The Knicks had this thing tied most of the game, but of course fell behind only to come really close at the end. The Magic had a stretch where they extended their lead to as much as 11. The Knicks are a borderline personality at the moment, though it's possible to medicate. The Magic are actually a team with an identity and if they weren't invited to the party, they're going to do their best to crash it.
King Henry the 2nd was true to his fandom in the game thread, noting "and yet I'm going to continue to watch". That statement is a microcosm of the fan experience up to this point in the season. I'm not too broken up about this loss, but if you find yourself really pulled under by this midweek maelstrom, you've only got one day to pull yourself up. The Knicks battle Robert Randolph and the Utah Jazz on Friday. In the meantime, lets blast this one into orbit, right?
- Evan Fournier slapped a FARTDOG of the year candidate on our hind parts tonight. 28 point on 14 shots, with four steals. He got cute, purposely missing a free throw late in the game just to make you think the Knicks may have actually had a chance. I believe the preferred response for this is, "lol, nah". Evan was also featured on the latest cover of Paper Magazine.
- Tobias Harris, straight from Dix Hills, came at us bro. He had a really nice stretch toward the end of the first half, and it kind of established the Magic as the team setting the tone for the evening. He wasn't able to get too much going afterward, but that seemed like a tipping point in some ways.
- Channing Frye came back to town and decked us a few times. At least twice Frye and the Magic guards got the Knicks to switch a pick and roll, and Channing backed his way in slowly and scored some slinky turnaround jumpers. Frye also unleashed a ferocious dunk by driving from the 3-point line. He blew past a terrible Jason Smith closeout, Tim Hardaway Jr. didn't step fully into the driving lane, and WHAM!
- Nikola Vucevic is pretty good. This is exhausting!!
- Luke Ridnour... I'll stop.
- Carmelo Anthony had a great game? 27 points on 17 shots, including a late 3-point bomb that just had to make you think there was a chance. There wasn't, surprisingly enough. Melo was hampered by foul trouble and was missing for a few critical minutes as the game started to slip away.
- Oh, your best player being in foul trouble isn't enough? You need your second best player in foul trouble too? No sweat, the Knicks got you covered. Iman Shumpert fouled out late in the game and he was M-A-D about it. Shump swipes at everything. That's not exactly good defense every time. Shump has been getting quite angry lately. Late in the fourth he took it out on the rim:
- Amar'e Stoudemire had a wondrous dunk in the first half. Amar'e also played magnificent defense on a singular Vucevic post up in the second half.
- There were a few mentions of this in the game thread, and I think it's worth remembering, Shane Larkin works pretty nicely as the off guard in the two point guard lineups. His quickness is best utilized as a penetrator against a defense scrambling to help and recover. Shane just needs to take the triple when he's got it lined up and he'll get defenders to close out longer and give himself more room for driving and passing lanes.
- Jose! Please come back, I'm begging you!
- Jason Smith was bad. Jason's turnaround jumpers look like painful turds. Reminds me of Samuel Dalembert, who actually played well for Samuel Dalembert.
- JR Smith was maddeningly inconsistent, bombing threes from every which angle.
- From Jill Martin to Bill Pidto, MSG's halftime efforts are severely lacking. They are the Knicks of half time.
While it is most certainly bad right now, the team is actually having longer stretches of firing the pill around the floor and scoring or getting good looks in rhythm. With player movement opening the passing lanes and folks stepping into their shots, it's only a matter of time before Derek Fisher can pin down a consistent rotation. Until that time, guys will get jerked in and out of the rotation. Sorry, Tim. What a headache.