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Knicks 90, Wizards 88: “Brandon Jennings has nooo chill and I love it”

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The Knicks won the Jennings-Casper Ware duel you never knew you needed.

NBA: Preseason-Washington Wizards at New York Knicks Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Jennings rolls up his shorts. I respect this. I also respect how Brandon rolled up on Casper Ware, that little bruiser. Jennings got the Garden faithful to completely freak out when he decided to go after his old Drew League friend-o tonight. Poor Casper is just trying to latch on to an NBA club and Brandon decided to give him a steaming hot pile of sass. Jennings thrives on a wild-mannered crowd, so he should feel nice and cozy here in New York. What could be better than having your name chanted (because you got a technical foul in a pre-season recital)? MSG proceeded to show an interview clip where Jennings basically said the Knicks are going to talk the most sass in the league this year. As if there could be a more properly named commenter, It Takes a Village to Raise Chris Childs mentioned in the game thread that Brandon Jennings has nooo chill and I love it. Quick, friends, to the cold tub!

BRAN-DON JEN-NINGS! clap-clap clap-clap-clap

BRAN-DON JEN-NINGS! clap-clap clap-clap-clap

BRAN-DON JEN-NINGS! clap-clap clap-clap-clap

The ball moves much more fluidly out there. Just look at these guys pop the pill around. The Knicks are playing for each other, have room to improvise and their satisfaction is palpable. The new quickness is lovely if a bit unsettled. Courtney Lee's sprightly bounce is the exact opposite of Arron Afflalo's sullen trudge. Brandon Jennings’ wily dashes are the bizarro glops of offense that Jose Calderon pasted up.

I mean, Jennings actually moves his feet over the top of screens. Whereas Calderon would just vacuum into them and wait to be emptied out. That won't make all the difference but this is a very welcome departure. Even if the Knicks end up playing a similar pace under Hornacek, this brand of activity will invigorate your ordinary, everyday half court sets. As evidenced by one play where the Knicks hustled through a lag and Lee burst from half court for a blind pig. The play was broken up, but there was still 16 or so seconds on the shot clock. Last year there would be about six.

  • Sasha Vujacic came in and immediately missed a wide open Carmelo Anthony swing pass so he could drive into traffic. Then he drove into traffic and rejected a pass to Kyle O'Quinn underneath that would have been an easy pair. He should be banished to play out the rest of his years as a contestant in the Blue versus White kids game at halftime. Where he would be booed rightfully and mercilessly.
  • Two guys that should easily supplant him are Chasson Randle and Ron Baker and there’s no question about it. Of course, one or both of those guys won’t be here when the season starts, which is shameful. They have both outplayed Sasha in every way imaginable and would continue to do so in a regular season or playoff situation.
  • Randle got a solid chunk of time with the starting unit in place of Courtney Lee at one point. He immediately dove on the floor for a loose ball and forced a jump ball with John Wall. Later in the quarter Randle absorbed Wall on a breakaway and locked up the possession for another held ball! He struggled to wiggle free for some good looks tonight, but still managed to hit a critical three down the stretch and absolutely froze some chump with a barbaric hesitation only to have his shot blocked (goaltended?).
  • Baker also made all types of slick defensive and effort plays. Always sliding his feet into position and never committing too soon. Then on offense he is always poised and rarely makes foolish decisions. Canning clean looks and distributing quick hitters for his teammates to capitalize on. At one point the good captain got popped in the eye with no call. Rather than whine, he took the ball to the rack next time he had a chance for the finish, and one. It’s really tough not to love what the young author brings to the coffee table.
  • How come I can always hear Marcin Gortat shouting "Otto"? I don't even watch the Wizards that regularly. Otto Porter is not necessarily even on the floor. Something else I always notice is Gortat blatantly hems up Kristaps Porzingis to allow John Wall a free run to the hoop. Coach Hornacek was tight and immediately called timeout. Not so sure Kurt Rambis would have been upset by this.
  • Speaking of Porzingis, he got his crossover poked away several times. He wasn’t shielding the ball with his body. Also shaking without creating separation half the time. Three face ups out of the post resulting in (near) turnovers in the first half. Clearly working on that move. It will be scouted out sooner or later. I hope he can go back to Western Beef and get the economy size because we need to see more.
  • Porzingis may be the most imposing inbound defender to ever exist.
  • Justin Holiday had a nice put back dunk. That either gassed him up to take shots he can’t hit or jacked him up to make him too excited to hit shots he should be able to nail. Loving this guy either way. He has exceptionally quick feet and active hands on defense. According to Clyde, they call him “the fireman” for his propensity to come in and stifle whoever has the hot hand. That shot is really all over the place tho.
  • No Mindaugas Kuzminskas as Lance Thomas continues to try to find himself. He started off missing his first nine shots. Showed signs of life toward the end of the evening as he sealed a nearly overtimed affair.
  • Willy Hernangomez got the starting nod tonight and alternately disappointed and excited. The kid has a great feel for where people are going to be and is very unselfish. He racked up some bumbling turnovers but they were mostly because he kept the ball too low. That’s easily correctable. His exciting moments included a fantastic sweeping lefty hook from about 8 feet away and a nice chase down block on John Wall.
  • Carmelo Anthony. You already know.

BRAN-DON JEN-NINGS! clap-clap clap-clap-clap

BRAN-DON JEN-NINGS! clap-clap clap-clap-clap

BRAN-DON JEN-NINGS! clap-clap clap-clap-clap