For some reason the New York Knicks feel compelled to continue playing basketball after Thursday night's triumph in Cleveland. Way to ruin my buzz, guys!
Sun., Nov. 2 - Charlotte Hornets
Chinese name: 黄蜂 (huang-feng) Lit. "yellow bee"
The Charlotte basketball franchise is coming back to MSG for the first time since this:
It was an evening so humiliating the team literally changed their name.
Warning: You better wrap yourselves in asbestos, ladies and gentleman, because the takes are about to get red hot!
If you recall, Carmelo Anthony showed the world how not to play basketball with his 62-point, zero-assists (!!!) performance against Charlotte. He sullied the game I love by failing to complete a pass to another guy who immediately sank a basketball shot so an assist could be recorded. He showed the world why he'll never be a winner, even though his team technically won that game by 29 points. And I'm not saying this as some joyless prick sportswriter,more interested in fomenting controversy than in appreciating the beauty of watching a legendary scorer on the finest night of his career.
There's only one way Melo can redeem himself in this rematch. He must one-up his single-game scoring record buy chasing the most hallowed mark in Knicks history: Chris Duhon's 22-assist game in 2008. You say you wanna pass more, Melo? How about getting 23 assists tonight, just to show what a team player you are!!!
- On Thursday the Knicks successfully navigated Cleveland's pressure defense, which allowed them to exploit the Cavs' surprisingly crap-tacular pick-and-roll D. Look for Charlotte to take an opposite approach, sitting back in a much more conservative defensive look. It should be a good test.
- Ugh...Lance Stephenson. Screw that guy.
- The Knicks lucked out last season, avoiding Al Jefferson in two of their four match-ups. Big Al predictably tore New York to shreds in the other two games, averaging 30 points. With Samuel Dalembert hobbled with a calf issue, will that mean more Cole Aldrich? Yes, please.
- Do you watch basketball to see tall people? Then tonight's game might not be for you. Mighty mite Shane Larkin has looked shockingly competent in the first two games. He even ranks second on the team in win shares per 48 minutes (second to Pablo Prigioni, naturally). But he will face his biggest challenge yet in Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker...and by "biggest" I mean "smallest." Little guy b-ball, y'all! It'll be like watching two puppies fight over a tennis ball.
- Seriously...screw Lance Stephenson.
- Knickerblogger writer and friend of P&T Jim Cavan needs our help. His baby son Everett has a tumor on his liver and needs chemotherapy. Please go to this site and donate to Everett's medical fund. Knicks fans need to help out other Knicks fans, especially the tiny, adorable ones.
Prediction: Knicks 98, Hornets 89. Melo gets 24 assists and Everett kicks that tumor's ass.