Watching the New York Knicks play basketball is something of a chore these days. I find the best way to pass the time is to play my own little games within the game. One example is the classic "Who's going to torch the Knicks tonight?" contest. Seth and I made our picks before New York's date with the New Orleans Pelicans:
Early in the first quarter it appeared Seth would win the day, as Luke Babbit buried a pair of corner threes right off the bat. But Tyreke Evans proved up to the challenge as the game wore on, gliding confidently past the lifelike holograms in the blue jerseys on his way to a game-high 27 points on 11-15 from the field.
I won! I am the champion!
What happened in the game itself? Oh, the Knicks lost, 104-93. Whoop-dee-freakin-do!
The Pelicans appeared to come into Tuesday night with a clear plan to defeat the New York -- double-team Carmelo Anthony and make his teammates win the game. It was a bit of overkill, if you ask me...you don't necessarily need a plan to defeat the Knicks. They just lose. It's what they do. Still, the extra attention seemed to bother Melo. While he did manage to score 17 points on an efficient 6-11 shooting, he never seemed totally engaged. Perhaps this had something to do with it:
Carmelo Anthony is outside the press room getting his left knee looked at and worked on.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) December 10, 2014
Back troubles? Knee troubles? Nine straight losses? Remind me again why they are still letting this guy play.
Amar'e Stoudemire did his best to pick up the slack, pouring in a season-high 26 points on 11-18 shooting to go along with five rebounds and five blocks. It was not enough. It's never enough for the Knicks these days.
Some more notes:
- Anthony Davis was mic'ed up on the Pelicans' broadcast. Near the end of the first they showed him screaming to his teammates in the huddle, "Nobody's at the rim. Throw it to the rim." He actually struggled a bit in the first half, shooting 1-6 from the field. That was never going to last -- he shot 5-8 in the final two quarters -- but it was a respectable showing.
- Of course, the Knicks counter-balanced Davis' off night by allowing the Pelicans' much-maligned guards to annihilate them. Jrue Holiday wound up with 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists, and even Austin Rivers looked like a quality player off the bench. This might have been the worst showing of the season from New York's perimeter D, and that's saying something.
- You know who is a fairly solid perimeter defender, at least by Knicks standards? Shane Larkin. But the second-year guard received his second "DNP-CD" in as many games. I don't get it...I really don't.
- Cole Aldrich got four whole minutes of playing time in the first quarter. In a related note, I felt alive for only four minutes of this game. Cole tried a Pablo-sneak in the backcourt, fouling Davis in the process. On offense, he set what should have been called a moving screen, caught the ball rolling to the rim, got stuffed by the Brow, and followed his own miss with a layup. As he rose up to challenge Davis on a charge to the rim, I made a promise to God right then and there that I would take off my pants and throw them out the window if he could get a clean block. Of course, Aldrich hacked Davis and my pants were saved. Fisher immediately pulled Aldrich, who never played again.
- Aldrich appeared to take a rotation spot from Samuel Dalembert, who sat for the entire first half. But Fisher re-inserted Dalembert in the second, and he predictably played like stanky, stanky butt.
- Jason Smith played 22 minutes in this game. What more is there to say, really? I had hoped to while away the last few minutes of this game basking in the glow of the trade machine, executing a therapeutic "Jason Smith for Anthony Davis" deal. Even then, Jason Smith didn't fail to disappoint:
Jason Smith is more than just a terrible player. He is a basketball Freddy Krueger, attacking you even in your dreams. He will not be stopped; he will not be benched. He is pure evil.
And so the Knicks will try to avoid a double-digit losing streak Wednesday night on a SEGABABA against the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. They will probably win that game for some crazy reason.