That was cool! I was prepared for a game full of dog poop considering the lack of Kristaps Porzingis and, more generally, the lack of talent on the roster. But Jerian Grant and Langston Galloway -- with an assist from Derrick Williams (both figuratively and literally, because DWill tallied exactly 1 assist tonight) -- conspired to churn out an awesome contest.
For three quarters, it seemed like this was going to be an unexciting (but welcome!) win in which the Knicks' sole bright spot was Grant. He played well, but both New York and Brooklyn seemed fairly disinterested in the idea of competitive basketball, so neither team built much of a lead at any point. Then, Kurt Rambis went to an all-bench unit of Galloway, Arron Afflalo, Cleanthony Early (!), Kyle O'Quinn, and Kevin Seraphin to start the fourth quarter; weirdly, the Knicks exploded. And when I say the Knicks, I really mean Lang. I have had the fortune of being unable to watch most of the Knicks' post All-Star break games, but Seth told me that Lang hasn't been hitting his shots recently. That wasn't the case in the fourth quarter, when he scored 14 of his 18 points. And thus, what seemed like it'd be a sleepy win turned into a blowout. Like the very-amusingly-named-given-his-comment Disappointment said in the game thread, "Hey Knicks... thanks for this game." We (well, not me because I haven't been able to watch, but you guys) needed it.
Now I will provide you with some notes about this game.
- Gotta start with Lang. 14 points in the fourth quarter! 4/6 from beyond the arc for the game! 7 assists and 6 rebounds! It was really cool. Galloway has no fear whatsoever, and it paid off in a big way tonight. Games, no matter the outcome, are a lot more fun when Langston Galloway is playing well. Langston Galloway playing well in a blowout is pretty much the dream.
- Grant's line (14 points and 4 assists in 29 minutes) isn't indicative of how well he played. To my VERY untrained eye, he looked to be in control of the offense pretty much the entire time he was on the court. His defense seemed pretty solid to me as well.
- Plus, I thought Grant and Robin Lopez had a great connection, though Lopez's line similarly doesn't show it. I love Robin Lopez and I love Jerian Grant. And I love Langston Galloway. And I love Carmelo Anthony. And I love Kristaps Porzingis. And I do not love Arron Afflalo. By the way, I think this is going to be my first recap ever in which I don't dedicate a bullet solely to Melo, but he didn't do much of note tonight.
- Derrick Williams started tonight in place of Kristaps and was pretty good. He hit all four of his attempts from beyond the arc and both of his free throws. A solid offensive game shouldn't be surprising, though.
- As you may have noticed, Cleanthony Early got to spin tonight for 23 minutes. He didn't shoot very well (3/10), but he did post 6 rebounds and 3 assists. There was definitely a bit of rust, but regardless, I'm glad he was out there.
- Kristaps may not have played tonight, but he did go with the black suit, black shirt combo on the bench. He's a man after my own heart. Though I'm disappointed that he decided to go without a tie, because a black tie would've really pulled that whole outfit together. This has been your Kristaps update, and it was very important.
That's pretty much that. The Knicks should keep doing this playing young players and also winning by a lot thing! They'll get a chance on Sunday night against the Pacers.