That happened awfully quickly! The Knicks were honestly giving the Celtics a reasonably tough match through most of three quarters. Boston just decided to turn on the jets, and very suddenly laughed New York off the floor. A blizzard of three-pointers, including a Jonas Jerebko buzzer-beater, snapped the Knicks' ducky-ducky neck. New York drops to 10-48 on the season, losers of eight consecutive.
Not to take too much away from the Celtics, who absolutely busted the Knicks up, but they definitely weren't doing much to brag about, and then just got impossibly hot. Commenting along in the game thread, Kaisersoser wondered if the Knicks' drought had pushed ten minutes. Boston has a little more substance on their roster, but I don't think either of these teams could withhold a barrage like what the Celtics put together. Boston canned 14 triples to the Knicks' paltry two (on 21 attempts). That's probably the difference right there, babes.
- Jason Smith was all over the place from the get-go. He was on the backboards, the scoreboards and even the floor boards. Some excellent passing out of the high post found scorers in stride. Timely, assertive screen-setting led directly to open looks one pass away. He even helped direct some Triangle traffic so the team could set things in motion. Jah is still liable to spin his way nearly out of bounds on a post up or fumble a pass through his hands, into his chest and then kick it out of bounds. He is, however, legitimately the best player on the team right now, and the other Knicks are looking for him to create more than he is probably used to.
It's a welcome sign for a guy who really struggled through the first half of the year. I was ready to dump the chump at the first opportunity not that long ago, but I think I'm turning on that. For the right price, he understands the offense, and you can count on him to give you his quite serviceable best. Nice little double-double for Jason, 14 points and 10 rebounds.
- I like to imagine that Lou Amundson is the Chris Pontius of the team.
- Tim Hardaway ended up having a tough night despite hitting some really tough shots in the first quarter. He started off looking much more comfortable and spry then he did before the All Star Break. Not so sure I'd advise him to take contested jump hooks out of post isolations so much, but that's just me. Surprising that he just can't seem to keep the heat on this season.
- The Lou Amundson, Jason Smith, Quincy Acy, Andrea Bargnani front court rotation is a tad unsettling. Especially when the Celtics roll out Jonas Jerebko and Jae Crowder against any of those two and seem perfectly comfortable.
- Bargnani, gawky and wobbling as he may be, gives his defender plenty of jab steps and up-fakes to chew on. I'll be devastated if the basketball gods see the "it" factor with him, but he made some crap happen tonight. I've long maintained that he gets people up in the air because they desperately want to block the complete, utter, total shit out of him. My theory has been pretty bulletproof so far, and I'm several years in at this point. Not enough opposing defenders just play him straight up and force him to make a great play. They just want to rip him to shreds.
- Walt Frazier had a thing or two to say about Bargs' game today. When Mike Breen mentioned that Andrea may have been getting motivation from a particularly hecklesome fan, Clyde said, "When you can hear heckling, Mike, you are having a bad game." He also sort of floated out "shot selection" on at least a few Bargnani attempts.
- Alexey Shved is definitely not good at this.
- Speaking of players I absolutely can't stand, Evan Turner had a triple-double.
- Cleanthony Early should be able to carve out a nice rotation spot on this team for years to come if he keep plugging away. I wonder if Phil Jackson's Knicks will consider that type of thing. Extending a rookie contract seems so sadly far-fetched for some reason. Excellent effort on defense and working to facilitate the offense nicely. Great finisher, competent shooter. Other than the lack of minutes, what's not to like? I'm just hoping that the last 15 games of the year he is eclipsing 30 minutes.
Knicks are back at this Friday against the Detroit Pistons. I can smell the FARTDOG from here.