(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Despite a valiant effort by the Knicks at the Garden tonight, the Pistons pulled away late and won this late-season contest by 8. The Knicks playing without Marbury and Balkman (in addition to the previously existing DL squad), showed a good amount of vigor and grit on the defensive, end, but offensive struggles and the inevitable superiority of Detroit resulted in a loss. Game notes:
- Humpty was the most recent casualty of ailment. He's suffering from a stomach virus (perhaps he drank up all the Hennessy he had on his shelf), and wasn't in the building. The Knicks were so depleted that Steve Francis had to suit up and get minutes. I'm pretty sure that if any more guys go down, we might see Brendan Suhr getting some minutes off the bench. Actually, I don't know if I'd prefer him or Francis...it's close.
Big Suhr's got tremendous upside and an NBA-ready body. Suit him up!
- One thing I've noticed about Curry is that he looks genuinely interested in what's going on on the court. I don't know that you could say that about him last year or during his time in Chicago.
- How can I describe Jared Jeffries' ballhandling? I guess it's kinda like a big, lanky deer trying to beat a rabbit to death while it's got roller skates on. Yeah...I think that sums it up. Anyway, wasn't he supposed to be a point forward or some shit? He's got zero handles.
- While he's often right, Mike Breen's constant criticism of Nate Robinson has always kinda bugged the fan in me. Well, tonight, Nate hoisted up a tough shot in traffic whilest Breen disapproved quite vocally. The shot dropped and, after a pause, Breen was like "well, that'll shut me up." At least he knows. (By the way, that didn't shut him up at all.)
- Snapshot of the first quarter: the Knick lineup was Francis, Collins, Rose, Dolph, and the Tub.
- For all you opponents out there, let me treat you to a little scouting report...Steve Francis never, ever, under any circumstances passes in transition. Just don't get too close to him or you might get sucked into the vast, dark void.
- Curry's problems with passing out of double teams (he's gotten better at it, by the way) are due in part to the fact that no one helps him at all. Every time he's trapped, I find myself screaming, "SOMEONE FUCKING CUT!" My dog doesn't like that.
- Patrick Ewing Sr. and Jr. were in the house and got a brief interview from Al Trautwig.
- At the end of the first half, Curry hit a ridiculous, falling down shot in traffic. Barnesgasm summed it up best: "It looked like the Christian Laettner play was being reenacted at a fat camp."
- Bobbito Garcia's hot minute was with some actor from the TV show "Bones" who plays in the NBAE, and once had an NBA blog that got picked up by the Oregonian. Speaking of Bobbito, I don't think he fully grasps the concept of a microphone. No one ever gave him the whole "there's a mic half an inch from your mouth, so you don't actually have to scream" talk. Tragic.
- In the third quarter, Frye and Jeffries bumped into each other eye-to-eye, leaving both bloodied.
- It's been mentioned recently, but ever since Isiah chewed out Nate for his poor defense (don't remember which game that was), he's been much more composed and assertive on the court. He might just be bottling that energy.
- Francis got tied up in the second half and decided to do the team a favor and get himself tossed. I don't know if you guys have seen this show Planet Earth, but I now have fantasies of a great white shark emerging from out of the blue and swallowing Francis whole.
Someone needs to dress this man up like a sea lion. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
- By the way, if you're wondering what happens when a jump baller-to-be gets tossed, the guy who subs in simply takes his place. Isiah put Collins in, instead of getting crafty and subbing in a center, but it ended up working out anyway.
- Mardy Collins' sticky hands (or extra fingers...I'm not sure which) drastically fuck up his shooting, but they make it easier for him to rebound and defend. Solid game from MC Lyte. (!)
- OK...so maybe Nate wasn't completely composed. On two separate occasions, his folly directly caused Curry to get posterized. One time he saved a ball going out of bounds...directly to Delfino, who rose and stuffed over the big man. Another time he attempted a silly transition three, which got blocked and turned into a full-on facial of Curry by Tayshaun Prince.
- I have a bad habit of making the out of bounds calls myself and pointing in the Knicks direction. It's resulted in more than one poked eye and, tonight, it sent a nearby lamp a couple feet into the air.
- The first half was kinda sloppy on both ends, but the Knicks really turned things up in the third quarter, and had one of their better runs of the year (considering the personnel). Collins and Rose played a ton of great defense and Nate filled it up on the other end to put the Knicks up by 10 at one point. Unfortunately, Chauncey "The Dick Eater" Billups scored 5 points in the final seconds of the third to keep it close and ignite the Pistons eventual winning run.
- Some individual lines...Frye came out hot but then went cold, and finished with 11 and 5...Curry was stifled by zones and double teams, but put up a solid 24 and 5, including 12-14 from the line...Nate finished with 24 and 5 boards...Collins had 10 points to go with 5 bounds, 6 dimes, and 3 steals.