New York came out swinging; they just weren’t able to go the full four rounds. Washington effortlessly parried and edged their way right back in. When the second half got rolling the Wizards just unloaded on the Knicks and utterly routed them.
So many Knicks shots spun out and dodged the goal. You could just tell this wasn’t going to go well. With Kristaps Porzingis out due to a case of the sniffles, the Knicks had nowhere to turn when Carmelo Anthony needed a rest. So after a hot start, John Wall and Bradley Beal took the reins and lit the game on fire.
Knicks did an excellent job getting out in transition early on. They waited for the defense to commit then passed to the baseline behind the defender only to touch pass back around the defender for easy scores. Too bad the Wizards decided to get back on defense after a few of those.
— Joakim Noah stops about 2 dribbles and 12 feet short of probing the defense. So every time he grabs a defensive rebound and aggressively pushes he’s not forcing the defense to stop the ball and he’s still about 26 feet outside of his shooting range. In 15 minutes, Noah failed to score, grabbed four rebounds and racked up a pair of turnovers.
— When Kyle O’Quinn came in, he instantly got rid of Noah’s heavy musk. In total O’Quinn played 2 minutes more than Noah but had more offensive rebounds than Noah had total rebounds. Double-double and a pair of blocks for the back-up is not a good look for the scraggly starter.
— Speaking of starters, Willy Hernangomez got the nod with Kristaps sitting out, and even though Willy stutters and stumbles a bit, he makes a lot of great plays. He might be the best post entry passer on the team. He’s got great instincts and its really just a matter of time. Will Jeff Hornacek give him the time he needs to improve on the floor? I sure hope so. Noah isn’t helping and he isn’t showing signs either. 15 points 14 rebounds (6 offensive) for Willy to go with four assists. He also does a pretty good job of keeping his hands high. Wouldn’t be surprised if Noah squeezed that into Willy’s brains. Last thing on Willy, here’s Ron squeezing a beauteous pocket pass into Willy Soft Manos.
— The Knicks’ best guard on the night was definitely Ron Baker. His numbers don’t really sing, but he doesn’t hurt the team when he’s on the floor. He also cleaned up and made some of the best plays of the game for New York, including a backward little tip in to beat the first half buzzer. Brandon Jennings on the other hand...
— Jennings annoyed and destroyed. Luckily for Washington Brandon is a two-way player and he gave up as much as took away. Great passes, wild misses, pesky defense, flaky defense. He’s the basketball equivalent of shaking dice in your hand long enough to talk a ton of shit and hand the dice to the next person. He did a fantastic job getting to the line, and bless him, 38 minutes against John Wall must be overwhelming. I like Brandon because he’s fun, but he’s not exactly spurring the team forward.
— SomeoneFamous once said (in the game thread) that “Oubre” is the phonetic equivalent of (cow) udder in Spanish. I would like to take this opportunity to milk Kelly Oubre for a few jokes. Kelly Oubre looks like the chattiest Queen’s Guard sentry at Buckingham. Planted in the corner making sure no one mistakes him for a patchy nubile llama. Melo tried to use his elbow to milk Oubre’s nose in the first half. Kelly dropped to the floor and accidentally did his best Sideshow Mel impression. Hey, I’ve been here all week.
— Carmelo continued to ladle out that magnificent bouillabaisse. He absolutely went to work on the low block burner. He just can’t overwhelm an entire team by himself every single night. Not enough stuff from the rest of the team. Melo had 13 points after the first frame and finished with 26.
— Pretty sure Kurt Rambis was eating a Zesta on the bench. Phil Jackson probably told him it will help him whistle to get the team’s attention. That should help you explain the Knicks defense to your friends and family.
Next time the Knicks play is immediately! In Brooklyn against the Nets. Second night of a back to back after playing the longest game in the NBA this season. The Nets play a seriously fast pace too. Should be interesting. Stay tuned, looneys.