The New York Knicks played a fine, tense game on Tuesday night in Utah. The Jazz ultimately won, 87-82, thanks to some late-game heroics from Rodney Hood and Joe Ingles, but the 'Bockers will leave Salt Lake City with their heads held high after giving a red-hot team all they could handle.
...OK, enough of this crap. The only real drama in this game came from the Alexey Shved Triple-Double Watch.
The point czar started off in a generous mood, feeding Andrea Bargnani for three quick assists. He finished the first half with seven points, seven rebounds and three dimes. The tension mounted as Shved reached a double-double mid-way through the fourth and needed three more assists in the final four minutes to reach immortality.
Alas, it was not to be. Shved did get a critical steal and a few more buckets -- bringing his total to an absurd 21 points (6-12 shooting), 10 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and two blocks -- but he fell short of that random statistical market we so love to celebrate. Better luck next time, young Shved. You may or may not be a good basketball player, but you are certainly too good for this club.
-Jason Smith missed a layup off a beautiful Shved feed in the third quarter. He ruins everything.
- Minstrels will travel the land with their lutes in hand and sing of Cole Aldrich's hook shot battle against Rudy Gobert. The Gallic Giant doth swatted Cole's hook with his arms long as the great serpent in the Garden of Eden. Yet verily did gallant Cole, beloved of God, did smite his foe with hooks from the sky like mighty comets of justice.
- Derrick Favors roasted the Knicks frontcourt , particularly in the first half. Lou Amundson has been surprisingly adept on the defensive end, but he isn't really equipped to handle that kind of strength. In Lou's defense, Favors threw in several un-called stiff arms for good measure.
But Amundson, like his top-knotted samurai forebears, did not go down without a fight. He turned the tables on Favors in the third, contesting shots and grabbing rebounds. I enjoy Lou.
- Langston Galloway had his worst game in a while. He sat early with two quick fouls and never seemed to get in rhythm. The clutch Galloway of yore was nowhere to be seen, as he missed a potential game-changing three late, and coughed up a disastrous turnover with less than a minute left to seal the deal. He did, however, took a brutal charge in the first quarter. I appreciate the effort, but youngsters shouldn't really risk bodily harm for this team.
- Say what you want about Andrea Bargnani, but that dude knows how to complete a pass from a seated position. Most big men tend to panic after falling on their tuckus with the ball in their hands. Not Bargs. He remains remarkably composed, scanning the floor like Magic Johnson. You can see the gears turning in his head: Alas, I have yet again fallen on my bottom! Take a deep breath, Andrea...you've been hear before. Wait for Galloway to move clear of Rudy Gobert's knees. Ah, there he is! I am still the maestro of the sit-pass!
- When these Knicks are moving the ball with gusto, it often ends up in the hands of Lance Thomas in the corner...otherwise known as the graveyard of offense. Dude can't shoot, dribble, walk in a straight line while reciting the ABC's or tie his shoes. I appreciate your contributions on defense, Lance, but please learn how to do something with the ball in your hands.
And so the Knicks are 0-2 on this five-game Western Conference odyssey. No reason to let up now, boys!