I'm ashamed to admit that I actually felt hopeful for a second there. Last night's game against the Sixers was remarkably similar to the one before it. The Knicks fell behind quickly and in despicable fashion, then played about 10 minutes of decent basketball to completely erase the deficit and compete for the win. Of course, some bonehead plays and tough breaks cost the Knicks what ended up being a winnable game. Some notes:
- Danilo Gallinari's a pretty good shooter, no? We're talking about a guy who's already flirted with the Knicks' single-game three-point record twice in three games. He went 8-16 from three last night, but also made some effort to attack the basket. He rimmed out on a couple and-one attempts, or his line would look a bit nicer. Still, 30 points on 9-22 shooting ain't bad for a young gunner. It's nice to have Gallo in the starting lineup, and I'm excited to see what he can do.
- Al Harrington was benched in favor of Gallo, and made the best of the situation. He dropped in a career-high 42 points on brilliant 16-23 shooting, including a number of gorgeous finishes and 9-11 shooting from the line. If there was one downfall of Al's career night, it was a silly 6th foul in overtime that all but iced the Knicks comeback opportunity.
- The Knick defense was dreadful last night and deserves criticism, but can we also acknowledge that the Sixers were shooting preposterously well? I'm talking about guys like Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams- not exactly dead-eye shooters- canning contested jumpers at will.
- Last night's player of the game, like it or not, was Larry Hughes. Larry got his first minutes of the season and made us all look like fools for doubting him. He was solid from the field (7-11, but 1-4 from downtown), and also played the point guard position better than any other Knick so far this season. His 6 assists and 4 turnovers reflect the fact that he was willing to make the pass that each play was meant to produce. Chris Duhon usually keeps his turnovers low, but I really wish he was bold enough to make the tough pass like Hughes was last night. Anyway, I don't know if we trust Larry just yet, but last night was a start.
- The Knicks suck at transition threes. The fast break would work a lot better if people cut to the basket instead of floating around the perimeter. Like Clyde said last night, look to attack the basket first, then look for threes if that doesn't work.
- Some Halloween visitors: John McEnroe dressed as a hippie, Stephon Marbury (who apparently bounced before the game even started), and Dustin Hoffman, who gave the best halftime interview I've seen in a while. Jill Martin asked him what his best and worst costume was, and Hoffman replied that the two were one in the same. His best/worst costume ever was "a breast". She then asked him what his favorite candy was, and he gave the same answer. I like Dustin Hoffman.
Last night could've been a Halloween miracle, but it ended up being just like any other heartbreaking Knick loss. There will likely be a lot of that this season. I know this team is capable of competing on both ends of the floor. They've shown it in stretches. It's being consistent that counts, though.
Next game's tomorrow night against the Hornets. The Knicks best step it up if they want to have any shot at hanging with Chris Paul and friends.