So close, and yet so far.
With 1:16 remaining in Wednesday night's Knicks-Bulls tilt, Kristaps Porzingis let fly a critical three-pointer. The shot missed, and the hopes of Knicks fans everywhere were crushed. And so we must keep on waiting, hoping, believing.
You'll get to 30 points someday, Kristaps!
Sadly, our man had to settle for a career-high-tying 29, on 11-16 shooting, to go along with 10 rebounds. Sources tell me that ran outside the United Center just moments after the Knicks' 115-107 victory so he could melt down the Michael Jordan statue and drink it like a protein shake.
There may be some cynics and clowns out there who will claim that Nikola Mirotic (career-high 35 points) was nearly a match for Kristaps. Don't believe it for a second. That bearded, buck-toothed scrub scored 20 points in the fourth quarter during the traditional "Knicks fall asleep with a massive lead" tank job. My grandma could've scored at least 10 against New York's prevent defense. It was Kristaps who got the key defensive stop when the Knicks needed it, switching onto eternal Knick-killer Mike Dunleavy and forcing him into a turnover.
As Chrisp722 said, it was a damn shame not to witness Kristaps' first 30-point game. We'll just have to settle for the fact that he is a all-around basketball demon baby hatching from his demon egg (which looks like a giant basketball, of course).
- Carmelo Anthony was forced to give yet another "I want to stay in New York" sound byte for the ESPN broadcast, then showed the world a glimpse at his glorious potential role as Robin to Kristaps' Batman -- 24 points, 5 assists, and 1 preposterous fade-away three in the closing minutes to bail the team out of one of their typical garbage late-game possessions. He's hitting 42.9 percent of his threes in the month of March. I wish I could just fast-forward to next fall so I can watch the glorious fusion of Dad Melo, Three-Point Assassin Melo and (hopefully) some decent teammates.
- Your Jerian Grant Post-All-Star Break Update. Grant is now shooting 47.9% from the floor (35.0% from three!) over his last 15 games. Most of those made threes have come in his last two games -- Grant nailed a pair of triples for the second game in a row. How many games did Grant have with at least 2 three-pointers before that? Zero.
Grant finishing this season with some confidence in his jumper would be just about the nicest gift we could hope to receive.
- Ho-hum 11 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 blocks for Robin Lopez. Nine of those rebounds came on the offensive end -- a glorious moment for those of us who have spent the last decade or so watching the Knicks get overwhelmed by Chicago's frontcourt.
- Arron Afflalo had 12 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists ... so please try to believe me when I say that he was vastly outplayed by Sasha Vujacic. Starting The Machine just makes more sense sense than starting Afflalo -- a statement composed of approximately 5% Sasha praise and 95% Afflalo condemnation. I will hand it to Vujacic, though -- he hit both of his shots, kept the ball moving and played good defense against a hobbled Jimmy Butler.
I'll ride for you, Sasha!
- Only 9 minutes of playing time for Langston Galloway, who is shooting an abominable 31.2% from the field in March. Galloway's continuing free fall is one of the saddest stories of an already sad second half of the season.
The Knicks and Bulls will turn right around and play each other again Thursday -- this time at MSG. Hey Kristaps, if you wanna drop 30 -- or even 40 -- on those jerks, I wouldn't exactly be against it.