This isn't really a recap, since I didn't take any notes and don't have as clear a memory of the game's events as I typically would. One thing I'm certain of, though, is that, after a strange, somewhat lucky victory over Chicago, last night's win over the Wizards was the real deal. The Knicks executed on offense, stayed active on defense, and kept their
feet foots on the gas right up until the final buzzer. We really couldn't have picked a better tonight to get together in person and watch our Knicks play ball. A few lingering memories:
- Wilson Chandler's posterization of JaVale McGee was the best dunk I've seen so far this season (month). Yes, I'm biased, but I'm also right.
- He'll surely come down to earth a bit, but I really had no idea that Toney Douglas was this good. He has been pesky on defense, improved with the ball in his hands, and frighteningly accurate from outside. Not only has Toney been hitting jumpers (granted, on a lot of attempts), but he's shown a knack to can treys in those third quarter moments when a big lead is in jeopardy. Busting the opponent's momentum is what Toney Douglas do.
- Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Toney set four career highs in two days (points, steals, rebounds, and steals again)?
- Mike D'Antoni's Knicks made a conscious effort to overplay John Wall. Felton and Douglas would grant him one direction or the other, funneling him toward the corner and inviting big man help to take the ball out of his hands. At the outset, Andray Blatche punished them mercilessly for this strategy, scoring roughly 90 points in the first quarter. When Wall tried to force the issue, when Blatche cooled off, and when Washington's second unit took the floor, things looked a lot better defensively.
- Amar'e Stoudemire didn't overextend himself as much (just 2 TOs), allowing himself to attract defenders without dominating the ball. Also, 4 rebounds doesn't look great, but it looks a lot better beside 4 blocked shots.
- Solid, effective games from Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Gallinari. Bill Walker did his thing off the bench as well.
- Anthony Randolph shot waaaaay too much (1-7) in his second appearance, but put up pretty ridiculous non-scoring numbers (7 rebounds, including 3 o-bounds, a steal, and 2 blocks) in just ten minutes of play. I love the vigor and desperation with which he roams the floor. He just needs to learn to tone it down and take his time with the ball in his hands.
- It was really, really excellent to meet and hang out with some of you. Off the top of my head, I had some lovely conversations with gbaked, ben linus, Frederic Weis, mindfeck, THEWILLY (too briefly, sir), black hova, Tony Marciano, TimEnchant, and other people who either lurk (make accounts, gumps!) or whose real names and usernames I never really connected. As far as real-life humans go, thanks to the esteemed Katie Baker for making an appearance, and many thanks to Gian (not Casimiro, although that guy is a goddamn champ as well) for some rounds and snacks for the whole gang. Also, stingy d certainly isn't stingy. Most of all, thanks to UK Knick and his bar-owning connects for organizing the entire affair. I'm furious that I lost track of my HP sauce on my way out the door. Anyway, I hope everybody had as joyous an evening as I did. Hopefully, Charlie, Gian, and myself can put together another one of these in the future and get even more of you involved.
The Knicks play again at noon tomorrow. For the first time in a while, more of the same would be pretty great.