(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Well I didn't expect that. I predicted a loss tonight, and all early signs pointed in that direction. The Knicks quickly fell behind by double digits, but rallied and hang on to beat the Nets in what became a hard-fought, entertaining game. Notes:
- Wilson Chandler's cool, but I really wish Chong Williams slipped to the Knicks. His shot-blocking could do wonders for this team.
- I've often commented on Isiah's tendency to stare blankly into space while he's being questioned by the media. Funny thing is Stephon Marbury is exactly the same way. It's about as creepy and unsettling as an interview can be.
- Tell me if this makes sense. Last night, Kenny Smith said Chris Paul wasn't one of the 10 fastest point guards in the league. Kinda bogus, but he backed it up by saying that he meant raw speed, not quickness with the ball. Whatever. But then tonight, he says that Jason Kidd is one of the three fastest people in the league. Come on. If Chris Paul raced Jason Kidd with a ball, without a ball, blindfolded, naked, on stilts, skis, or a bobsled, he would torch him. No contest.
- Mike Breen made a good point: Between Kidd and Darrell Armstrong, the Nets have 74 years of point guard.
- As the announcers noted, this game was noteworthy in that the Knicks fell pretty far behind pretty early and didn't quit for once. Sure, it took a spark from the second unit, but the defense stepped up and the ball moved more to close the gap by halftime. Impressive. And since we're giving other teams the benefit of the doubt for facing the Knicks at the end of tough stretches, let's give the Knicks credit for staging a gritty comeback in their third game in 4 nights.
- Some clown named Jonathan Coachman was filling in for Al Trautwig as the pre-game and halftime guy. He was generally fine, except for boldly cutting off a whiny Knick-rant from Chris Rock.
- Randolph and Curry hooked up a few times. Zach's not a good passer by any stretch of the imagination, but can throw a decent lob over the top to the big fella.
- Speaking of Randolph, Isiah ran a zone a few times that had Zach out on the perimeter and a guard down low banging with Jamaal Magloire. Unorthodox, but it worked alright.
- Crawford had the move of the night with a behind-the-back move to an and-one layup in Jason Kidd's face.
- For a rookie ref, John Gobel's got some sack. He's the guy who tossed Allen Iverson last night, and tonight he called the game tight, including a particularly egregious traveling call on Vince Carter (which was, indeed, a travel, but that's besides the point). Guy needs to learn a thing or two about star treatment!
- There was a little beefing in this one. Q put an intentional foul on Richard Jefferson, who kinda popped him with a 'bow on his way to the line. Q took offense and started yapping, and Jamaal Magloire responded with a two-handed push. Words were said, glares were glared, technicals were distributed, but nothing came of it. There was a point at which it looked like Nate was gonna take on (and probably take down) Magloire, but it was nipped in the bud. Probably better that way, but damn.
- Zach Randolph is very good at rebounding with one hand. Just saying.
- One moment in this game totally embodied the personality of Renaldo Balkman. In the fourth quarter, Fred Jones was called for a pretty questionable blocking foul. Jones was irate, Isiah was baffled, the Knick bench was concerned, and Balkman was sitting and laughing like an idiot. That's Humpty in a nutshell.
- Jamal Crawford was lights-out once again. He finished with 35 points on 11-20 shooting (including 6 threes), as well as 8 assists. More importantly, he hit a number of big shots down the stretch, including the dagger three that ultimately put the game out of reach.
- Curry and Randolph both enjoyed modest success. Randolph had 24 and 11, and Curry had 17 and 5. Both managed to hold their own (after the first quarter anyway) on defense as well. That's all we ask.
- Nate Robinson didn't shoot all that well (4-14) but looked great running the point, and made himself a real pest on defense.