on defense, came up with a lot of strips and loose balls, and converted numerous fast break buckets. Humpty was catalytic, grabbing rebounds, deflecting passes, and finishing breaks. He finished with 15 points (7-7) and 12 rebounds. He did exactly what we want from him.

    AP Photo/Seth Wenig
  • That was a theme in this game, actually. People did what they were expected to do. Marbury had 21 and 9, dropped in a few big three-pointers, moved the ball well, but didn't force the action too much. Frye took and hit open jumpers without hesitation and snagged 7 rebounds. Jeffries played pesky defense and grabbed 10 boards. Francis didn't shoot well, but had 8 assists. Robinson came out firing, but eventually composed himself and helped facilitate the big run. Really, the only guy who didn't perform was Eddy Curry. New note for that...
  • Eddy was just out of place in this game. The Raptors hardly ever play a real center, with Bosh, Bargnani, and Garbajosa (all good shooters) playing a lot of the minutes at the 4 and 5. Curry simply doesn't match up with those guys. When Eddy took a seat, the Knicks could get out and run, and blow the Raps out of the water. We'll give Eddy a pass for this one. Credit is due to Isiah, also, for sticking with the fast lineup when it was working.
  • Clyde remarked that the Knicks defense and breaking was so tenacious that "you'd think they were behind". That's really what it was. It was one of their third quarter comeback runs, only it wasn't a comeback. The third quarter score was 35-13.
Anyway, it was exactly what the doctor ordered for me, and for the Knicks: a fun blowout loss without too much drama or heartbreak. And I didn't feel like throwing up afterwards. The only question this game brings up is what kind of role Curry should have in games against fast teams. Isiah may have realized that it behooves him to sit Eddy when teams play small lineups. Kinda late in the season to come to that conclusion, but I hope he sticks with that mentality. Let me know your thoughts on that in the comments.

I'll have your Sunday Lookalikes up later. Peace.