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Kings 106, Knicks 105: "I would have rather lost by 60."


Ezra Shaw

Oh man. Nuh-uh. No way I'm writing up a full recap of that one. In short: The badly depleted Knicks played the shittiest first half and change of basketball they've played maybe ever. Wanton fouling, awful live-ball turnovers, and reprehensible perimeter defense combined with outrageously accurate shooting by the Kings saw the Knicks down by 27 at one point. The humiliation was only intensified by that lady in the Sacramento Crowd shrieking like Xena the Warrior Princess every time the Knicks had the ball. It was no fun, but at least things were mellow. (New York also missed a bunch of free throws along the way, but it didn't seem to matter guhhhhh).

New York magically erased that deficit, though, actually pulling a few possessions ahead in the fourth quarter with some brilliant shooting and just the natural regression of Sacramento's offense. The Knicks could have actually put it away down the stretch, but blew some late possessions on isolation fade-aways. The game concluded with the Knicks-- up two-- running a nice lob play from Jason Kidd to Tyson Chandler only to have Kidd's lob get picked off in mid-air. The Kings raced the other way, missed a couple desperate shots and threw some awful passes in a totally slapstick possession, then somehow found James Johnson on the perimeter. Johnson, who had not hit a three all season, drilled the game-winner as time expired, at which point I swallowed my uvula.

And that's how a loss that didn't hurt turned into a thrilling victory, then suddenly turned into a loss that did hurt quite a bit. Like LeopardSuit said in the thread, I wish the Knicks just went ahead and took the blowout. Would have saved me some hormones. At least we got to see a big game from Tyson Chandler (despite all those missed free throws), a brilliant/possibly rotation-altering performance off the bench from Chris Copeland (he started over Ronnie Brewer in the second half and totally validated that decision), and a much-improved second half from Pablo Prigioni after he coughed up so many possessions early on. Steve Novak shot well, too, and J.R. Smith put up decent numbers despite hogging the ball a bit and going ice cold in crunch time. So much good in that second half. I guess just don't go down by 27 next time?

But yeah, against all odds, that one ended up stinging a lot. Never has the Curse of Friday Night Knicks been more potent, and now we and the Knicks get to steep in this one for three days before the next game. There's only one alternative.