Halfway! The Knicks celebrated the midpoint of their slog toward cap space by hopping on a plane to London, suiting up for a game against the Bucks, and filling O2 Arena with musty tank farts. It's pretty wonderful that the NBA made complicated arrangements to send basketball to London and one of the teams involved was THIS:
If it weren't for an extended Carmelo Anthony cameo, the Knicks might have flirted once more with deficit records. Triangle actions that had been humming pretty nicely the last few losses gunked to a full stop. A janky Melo (and a janky Amar'e Stoudemire) didn't help those matters, but he got his (25 points on 12 shots).
The overall play-- and Melo's role within it-- sharpened a bit as the game progressed, but the Knicks lost by a lot because that's what they do and a trip overseas isn't gonna change that. This tank plows through oceans if it must, like Attila the hun (probably not the real one) commented in the game thread.
- The Knicks, still a bit sleepy from all the jam they ate (in London they just eat jam out of a ladle. That is 100% of the English diet. It's disgusting!) didn't score for the game's first 6 minutes, a stretch that included the glorious moment above. Tim Hardaway Jr. finally got a little runner to drop midway through the first quarter.
- It was a little jarring to see Lou Amundson out there hustling for loose balls and battling on the glass and stuff when everyone else was just out for a leisurely post-jam trot. Lou's the new kid who reminded the sub the class was supposed to have a quiz today. THE NEW KID SUCKS. NERD.
- There should be a No Bullying rule in the NBA. It's not fair for big guards to back Shane Larkin into the post more than once per quarter.
- It was nice to see Melo can a couple straight-on jumpers in the mid-second quarter. He actually ended up with 17 points in the first half, mostly off isolation jumpers. Melo didn't have the first step to beat anyone and he had trouble negotiating double teams, but the stroke looked pure.
- Amar'e barely played just eight minutes while Melo finished the night with 28. Neither appeared to be more injured than they were to begin the game, so that's cool.
- I wish Cleanthony Early played. He wasn't even active. I bear Amundson no ill will, but I hope he vacates that roster spot and all his minutes after the 10 days are up.
- I dunno if Quincy Acy hurt himself or something, but he only played 4 minutes. Weird rotation stuff all-around, but I'm just gonna blame it on the metric system.
- Clyde: "They told me there are no sports bars here where you can go out and watch...uhhhh...sports." That's...is that even true?
- Lance Thomas played.
- Shane Larkin sprained his left ankle stepping on Travis Wear's foot :(
- A ragtag Knicks lineup (as if there's any other kind. This team is 90% tags and rags at this point.) actually cut the difference to 11 at one point in the fourth quarter, which is like the 2015, post-trade version of a Fake Knicks Comeback.
So, the Knicks went to London, spotted their opponent a 14-point lead, then played competitive basketball for 40 minutes. And lost by double digits. I'll take it. Halfway there, y'all.