The Cavs swallowed the Knicks whole and passed them with ease. From opening tip to final buzzer, the Knicks might as well have been down triple-digits like Knickslexia suggested. It wasn't really a game. LeBron James and friends played like it was an All-Star game and the severely disadvantaged Knicks let it happen. At times, that stung a bit, like when Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith combined to recreate this classic alley-oop (evoking the stinging memory of a third former Knick), but it was mostly a laugher. Like, I literally laughed several times. Some notes:
- Did anyone play well? I think Lou Amundson played okay. He mostly avoided embarrassment on defense and showed some legit post moves at certain points. He made a lovely, decisive turn off the left block to score a tricky wrong-footed banker, as if Kevin Love's talents had somehow rubbed off on him.
- Lance Thomas (who, like Amundson, acquitted himself just fine while guarding LeBron, who played a very loosey game and a very goosey one, too) stays pump-faking and passing up corner threes for long twos. The only time he chose the good shot over the bad one was when time was running out in the first half. And he hit it! I hereby institute the Channing Frye Memorial Buzzer Rule on Lance Thomas shots. He must shoot immediately from exactly where he stands.
- Lance really did hold his ground against LeBron. Channeled him toward the baseline and created a little corner pocket with his help defenders. LeBron wasn't exactly getting after it, but I was pleased to see that effort.
- Same with Langston Galloway on Kyrie Irving. Not a lockdown performance, but he played him like he was supposed to and communicated with his help.
- I'd love to see him get more minutes (like 4 times as many minutes) anyway, but Cleanthony Early has looked utterly out of sorts. He just doesn't seem to have spots on offense. Doesn't know where he wants the ball. It's an understandable problem after having been The Guy for so long in college, but he and the Knicks need to start working together to figure out what sort of contributor he is.
- I have two Andrea Bargnani thoughts:
1. If you touch any part of Andrea's body, his arms shoot up over his head. It's a reflex.
2. Andrea's best drives come when he's leaning against his defender. Things get weird when he's given an open lane, but if he's got the defense backpedaling and can rest his weight against his man while momentum carries both of them toward the rim, he tends to find success. It's like he needs a host for each of his drives, you know? What I'm getting at is that Andrea Bargnani is a parasite.
- Today was not the strongest showing for the Triangle offense. A lot of dudes pivoting and pivoting and pivoting in a very crowded paint.
- He's been cold and uninspiring of late, but goddamn, Galloway finishing a strong coast-to-coast lay-in with LeBron right in his hip pocket was badass.
- Speaking of coast-to-coast:
That's my parakeet Domingo screaming "TRAVEL!" in bird language. Shut up and enjoy the amunds, bird.
- This was all so uncomfortable. Clyde got a little chuckly with Jill Martin, too.
- Mike Breen later made a call-back to the above by saying his favorite movie of the year was American Sniper, which he specifically noted starred Bradley Cooper. All laughed.
- I don't think we've gotten the whole White Guy Water Slide Train (videographer Jason Smith included) in a lineup yet, but they're getting close.
- Bargnani kinda took it to Tristan Thompson and Brendan Haywood for a stretch of the fourth. Couple o' dunks and once fancy lay-up.
- Alexey Shved played the final 3 minutes and hardly touched the ball. The whole crowd screamed at him to shoot on the final possession, so he did. And missed.
- Reminder that Travis Wear is Cleveland's kryptonite:
Travis Wear is a born winner pic.twitter.com/esKsfbuCWV— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) February 22, 2015
- And finally, here's how today's game looked with the Official Posting and Toasting ScoreBlockerTM
That was the Knicks game today. 27 more to go!