As bad as the Knicks have been, they can sneak up on most teams in the NBA. This is not the case with the Magic, who spaced themselves brilliantly and worked the ball inside-out to cruise to a win in Orlando. The Knicks actually played a pretty splendid offensive game, including 16-33 shooting from downtown (buoyed by Danilo Gallinari's 5-10 night from outside). New York was spread too thin on defense, though, and they just couldn't handle Dwight Howard (25 points on 11-14 shooting) and the Magic shooters simultaneously.
If you aren't a diehard, you probably weren't watching after the second quarter.
Notes and such, after the jump...
- Dwight Howard rarely faced his man one-on-one. Either the Knicks doubled (which worked occasionally) or switched on picks (which worked less occasionally). If he was at all challenged, Howard did a superb job of kicking the ball out to the perimeter, and guys like Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson found themselves as open as they've ever been.
- My friend and I had a ten-minute conversation under the pretense that Linton Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson were, in fact, one person. Neither of those individuals were involved in last night's game, and one of them has been dead for like 40 years, so I think that gives you a sense of how interesting this game was.
- Brent Barry + 3 inches + Marc Bolan's makeup= Ryan Anderson.
- J.J. Redick got to the basket way more than J.J. Redick should get to the basket. He blew a few layups, but also sank a few, and even connected on a Candace Parker dunk.
- Danilo Gallinari could improve his game immensely by working on his left hand. He handles the ball pretty well with both hands, but his ability to finish lefty ruins too many nice drives.
- Gallinari stuffed his shoulder pretty badly in the second quarter, but returned. I'm proud to say I didn't cry.
- Hey, Chris Duhon's shooting pretty well these days! Well done, Chris. I was chatting with the WCWP Sports guys yesterday, and we came to the conclusion that Mike D'Antoni is doing what he can to showcase Du before he becomes a free agent. As long as Toney Douglas and Sergio Rodriguez continue to get minutes (which they have), then I'm not too upset with Duhon getting rewarded for being a good sport.
- With the sound off, this "never give up" NBA commercial set to a beat just looks like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade having seizures.
- Patrick Ewing and Herb Williams were seen chatting before tip-off. Kids at home: If you want to be an NBA assistant coach, learn to chat with a basketball wedged between your elbow and side. It's tough to multi-task, but shooting the shit while casually holding a basketball is how the pros do it.
That's all, Philips. The Knicks are back in action tomorrow night against the Heat, with plenty of contest winners in the house.