Uh-oh. For the second time in three games, the Knicks looked like their November selves in an ugly loss to the Toronto Raptors. New York fell way behind very quickly, with the Raptors getting buckets from damn near everywhere whilst the Knicks idled away possession after possession on the offense. The Knick scoring would eventually pick up, as David Lee and Danilo Gallinari got over cold starts to post big nights, and Al Harrington led the way with 31 points off the bench. Foul trouble for the Knicks' two best defenders, though, doomed them from ever surmounting a 24-point halftime deficit. Jared Jeffries and Wilson Chandler got whistled early and often, and neither registered more than 30 minutes in a game in which the Knicks desperately needed stops. Don't let the score fool you. The Knicks laid a big, fat dinosaur egg and got blown out tonight.
Meanwhile, high above the nonsense, 16 members and friends of the Posting and Toasting community partied...well...like it was 2010. It was a pleasure to sit with and talk to a few of you, and I hope anyone I didn't get a chance to speak with enjoyed the night. For those of y'all still awaiting your chance to win a contest, you have plenty to look forward to. The T-Mobile suite has its own bathroom, all sorts of snacks (quesadillas!), refreshments, and phones to play with. The view isn't half bad, either. You're high up, but positioned way out over the court so it feels like a bird's eye vantage point. It's excellent.
After the jump, I've got just a few notes. Then it's time for bed. I'm exhausted.
- The Knick defense was pretty lame tonight, but credit the Raptors with shooting the goddamn lights out. Andrea Bargnani hit 5 of 6 threes, Jose Calderon hit all three of his, and Hedo Turkoglu sank a respectable 3-8. All together, the Raps were 12-22 (.545) from downtown. Considering that the Knicks did only a mediocre--not awful-- job of closing out, that's pretty absurd. Toronto actually shot better from outside the arc than they did from inside, which is pretty ridiculous with so many attempts.
- Though the New York three-point defense wasn't its absolute worst, I got very fed up with Knick forwards doubling off of talented three-point shooters. I'd rather let Chris Bosh go to work one-on-one against David Lee than leave the likes of Bargnani and Turkoglu open for threes. Seems like an easy choice.
- It was Italian Heritage Night at the Garden. Aside from starting lineups read in Italian, some folk-ish dancing that I assume was of Italian origin, and the occasional red, white, and green flag, the main attractions were Danilo Gallinari and Andrea Bargnani. Gallo started miserably, missing open threes and rimming out an easy layup, but dialed in to finish with 26 points on 8-17 shooting, as well as 4 rebounds and 3 steals. I'm still giving The Golden Canoli to Andrea Bargnani for the aforementioned three-point shenanigans. "Barn-YAR-ni" (glad I didn't have to hear that) finished with 24 and 12.
- Oddly enough, Gallo was the only Knick with a positive plus/minus (+1).
- I didn't notice that David Lee had close to a triple-double until the closing moments, but snaps to Dave for posting a marvelous 25, 14, and 9 on 11-22 shooting. Lee really picked it up after starting shakily from the field and getting hit with a technical for dancing and waving his arms like a mad man following a non-call.
- Demar DeRozan gets way the hell up there. I think he was at eye level at one point, and we were in box seats. If you ax me, Eric Gordon doesn't have a shot against him.
- The Knicks could be playing like it's November because Chris Duhon has reverted to his autumnal sheepishness. The guy simply will not look to attack, including times when he's frighteningly wide open. If Du would just make a few attempts at the rim, defenders would have to respect his offense and surrender some passing lanes. The Knick ball movement is so much better when it starts with Duhon beating his man and drawing help. If he doesn't hit a few layups, the help will never come. Be selfish, Christopher.
- While we're at it, Nate Robinson has no excuse not to attack the rim. We've come to expect that sort of pussyfooting from Duhon, but Nate is one of the league's premier slashers. Did he use up all his miles that night in Atlanta?
- Those of you who were watching on TV: What the hell did Mike D'Antoni smash? After a non-call in the second half, D'Antoni spun towards the scorer's table and appeared to karate chop a container of some white substance into oblivion. I thought it was a tissue box at first, then the box of that talcum powder the players put on their hands, then maybe Larry Hughes' box of baby wipes, but now I'm not sure.
- It sure seemed like the Raptors got a lot more calls than the Knicks did (31 free throw attempts vs. 20), but I was probably too immersed in the action to be objective.
- How come nobody told me about Big Luis? This rather portly fellow danced for a good five minutes on Gardenvision, and is apparently famous enough that he has his own graphic that appears alongside the real time video. You guys have been going to games all year, and nobody told me about Big Luis? I'm disappointed.
- There were plenty of much-deserved boos showered upon the Knicks tonight, but the Garden still appreciates effort as much as any arena. It warmed my little heart to see Chris Duhon dive into the stands for a loose ball with the Knicks down double digits early on and get a massive round of applause from the MSG crowd.
Thanks to everybody who showed up at the Garden and to all of you that commented in the game thread. The Knicks' next game is tomorrow night in Detroit, followed by another matchup with the Pistons at home on Monday. I'm about to do the drawing to determine who of you will be joining me at that Monday night game. If you picked Al Harrington to be tonight's leading scorer, you've got a 60% chance of being a winner, so check your email! Goodnight, all.