I have been told by others that there's a documentary on Reggie Miller entitled "Winning Time." I've never watched it, but I can only assume it is the story of his 36.3-percent shooting performance in the six-game loss to the Knicks in the '99 Conference Finals, including eight points on 3-18 from the field in the deciding game.
Well I'm sending out a request to Spike Lee right now -- I demand you get to work immediately on "Losing Time: The Story of the 2014-15 New York Knicks." Sure, there have been worse teams in NBA history, but never before has a team been able to simply flip a switch late in games and almost instantaneously turn victory into defeat.
Saturday afternoon's 99-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns proved one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: This Knicks team is a symphony of choking. Derek Fisher is the conductor, waving his baton in the direction of his worst players and exhorting them to tank with more feeling. Jason Smith, he of the 11 points on 5-14 shooting, is the first chair violin. The mid-range jumper is his Stradivarius -- an instrument of perfection crafted centuries before the game of basketball was even invented. Scientists cannot reproduce its beauty. Samuel Dalembert plays the bassoon, because of course he plays the bassoon.
New York started sluggish, allowing the Phoenix to build a quick 11-point lead. But the Knicks' second unit brought some life (thanks to a quick burst of offense from Smith, of all people), the defense stiffened, and New York went into halftime with a four-point lead.
They managed to maintain the lead through a back-and-forth third quarter, but the Suns pulled ahead as Fisher rested Carmelo Anthony to start the final frame. The Pablo Prigioni/Shane Larkin/Tim Hardaway Jr./Travis Wear/Dalembert lineup seemed almost designed to score no points. Melo quickly returned to stop the bleeding, but the combination of Eric Bledsoe and Isaiah Thomas shredded New York, as the competent D from the second and third quarters simply vanished.
And that, my friends, is how a win becomes a loss. As knicksfanhere96 said, it would be a damn shame if the lottery gods failed to reward this magnificence.
- Jose Calderon had himself quite a game on the offensive end, scoring 21 points on 8-13 shooting (5-6 from three). Of course, his notorious defensive issues came back to bite the team, as he couldn't keep Thomas in front of him after scuffling with the tiny dynamo.
- Thomas apparently has issues with all Spanish-speaking guards, as he also inspired this fit of rage from Pablo:
If I were the Suns I wouldn't even shower or change -- just get on the bus as soon as possible, haul ass, and pray that Pablo does not hunt Thomas to the ends of the Earth.
- Melo scored 25 points, but PJ Tucker did not make it easy on him. He played 40 minutes, which is precisely 40 more minutes than he should be playing right now.
- Hardaway continued his recent trend of playing like Bizarro-Tim: five free throws, four rebounds, 1-5 shooting from beyond the arc. This is getting ridiculous.
- Travis Wear is swag personified. He nearly caught an alley-oop from Shane Larkin at halfcourt that would have caused the Christmas tree in my living to burst into flame.
- Lots of Clyde stuff from this game:
Clyde's twin sisters still live together: "They don't necessarily dress alike as much anymore."— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) December 20, 2014
Clyde's seen "a few episodes" of The Wire.— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) December 20, 2014
"I would've tweeted if I knew how. I just wanted to watch the game so I did the next best thing: I turned it down" Clyde, on Phil-Chuck beef— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) December 20, 2014
It's nice to see Clyde stepping up in support of Papa Bear Phil Jackson and crapping on Charles Barkley. I imagine Clyde's TV pre-dates the remote control, so he had to get up and physically turn down the volume. That kind of conviction to not listening to Sir Charles is something all Knicks fans should aspire to.
- Omar butterfly shirt:
The Knicks will finish their weekend back-to-back Sunday afternoon in Toronto. Melo will probably play, and the Knicks will probably lose. You cannot stop the tanking machine, Melo. You shouldn't even try.