Oh man, Wednesday was some kind of roller coaster ride. First came the big trade, and as devastating as it was to lose Callahan, replacing him with St. Louis really took away much of the sting. Then came the game against Toronto, which itself was a roller coaster ride of its own. After the penalty shot put us down and the incredible two-goal penalty kill brought us back, giving up the OT goal was killer ending to a wild day. It certainly was - what's that? Oh right, Knicks blog.
You see, unlike those of you at the P&T meetup on Wednesday, I was unable to watch the Knicks-Timberwolves game, as I was at MSG cheering on the Rangers. I will admit that I had given up any hope of making the playoffs and the loss to Detroit just felt like yet another nail in the coffin. I fully expected to come home from the Garden to find that Kevin Love had torched the Knicks for 35 and 20 en route to a blowout win. Instead I got home just in time to see the Knicks dribbling out the clock for their first win in what seemed like months. Of course, they followed that up with wins over Utah and Cleveland and in the process put themselves within striking distance of the eighth seed and made me start believing again. Yep, they've suckered me back in. This can only end badly.
Player of the Week - Tyson Chandler
I jumped the gun a bit with my Fun Fact after the Cavs game. I was all ready to use this space to highlight Chandler's incredible recent rebounding efforts, but the Cavs retiring Zydrunas Ilgauskas's #11 on the night that Tyson got 11+ rebounds for the 11th straight game was the kind of opportunity that doesn't come around often. Well as it turns out, it's a good thing that the numbers aligned so perfectly, because it forced me into more research, which led to the discovery that on Saturday night, Tyson Chandler did the best thing any Knick has done all season: he knocked Eddy Curry out of the Knicks record book!
Chandler's first field goal attempt in Cleveland was the 1000th attempt of his Knicks career. His .641 field goal percentage is the highest in Knicks history among all players with at least 1000 field goal attempts. Previously, the record was held by Curry, who shot .563 as a Knick. Now that Chandler has done it in NY, there are five instances in NBA history of a player shooting over 61% from the field, minimum 1000 attempts, for one team. DeAndre Jordan holds the record, shooting .648 for the Clippers, followed by Chandler's .641 for the Knicks. The other three instances: Artis Gilmore shot .620 for San Antonio, Mark West shot .613 for the Suns, and Chandler himself shot .611 for the Hornets!
Opposing Player of the Week - Anthony Bennett
They say that Bennett is arguably the worst #1 overall pick in NBA history but I'm sure I can use his stats to dispute that theory. Sure he's only averaging 4.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting just 35% from the field, but he did something against the Knicks that certainly had not been accomplished in a while. On Saturday night, Bennett was 1-1 from the field, in doing so, he became the first former #1 overall pick to shoot 100% against the Knicks since...Andrew Bogut did it eight days earlier. Oh.
Well, I'm not giving up. I will prove to you that Anthony Bennett is not the worst first pick ever by utilizing the stats he put up in his eight minute stint against the Knicks. As I mentioned above, Bennett was 1-1 that night. It was the second time this season he was a perfect 1-1 from the field, as he also did it on December 17th against the Trail Blazers. As such, in his brief NBA career, future Hall of Famer* Anthony Bennett has now had more games in which he shot 100% from the field than All-Stars Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Blake Griffin, and Derrick Rose, the previous five top overall picks, have combined!
*I do not truly believe Anthony Bennett will ever be a Hall of Famer and will laugh derisively at anyone who does.
