Basketball is a game of runs. New York Knicks basketball is a game of large runs by the opposition, followed by much smaller runs by the boys in orange and blue.
The Knicks played the Washington Wizards fairly tough until about the 2:00 mark of the first quarter, Washington went on a run to close out the quarter, ran their lead to 20, then withstood a fourth-quarter New York run to get the game within single digits. The final score was Washington 101, New York 91. As Endless Paradise pointed out, the Knicks' tanking campaign rolls on to ultimate victory!
- Tim Hardaway Jr. started his first game as New York's primary wing player with a flourish, shooting 3-4 for seven points to go along with two rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Not only was he scoring, he was getting his looks at the rim. Like his team, however, Hardaway seems capable of only 10 minutes of inspired basketball. He came back in the second quarter and proceeded to shoot nothing but contested jumpers, missing badly. He also threw a pass directly into the hands of Rasual Butler to kill a fourth-quarter run.
- Jose Calderon channeled the spirit of J.R. Smith in the second half, which was a nice bit of charity to fans still suffering from Earl withdrawal. He splashed a couple of threes to open the third, started getting saucy with the jumper, ending with a sweet step-back at the third-quarter buzzer.
- Jason Smith is concentrated human buzzkill. He has an astonishing habit of missing open jumpers at end of a splendid series of passes. It's as if he watches the ball move with flair and says, "No, no, no...too beautiful. I will show these teammates of mine that life is cruel and pointless - hits the back iron -. I hear Jason Smith wipes his ass on Persian rugs out of principle.
- Quincy Acy took quite a few jumpers and bricked them with authority! His bricks ricochet off the rim with a force I haven't seen since the heyday of Andrea Bargnani. Acy also showed that he is now the only Knick worthy of booing on the road, as the DC faithful heckled him for his role in the Christmas Day dustup.
- Cole Aldrich shot no fewer than three airballs, including one off the wrong side of the backboard:
He did, however, hit the only shot that counted:
It always gets inexplicably loud at Verizon Center at random times bc of this: pic.twitter.com/lSF6DnfwYU— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) January 8, 2015
Cole made that second free throw, because that's what winners do.
- Shane Larkin was good tonight, with 10 points on 4-8 shooting, three assists and four steals. He is often good these days.
- "Langston Galloway: The Road to Springfield" debuted with an uneven performance -- seven points on 2-8 shooting, three assists two rebounds, one steal, and no turnovers. He missed an open layup, because he's a real Knick now and real Knicks miss layups! I've seen the kid finish enough tough shots at Westchester to believe he can do the same in the NBA, so hopefully this was simply opening-night jitters.
- Travis Wear played perhaps his best game as a Knick, with 11 points (3-5 from three!) and five rebounds. He also successfully defended John Wall on one possession. He is now officially the LeBron and Wall Stopper.
- Paul Pierce was inactive for tonight, which took away the last shred of interest I had in seeing the Knicks win. He wore those ridiculous glasses again, just to remind us he's an ass:
Paul Pierce looking like The Fat Boys accountant. pic.twitter.com/aPEQKAX4RF
— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) January 8, 2015
And with that, the 2014-15 Knicks enter the history books with the longest losing streak in franchise history. All in all, this was far from the worst performance of the streak -- not exactly high praise, but it's better than nothing