Honestly, I'm impressed the Knicks competed that long. On the ass end of a week-long western road trip, the Knicks could have rolled over and snoozed from the opening tip, but they ... well, they waited until like the end of the second quarter to do that. The Suns didn't play well at all, but once their open shots started falling and the visitors' fatigue set in, the score peeled apart into a blowout.
A few notes:
- The Knicks really were active to start. Guys like Lance Thomas and Alexey Shved showed some life and some sharp reflexes (well, just the reflexes in Shved's case; he never looks fully alive on the floor) to grab six first-quarter steals and tilt them into fast break points. That was fun while it lasted.
- You know how some guys have eyes in the backs of their heads, figuratively speaking? Andrea Bargnani has hair on the front of his head, figuratively speaking. He shot just fine on those elbow jumpers Sunday night, but I swear the dude can be staring directly at open cutters and not make the crafty assist. Sometimes it's several in the same play. I guess avoiding potential turnovers is good, but he makes me shout sometimes.
- Lou Amundson doesn't get quite those same opportunities, but he handed off at least one helpful pass for a backdoor cutter.
- Injured this evening: Tim Hardaway Jr., who messed up his wrist again, and Cleanthony Early, who somehow sprained his ankle without doing anything.
- I liked watching the Morris brothers converse, presumably in some inscrutable twin language, on either side of Bargnani while lined up to rebound a free throw. Bargnani thought they were talking to him at first and just looked so wonderfully perplexed.
- On that note:
That's me saying "nope." Kenny Albert was more polite, probably because he and everybody else had no idea who was whom until the camera zoomed out and caught the "11" on Markieff's jersey. I have trouble telling them apart separately, but when they're together, Markieff is the sleepier-looking one. Marcus has higher cheekbones?
- Alexey Shved just chucks up whatever sometimes. He's got that Antawn Jamison-y tendency to shoot kinda in between steps, or without any of his limbs pointing toward the basket. It's usually very bad, but sometimes...in the presence of a foul...
- While comparing Brandan Wright's side-spinning free throw form to Joakim Noah's, Clyde called Joakim "Yannick." That is his tennis-playing father's name.
- Clyde also called Shane Larkin "Sharkin," although that may have been a verb. He did say "sharkin with dexterity" so it could go either way. I like it.
- Clyde also calls Alexey Shved "sped."
- Langston Galloway is this season's king of making me look at the box score like "he seems like he's shooting pretty well...nope."
- Lance Thomas kinda bounced tonight. Had one really impressive put-back dunk and drew a ton of contact (10 free throws!). That's great!
That's all! Like Walt Clyde Phraser noted, we all deserve hugs for staying up late for that. 16 more games. Have a lovely night.