Maybe the Knicks are a playoff team. Maybe they’re a surreptitious tank. We’ve seen playoff runs. We’ve seen seasons that went nowhere. What we’ve never seen, unless you’ve followed this team since the days of their rivalry with the Rochester Royals, was a quadruple-overtime game. Until today! The destination disappointed, but the journey was well worth it.
The Knicks began the game HOT. Courtney Lee opened up like he finished Friday’s win over Charlotte.
.@CourtneyLee2211 still with 8 points in the 1Q! 16-16.#NYKvsATL #Knicks pic.twitter.com/vOWebwlTSD— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 29, 2017
Melo was even hotter.
LOOK. AT. MELO. pic.twitter.com/9ozW2FKBh4— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 29, 2017
Like, supernova hot.
The double team is no match for Melo pic.twitter.com/HiTOP1EYxL— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 29, 2017
Atlanta came back, but a 10-0 second quarter run let the Knicks retake the lead.
WATCH the #Knicks 10-0 run! NYK 40 ATL 35 | 8:52 2Q#NYKvsATL pic.twitter.com/uL1yKBxGSt— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 29, 2017
Hey, Then. Meet Now.
Porzingis dunks on Dwight Howard pic.twitter.com/Qx7Of7GvP4— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 29, 2017
On the go? Enjoy apotheosis in GIF form.
KP YAMMING ON DWIGHT pic.twitter.com/7iRBgs9yJF— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 29, 2017
Dwight had a hard time dealing with it.
"Deadass?" - KP to Dwight pic.twitter.com/i33P6tPzQG— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 29, 2017
This game went 68 minutes, so in the interest of balanced reporting don’t sleep on the Hawks doing nice things. Here are Howard and Paul Millsap looking like my summer dreams of what Joakim Noah and KP might have been.
Bigs working the high-low game: pic.twitter.com/amk4q4IAUY— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 29, 2017
Pop-quiz, Brandon Jennings: you run a pick-and-roll with a scalding Melo that results in Millsap defending you and Dennis Schroder stuck in a mismatch on Anthony. What do you do? What do you do?
Jennings ignoring Melo's mismatch against Schroeder is not ideal here pic.twitter.com/YOJg0f1XLI— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 29, 2017
Here, Schroder shows us how to treat a mismatch when he caught Melo out on the perimeter.
Dennis vs. Melo pic.twitter.com/Nh5rSCAMzG— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 29, 2017
New York could have wrapped up the game late in regulation, but Atlanta fought back to take the lead after the Knicks couldn’t grab a rebound or contain penetration. Sound familiar?
Woooooo pretty stuff: pic.twitter.com/XuR4pbND30— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 29, 2017
BULLY MELO pic.twitter.com/lhGHusWLLE— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) January 29, 2017
Looked like he got fouled, too. I hate — HATE — blaming the refs for losses. But this game wasn’t just historic for its length. These. Refs. Blew.
Melo ties it up and sends it to overtime... No foul called pic.twitter.com/fLGIpKTVBW— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 29, 2017
If you watched this game, you saw it. The Knicks were playing 5-on-8.
Paul Millsap has traveled three times. Once in each of the last three OTs.— Alan Hahn (@alanhahn) January 29, 2017
The Hawks got off to a good start in (the first) overtime.
Nice start to OT pic.twitter.com/yX6zlyXiKO— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 29, 2017
Things went back and forth until New York, down two with seven seconds left in OT, gave the ball to Melo. Fade. Release. Swish. Tie game. Even if NY doesn’t respect his game anymore, others recognize.
We get it Melo. You're good at basketball.— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 29, 2017
Atlanta couldn’t stop Melo all night. But the Knicks lost because they couldn’t stop lots of things that compounded over time. Including Schroder.
Dennis dimes! pic.twitter.com/yGroXro0Tl— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 29, 2017
Got eeeeeeeeeeeem pic.twitter.com/q3MK3QE0FG— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) January 29, 2017
The Knicks were down three at the end of double-overtime. Anthony had fouled out. What’s a girl to do?
COURTNEY LEE HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE THE LORD IS WIH THEE— Deceased Knicks Fan (@World_Wide_Wob) January 29, 2017
(Listen to the reaction ) pic.twitter.com/pgiRddMnWr
These are the people who get priced out of playoff games. Much respect, all who stuck with this game throughout.
Diehards for start of fourth OT pic.twitter.com/DtAnYTJ9f4— Steve Popper (@StevePopper) January 29, 2017
The worst thing about four-overtime games is losing them. Brandon Jennings played seemingly every minute tonight, and after the Knicks’ second-to-last possession, down one, resulted in an awful turnover when a Lee jump pass went over everybody’s head out of bounds, you could see how much that turnover and this loss hurt.
coach Brandon Jennings not happy pic.twitter.com/fHhKEnbG5j— Dan Favale (@danfavale) January 29, 2017
Recap to come later, assuming an executive order isn’t issued tonight that bans us from recaps. The Knicks didn’t quit tonight, even when the odds seemed stacked against them. You shouldn’t either.