(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
I don't get to say this much, especially after a double-digit loss, but that was fun. This satisfied all three points on my new Knicks 07-08 game checklist. Check it:
2. Decent play throughout...CHECK
3...until a predictable collapse down the stretch that keeps us firmly in lottery contention CHECK
Neat! Game notes:
- Clyde's outfit theme for tonight: "flaming creamsicle".
- Stephon Marbury was interviewed beforehand and did exactly what one expects from him: stared off into space and said absolutely nothing in as many words as possible. Jonathan Supranowitz is the king of creepers.
- I don't know if this is brand new, but MSG now has "Chili's Essential Ingredients", which is Clyde doing his best Doug Collins impression and naming three things the Knicks have to do to win. One of them was "Keep LeBron under 40". You know you're good when the opposing team considers keeping you below 40 a victory. Oh, and, as you've surely heard, the Knicks didn't quite do that.
- Wilson Chandler hit David Lee with a pass with 1 second on the shot clock that Lee had to essentially flick into the basket. Wil got a nice Kurt Thomas-esque glare from Dave running down the other end.
- 10,000 B.C.: omg omg omgomgomgogmg
- LeBron James was absolutely fuckdiculous in this one (more on that later), and he capped off the first half with a buzzer-beating 30 foot leaner over two people. That's silly.
- Jeremy Piven was the subject of Jill Martin's "Gimme a Minute" and was either very drunk or is incredibly unfunny. When asked what one person he'd want to be in his personal entourage, he responded "Umm...Danica...Patrick".
- This might have to be a poll, but which Heineken ad is the most irritating: "robo-girl", "Tempted", or "smoked gouda"? All I know is that all three of them make never, ever want to drink Heineken for fear of providing them with the funds to make more shitty commercials.
- Clyde when Chandler was switched on defense: "Now he has a tremendous assignment guarding Jerome-er...LeBron James". The former would be tremendous in a very different way.
- Joey Crawford is a bad referee. I didn't miss him.
- Anderson Varejao currently ties his hair back in such a way that it looks like he has a buzzcut with a pom-pom sitting on top.
- Robinson and Crawford ran show in the third quarter, leading a 15-2 by running the pick and roll to death and either feeding the paint or gunning from long range. It was a nice glimpse of what could be.
- Jay-Z was in attendance and seated next to what appeared to be Julia Stiles. Gotta wonder what those two talk about.
- Jared Jeffries is the worst alley-oop thrower I've ever seen. On the other hand, from what I could discern, he came the closest of the Knick forwards to stifling LeBron even a little bit. Q's usually the man in that situation, but he just fouled him a lot.
- The Knicks predictable collapse down the stretch was, well...predictable. I really don't get it, though. They completely scrapped the pick-and-roll and stopped moving the ball. Meanwhile, LeBron completely lost his mind on the other end, and within a minute or two, the game was essentially over. If there was a highlight of the last 3 minutes, it was Damon "The Douchebag" Jones attempting a three-pointer early in the shot clock with 30 seconds left in a already out-of-reach game, only to have Nate deliberately goaltend it so he couldn't be a huge prick and do his little celebration. Surely an impulsive frustration move by Nate, but I support it. Fuck Damon Jones.
- Some guy in a LeBron jersey ran onto the court and tried to touch the man himself in the closing seconds. Unfortunately, there were no fun injuries. Once, I was at an Allman Brothers concert and a drunk guy decided to run on to the stage. One of the security guards turned, took two steps, and lit him the fuck up. One of the top five sweetest things I've ever seen.
This one (as should be the case) was all about the young'uns.
Nate Robinson- 36 min, 10-18, 24 pts, 4 ast, 3 reb- Nate was as hot as he's ever been from the field. He showed nice touch from both the midrange and outside, including a ballsy three-pointer right in the face of LeBron. He was also the chief ball-handler and did a nice job getting into the paint for easier shots or feeds to the big guys.
David Lee- 37 min, 7-10, 17 pts, 8 rebs- David Lee got the start, and is awesome. I'm still dying to see him give a little more on defense, but nice game from him.
Randolph Morris- 12 min, 3-5, 7 pts, 7 rebs- Dolph looked a little confused at times, but showed a little of the offensive skill set that we saw in the summer league, including a few looks around the basket and a very clean turnaround baby jumper. 7 boards in 12 minutes ain't too shabby either. I think that translates to like 75 per 48 minutes.
Wilson Chandler- 36 min, 4-9, 11 pts, 5 rebs, 2 ast- Now this was a surprise. Chandler got starter minutes and was fairly impressive. He showed confidence and good form on his jumper, and got it to fall later on in the game. Wil's also very active on the boards and on defense, and you can't blame him for getting absolutely torched in the fourth quarter. Which leads us to...
LeBron James- 44 min, 16-30, 50 pts, 10 ast, 8 rebs, 4 stls- I know he's not a Knick but god DAMN. Kid hit 7 threes, and not one of them was inside 24 feet. I rarely find myself enjoying the performance of the opponent, but I gotta say this was a treat.
Anyway, a loss is a loss, but I'm really pleased to get a look at Morris and Chandler in real NBA action. Promising games by all of the Knick youth. Speaking of youth, we're talking draft tomorrow, so prepare yourself. Peace. And fuck Damon Jones.