How much do the Westchester Knicks really want to emulate their NBA namesake? They play in the same state, wear the same colors, run the same offense ... and they have inherited a rather Knicks-ian penchant for running nasty late-game possessions that absolutely crush your soul, as witnessed in their 91-89 loss Friday to the Erie BayHawks.
Westchester held the ball in a tie game with a roughly 3.8-second difference between game and shot clocks -- a prrrrrrrrretty good position to be in at the end of the night. Naturally, Jimmer Fredette dribbled down the clock, stumbled drunkenly into two defenders, farted out the ball in the backcourt which was picked up by a BayHawk who ran the length of the court for a last-second dunk attempt. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, trailing the play, caught up to stop the dunk and was whistled for the foul. Two made free throws later, Erie walked away with the two-point win.
You can watch the final possession here. It really is magnificent. All that's missing is a Mike Woodson postgame press conference where he says Jimmer made the right play. I think Thanasis made the right move going up hard for the contest -- in that situation, you have to stop the dunk at all costs and hope that either the ref swallows his whistle or your opponent misses the free throws.
Travis Trice had one assist and five turnovers, so it wasn't exactly a perfect evening for either Westchester guard.
Gani Lawal scored two points, grabbed six rebounds and committed five turnovers off the bench. His entire NBA career consists of a single 1:56 stint for Phoenix at the end of a blowout win on December 31, 2010. He is the Moonlight Graham of basketball. Facts like these are why I enjoy the D-League.
The W-Knicks remain atop their division despite having lost four of their last five. They play the Raptors' affiliate Saturday night at 7 p.m., though I'm guessing we'll be preoccupied with a different Knicks game.