Ohhhhhh man I'm beside myself. When Andrea Bargnani pulled a three-pointer way too early in that game against the Bucks, the Knicks were deep in their funk and ended up winning anyway. We could laugh that off. When J.R. Smith did it tonight, the Knicks were one decent play away from taking a road back-to-back against top Western teams. That mattered.
It wasn't just J.R. All the Knicks pissed themselves through crunch time. They played a lot like they did against the Spurs-- enough brilliant shooting from Iman Shumpert and gritty play from a hobbling Carmelo Anthony to match all the buckets they were allowing at the other end-- but the big difference was that final minute. Instead of broken plays and loose balls leading to big Shump makes, they led to J.R. rushing a three instead of letting less than a shot clock's worth of time run down, then the Knicks passing up open looks off a Tyson Chandler rebound and frantically deferring to one another such that the game-tying attempt was a wild Beno Udrih runner.
I'll recap tomorrow. I'm gonna go eat a table.