There is a certain harmony to the Knicks' crappiness -- a yin to the yang, if you will. There are some legitimately good players on this team, and they're not all going to be terrible every game, which makes it crucial to maintain a delicate balance. If too many guys show up, the team might stumble into a win or two. That will not stand!
Wednesday's 108-105 loss to the Indiana Pacers was a fine example of harmonious losing basketball. How many night has Carmelo Anthony carried this team, only to be done in by wretched performances by his supporting cast? New York got a crazy amount of scoring from unlikely sources -- 20 points from Jose Calderon, 17 from Langston Galloway, 19 from Kyle O'Quinn -- which meant it was Melo's turn for a stinker. And boy did he deliver: 14 points on 5-20 shooting, a team-low -14 plus/minus, and a back-breaking technical in the final minute. Harmony.
Remember Robin's Lopez's recent run of scoring dominance? He could only manage 4 points against Indy, counteracting a 22-point scoring barrage from frontcourt mate Kristaps Porzingis (22 points on 7-14 shooting). Harmony.
Pacers star Paul George shot 1-9 in the first half, Melo shot 2-11. Harmony.
Paul George, first half: 1-of-9— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) February 25, 2016
Paul George, second half: 8-of-12
Harmony. This is the lesson of Zen losing. It was Onumu Sensei who said, "Sometimes we will hit the target ... but will miss the self." Well the Knicks are missing the target, but finding the self.
- Kyle O'Quinn's Knicks career was on life support until he surprisingly held his own against Karl-Anthony Towns in Saturday's win over Minnesota. Kurt Rambis responded by increasing his minutes, which led to tonight's masterpiece: 19 points on 7-10 shooting, 6 rebounds. He contested shots, scrapped for boards, and on several line-drive jumpers.
Is this just a big old tease? Of course it is. But let's just enjoy it for a night.
- Kristaps had a fun bit of synergy working with O'Quinn in the third quarter:
Porzingis is 7'3" and 20 years old https://t.co/uZGOWcX8k8— Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade) February 25, 2016
This duo has only played 77 minutes together this season. They're both young and signed through next year, so Rambis might as well give the pairing another shot.
- Speaking of guys who are young and signed through next year ...
Would mark Grant's 3rd DNP in 5 gms since Rambis took over. To put that in perspective, Grant had just 3 DNPs in first 54 gms.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) February 25, 2016
But hey, sometimes you have to make sacrifices when you're in the playoff race!
- Paul George has the perpetual scowl of a too-cool-for-school douchebag. I'm not a fan.
- The Pacers celebrating Oscar Robertson's Crispus Attucks High squad by wearing their Hoosiers jerseys -- the mildly creepy film based on the scrappy, underdog, love-of-the-game (read: all-white) high school team which beat Attucks High -- is peak Indiana.
When the Pacers gonna drop the Hollywood High jerseys and go with the Crispus Attucks throwbacks? https://t.co/WrtY3P3R3w— Pro Hoops History (@ProHoopsHistory) February 25, 2016
- Frank Vogel is from South Jersey, which is not real Jersey. Might as well be Philly.
- Jose Calderon and Langston Galloway were shooting flames most of the night, while Arron Afflalo sat most of the second half. I'm in favor of all three of those things.
- Second DNP of the season for Derrick Williams, who appears to be in Rambis's doghouse. True, he's been playing like crap of late, but I'm still confused as to the criteria for entering and/or leaving Rambis's doghouse.
- I will say this for Rambis: He drew up two good plays at the end of the game. Kristaps missed an open look and Melo was able to break free for a desperation three at the buzzer. Also, kudos to him for going for the win. Nobody wanted overtime.
As Chrisp722 said, the memory of 22-22 continues to sting. We must forget about that team ... they're gone. The sooner the coach realizes that, the better.