We have seen the Knicks fumble many a comeback over the years, but I really don't think we've ever seen them do it so many times in a game. On what felt like a dozen occasions, Lance Thomas took a cleaver to Orlando's lead, bringing the Knicks close. Lance's first-optionly dominance felt like hallucination, and yet each Lance play and its delirious response hit a swift end. Nikola Vucevic sashayed over and around Robin Lopez ... and everyone else he met. When Vucevic couldn't finish plays, Orlando found a wing to make something late in the clock. Or they found a cheap offensive rebound. Or the Knicks just bonered away a chance to strike.
Derek Fisher took an unusual shot, leaving Jerian Grant on the floor and keeping Kristaps Porzingis mostly off it, for his Knicks' final thrust. There was no final thrust, really.
Let's look at some things!
Thomas w/ 12 of his 14pts (6-6 FG) in the 3Q as the #Knicks trim Orlando's lead to 78-73 entering the 4Q. pic.twitter.com/uLekz7xSxy— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) December 22, 2015
How is this
There've been articles recently about Lance Thomas working very hard this summer, so shout out to hard work. Holy shit, Lance Thomas. This dude envisions plays all the time, but never before this month have I seen him execute those plans with such poise.
Lance had a perfect 24 points on 9 shots, and Carmelo Anthony scored nicely, too, and the Knicks still just couldn't finish it. The spirit of Hakeem Olajuwon compelled Vucevic to keep them at distance, Lopez hanging to him for dear life.
Oh shit I just realized what this felt like. It felt like a really long tennis game -- just ad and deuce going back and forth for half an hour. Bends-inducing turnarounds like these ...
... happened, and they happened, and they happened.
Over and over and over and over. Back and forth and back. Recap from Osborn coming up.