This New York Knicks team is almost certainly a smarter club than what we've endured in recent years. Big whoop! The past two Knicks teams played some of the lowest-IQ basketball I've ever seen in my life. What does it mean to have a higher basketball IQ than them?
Not much, as it turns out, when you're playing a Rick Carlisle-coached team. The Dallas Mavericks are one of the few squads even less athletic than the Knicks, but they know what they're doing. And that was too much for New York on this evening. History will record that the Knicks crawled back from a massive deficit and screwed up royally when they had a sliver of fourth-quarter hope.
Mavs 104, Knicks 97. This team is poop right now.
On the other hand, Kristaps. He is the salve to soothe even the most gangrenous Knicks performance. As Philluminati said, "Porzingis is the future." He's also pretty damn fun to watch in the present.
- Have you heard the news? Dirk Nowitzki is very tall! Apparently Knicks defenders didn't get the memo. They switched so often, so freely, right from the opening tip, that it seemed like a concerted strategy. If so, it was a dumb strategy -- Dirk often had his way matched up against guards, and all the switching, doubling and chasing led to tons of open corner threes. This was pure, uncut Mike Woodson basketball, and I really don't want to fall down that rabbit hole again.
- Now that I have your attention, let's talk about Kristaps Porzingis, shall we? He struggled guarding Dirk, and he was surprisingly weak on the glass, with only two rebounds. He also scored 28 points -- 12 in the fourth -- on just about every manner of basketball shot conceived by man. I know Seth linked this in the postgame thread; I don't care. We all need to watch this again:
He's 7'3" pic.twitter.com/CuBZJPxrXV— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) December 8, 2015
That is not basketball. That is a surrealist, Salvador Dalí painting of basketball, brought to life through the power of a child's imagination. When times are tough, I worry that the Knicks will somehow break Kristaps, as they break everything. Not even the Knicks can break Kristaps.
- Speaking of broken Knicks: Langston Galloway.
- What can I say about Kevin Seraphin that hasn't already been said about Afghanistan: his game is bombed out and depleted. Yes, he will cook his man in the post every now and then. He also sucks at the concept of team basketball. I would appreciate it if Derek Fisher played him fewer minutes.
- Robin Lopez has this peculiar habit of hitting a couple early shots, getting far too frisky, and bricking a few questionable looks before coming to his senses. I don't mind that so much ... it never lasts terribly long. What I do mind, however, is when teammates commit dumb turnovers trying to thread the ball to him in traffic.
- Carmelo Anthony was particularly guilty on that account. He was moving the rock (eight assists), but not always wisely (five turnovers). He didn't shoot well (6-18, 1-6 from three) and got T'd up arguing a call late in the fourth. Whatever. Melo did some bad things, and he did some good things. He certainly didn't lose them this game -- that was a team effort.
- Chandler Parsons stepped out of bounds at one point in the third, prompting Carlisle to shoot a look of disgust, as if to say, "We should be up way more on these clowns." The Mavs were up 21 points at the time.
- I don't want to write a script for a snuff film. That being said, if I ever were to write a script for a snuff film, it would be entitled "Raymond Felton Hit Two Floaters."
- Lance Thomas scored nine points in the fourth quarter -- two three-pointers and an and-one layup. We should know better than to expect that from him on any kind of consistent basis, but man, whenever that guy hits a shot or two the Knicks just take off. I only wish he could have done it sooner.
The Knicks have now lost six of their last eight, with both wins coming against scrub squads from Philly and Brooklyn. They now head out west, with a .500 record in danger of slipping even further from their grasp.
On the other hand, Kristaps.