The New York Knicks lost to the Denver Nuggets, 101-96, Sunday afternoon and I'm sure we all have better things to do today so I'll summarize the narrative of this game in three tweets.
Tweet No. 1 -- written halfway through the second quarter, as the Knicks showed their first signs of life:
need to get this deficit to 10 so they can come back in the second half and fuck it up at the end— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) February 7, 2016
Tweet No. 2 -- written after a buttery Kristaps Porzingis jumper helped the Knicks erase a 19-point deficit before the end of the third quarter:
Step 1 complete— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) February 7, 2016
Step 2 completehttps://t.co/HXlLCuGo34
Tweet No. 3 -- written at the end of a fourth quarter which saw the Knicks miss yet another game-tying shot in the final seconds:
Step 3 complete https://t.co/0BeXUJwIpQ— Joseph Flynn (@ChinaJoeFlynn) February 7, 2016
It wasn't exactly clairvoyance ... every Knicks fan knew what was coming. YIK summarized this game with the third comment of the game thread, roughly 50 minutes before the start of the game. This is just who this team is right now
- Story of the first quarter: Arron Afflalo runs the break following a steal, takes it right at Will Barton, gets blocked with four seconds left. Gallinari gets the inbound pass, dribbles to halfcourt and nails the buzzer-beater.
- Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis started the game a combined 0-for-11. That's less than optimal. Melo got the Knicks on track in the second with some classic Dad Melo action, including a beautiful pick-and-roll feed to Porzingis for a dunk. More of that, pls.
Kristaps completed the comeback in the third quarter once Melo sat with foul trouble. Zingis Khan dropped 13 points in the period -- he went glass, he bombed threes, he was generally unstoppable. Sadly, it would not carry over to the fourth. He shot 1-3 in the final frame, while Melo air-balled one transition three and missed badly on several jumpers.
- Naturally it was Melo who took the potential game-tying three. He missed, of course, because a Knick must miss those shots. Much will be made of Derek Fisher's decision not to call a timeout. I can see the logic. Melo got an open look, which usually never happens coming out of timeouts. I wish he had waited moment to set his feet, maybe pump-fake to let the pursing defender fly by. He certainly had enough time. It is what it is. At least it wasn't Arron Afflalo.
- Second double-double in as many games for the Latvian Unicorn -- 21 points, 13 rebounds -- who seems to have put the whole "rookie wall" thing behind him. Kristaps is usually out of position on defensive rebounds, and he's not strong enough to establish that position, but he does a fantastic job of using his absurd length to knock the ball out of the opponent's hand as he reaches the height of his jump.
- Yet another strong start for Jose Calderon, who kept the Knicks afloat with eight first-quarter points. Good to have him back ... now if it could just translate into a win.
- Emmanuel Mudiay has been terrible this season -- going by win shares, he has been the least valuable player in the NBA. So clearly he was due for a nine-point fourth quarter, including an impossible step-back three which bounced off the front rim and climbed into the heavens before dropping in the net. When it rains, it pours.
- Happy Chinese New Year! Linda and I celebrated at 11 a.m. -- midnight in China -- so the Knicks are either 0-1 in the year of the monkey (if you're pessimistic and/or follow Chinese time) or undefeated in the year of the monkey (if you're optimistic and/or you're in America waiting until midnight to celebrate). I suggest the latter.
The Knicks have one more game before the All-Star Break. They will probably lose said game.