Good morning, friends! I intend to dwell on yesterday's win over the Bulls until I'm out of dwelling jelly. Take the jump for a bit of morning dwelling.
- First of all, our friend Jordan of the wonderfully named Basketball Things blog broke down a few of the plays surrounding Carmelo Anthony's big shots. Click through for reviews of the play that set up Steve Novak's 97.94 percent made three, Tyson Chandler's incredible effort on the offensive glass that led to Melo's game-winner, and Iman Shumpert's (and others') savvy defense on Derrick Rose during Chicago's final possession.
- No, seriously. That play to get Novak open was awesome.
- More from Jared Dubin, echoing something that was on my mind after the game yesterday:
The Knicks shot 38.2% from the field, 23.5% from 3, made 8 less FTs than Chicago and won. That's fun stuff.
- And New York shot 14-24 (58 percent) in the first quarter, by my count. Subtract that from the overall numbers and you get [mathmathmath] 25/78 (32 percent) for the rest of the game. The Knicks hit 25 shots in 41 minutes. That doesn't seem like very many shots.
- Melo hit two other shots that were seriously ugly but incredible and typical of the performance he was having. One was a baseline isolation play in which Luol Deng had him completely locked up. Melo picked up his dribble, took one step along the baseline past Deng, and attempted a weird, inaccurate leaner off glass. Knowing full well that it wouldn't drop, he started running on the release and tipped in his own miss. Another came fairly early in the fourth quarter, when Melo found himself triple teamed around the left elbow late in the clock, ducked through the traffic and put up a shot that appeared to strike the underside of the rim, but had enough topspin, i suppose, to squiggle its way into the basket.
- Tyson Chandler picked up his eleventh technical foul of the season when, during a dead ball, Carlos Boozer gave him a shoulder bump and Tyson retaliated by screaming and spiking the ball out of his hands. I get it, Tyson. I'd have trouble resisting the urge to inflict violence on Carlos Boozer as well. Just look at him. I'd probably have kicked him in his butt, then shrieked and run away because he outweighs me by like 100 pounds. But you can't get suspended, man. You just can't. You get one more tech. Use it wisely.
- Speaking of Chandler, that elbow injury he suffered early on turned out to be a bone bruise. He'll get treatment but isn't expected to miss any time because he is a goddamn monster.
- Um, side note: Did anybody see MMelo on "Nurse Jackie" last night? Real thing?
- Just making sure you noticed: The Knicks are in seventh place. They remain closer to fourth place (three games) than they are to sixth (four games).
- Videos! Here's the Iman Shumpert putback dunk that was so thunderous that the ref just decided to give him a technical:
- Here's a pretty great alley-oop that Baron Davis threw to Chandler. He's very good at those short-distance lobs in traffic ("he" being either of them, now that I think about it):
- And I posted the Melo shot videos here if you'd like to stare at them, mouth agape, drool pooling at your feet for the rest of the day.
- It'll probably get forgotten by everyone other than Bulls fans that Chicago missed four consecutive free throws in the final minute of regulation. It'll get even more forgotten that Melo himself missed an and-one free throw that would have cut New York's deficit to two with 48 seconds left.
- I have the word "ham" all over my Baron Davis notes, which took me about two minutes to decipher this morning. Was his hamstring bugging him? Was he actually devouring hams between plays? In fact, he was guarding Rip Hamilton, who apparently becomes "ham" when I write in shorthand. I have no recollection of consciously making that decision.
- It's tough against a great rebounding team like the Bulls, but I'd say Steve Novak is better suited defensively to play "out of position" at the four or five than he is to play the three.
- Underrated because of his defense: Shumpert's rebounding (nine of 'em! He led the team with eight defensive rebounds, which was massively, astronomically important against Chicago. The Knicks needed Shump's help there.) and passing (six assists, including some good extra passes and one gorgeous hesitation dime to a cutting Chandler).
- I'm now unable to relocate this, but Chandler admitted after the game that he'd lost track of time and made a big mistake by fouling Deng with 34 seconds left in regulation. But again, Deng missed both, so even Tyson's mistakes are brilliant defensive plays.
That was just a lovely game. I still haven't gotten up from the couch or turned off the TV or changed clothes or relieved my hand from clenching in celebration (typing has been a chore) because I don't want the aftermath of that finish to dissipate. I'm just going to stay here and bask in it forever.