Some games are wild and unpredictable, filled with twists and turns. Others have pretty straightforward storylines. Saturday night's Knicks-Grizzlies contest was pretty much missing any Dickensian aspect, unless you were convinced that Zach Randolph's dominant performance was somehow vengeful. Put simply, it was the Grizzlies' size vs. the Knicks' depth, and the Grizzlies' size won. Memphis's appropriately ursine frontcourt mauled the undersized Knicks in the paint and on the boards. Real-life grizzly bear Marc Gasol put up 25 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists over David Lee. Zach Randolph (who's more of a sun bear if you ask me) dropped a preposterous 31 points and 25 boards over his former teammates.
The Knicks, to their credit, vastly outperformed the Grizzlies' rather shallow bench. Al Harrington (31 points), Bill Walker (8 high-flying points), Eddie House (15 long-distance points) and Toney Douglas (7 DWTDD points) each contributed more than any Memphis reserve, and New York was able to scurry back into contention each time the second units matched up.
In the end, though, it was the big guns that decided the outcome. Memphis ran away with this one in the final minutes, preventing the Knicks from starting their first win streak in a long, long time.
Take the jump for a few notes...
- Danilo Gallinari still hasn't had his return to form, but I'm pleased with two added wrinkles to his game. One is that he's playing like he gives a shit on defense. Gallo's instincts and footwork are flawed (he did foul out), but he's one of the few post-Jeffries Knicks who's willing to play help D and get after rebounds. Second, I was delighted to see Danilo continue to identify mismatches and back down littler kids like O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay when he got the chance.
- Speaking of which, there has never been a game of announcing more tailored for the infantile P&T crowd. Mike Crispino and Walt Frazier were in rare form, mistakenly pairing the name "Gay" with words like "backdoor", "came", "feasting", and "draining" on countless occasions. Last night's game thread read like the graffiti on a middle school bathroom stall.
- Toney Douglas was typically deferential in his first few minutes, but Coach D'Antoni let him spin into the third quarter, and Toney made it happen. He delivered a gorgeous feed to set up a Bill Walker dunk, poached a passing lane to get himself a fast break and-one, and crossed Mike Conley out of his pants for a baseline drive. And that was all in 9:44. As Toney's minutes gradually climb, we're getting to see more and more of what Toney Douglas do.
- Halftime events included a Tracy Morgan interview in which he proclaimed that he'd nicknamed Tracy McGrady "Agua" and a genuinely awful appearance by The Sugarhill Gang.
- Speaking of which, McGrady looked a little off in the first half, then sat for the entire second. On the second night of a back-to-back, this is to be expected. If you're really bent out of shape about McGrady missing significant time, you ought to lower your expectations.
- Say it with me: Conley. Con-lee. There are no vowels between the "n" and the "l".
- Our comment-headline comes from our beloved Osborn, and I think it speaks for itself.
Again, this one was pretty simple. Teams with competent frontcourts will continue to put up Wilt-like numbers against the shrimpy Knicks. New York plays again Monday night in Cleveland. Expect douchebaggery.