Bluecheese's Rambling Stat of the Week - (WARNING! May not end in a coherent thought)
Raymond Felton had 18 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals against the Timberwolves on Wednesday. He is the first Knick to reach all those numbers in one game since Jeremy Lin had 20 points, 13 assists, and 5 steals in a 119-114 loss to the Bucks on March 9th, 2012. That game was the Knicks first 119-114 regulation loss since February 24, 1985, when the Lakers beat them. The leading scorers in that game were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bernard King, who each had 39 points. It would be 3.5 years before another NBA game in which each team's leading scorer had 39 points. On November 4, 1988, Hakeem Olajuwon and Alex English each had 39 in the Nuggets 120-117 win over the Rockets. The Rockets starting shooting guard in that game, Mike Woodson, was 6-15 from the field for 16 points. On November 18, 2006, Josh Smith became the first player coached by Woodson to ever go 6-15 for 16 points, doing it in the Hawks 93-88 OT loss to the Heat. The next time the Heat won by five in overtime came on January 3, 2009, when they beat the Nets 101-96. In another game that night, Ryan Gomes made 7 FGs in 29 minutes of playing time to help lead the Timberwolves to a 102-92 win over the Bulls. The only other time in his career that Gomes made 7 FGs in 29 minutes in a win came on December 6, 2010, as his Clippers beat the Kings 98-91. In another game that night, the Knicks beat the Timberwolves 121-114 thanks to big games from Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton. That night, Felton became the only Knick to ever have at least 18 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals in one game against the Timberwolves...until he himself did it again on Wednesday night!
Last Week in Jared Jeffries History
On March 4, 2011, Jeffries fouled out after playing 26 minutes and not attempting a single field goal in the Knicks 119-115 loss to the Cavaliers. He remains the only Knick in the last 30 seasons to foul out of a game without attempting a field goal. With Jeffries's retirement in the offseason, there is now only one other active player who has ever had a game in which he fouled out without attempting a field goal, while playing at least 26 minutes: Tyson Chandler, who did it for the Bulls on March 19, 2006...against Jared Jeffries and the Wizards!
Last Week in Jared Jeffries Shot Tracker History
How fitting was beating the Jazz on Friday? Well, Friday was the Jared Jeffries Shot Tracker's third birthday, and as some of you may recall, the JJST was created following a blowout victory over Utah.
Here is a piece of P&T history:
JJST Memorial Fun Fact of Whatever Time of Day this is put on the Front Page of P&T
The Knicks have now played seven consecutive games in a row that were decided by double figures. This is the first time they have done so in over twenty years. They last did it in March of 1993, when the 1st game of the streak, rather than the 7th, was a double digit victory over the Cavaliers.
The Knicks Did it First
I mentioned this when it happened, but it was buried and I'm not sure everyone got to see it. On Monday night, Lebron James scored a career-high 61 points to lead the Heat to a 124-107 victory over the Bobcats. A couple of obvious instances of "the Knicks did it first" quickly spring to mind. Lebron became the first to score 61 since Carmelo Anthony had 62 back in January. He also scored the most points against the Bobcats since...Melo's 62 in January, which leads to a less obvious "Knicks did it first." By allowing 61 to Lebron after giving up 62 to Melo, the Bobcats became the first team in over 50 years to give up 60+ to two different players in one season. The last team to do it was the '61-'62 Knicks, who allowed Jerry West to score 63 on January 17th 1962 and more famously surrendered 100 to Wilt Chamberlain on March 2nd of the same year.
Movie of the Week - The Godfather Part III
The Godfather Part III is arguably the most disappointing movie ever made. So much was expected from the long-anticipated sequel, yet it completely failed to live up to the standards set by the first two Godfather films, two of the greatest movies of all-time. By most standards, the '12-'13 Knicks were not on par with The Godfather or The Godfather Part II, but to Knicks fans they were a godsend. That team's success generated such high hopes for this year's team and while many Knick fans could have anticipated a slight drop-off, few could have foreseen this team becoming as infamous to Knicks fans as The Godfather Part III is to film buffs. And yet, there remains hope. Due to its notoriety, many have forgotten that The Godfather Part III was actually nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. After last week, the Knicks still have a puncher's chance of getting the basketball version of an Oscar nomination: a playoff spot.
One week ago I had given up hope, but now I'm ready to believe again. As Al Pacino said in this week's Movie of the Week, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."