A pretty solid indication of just how bad Monday night’s Knicks-Lakers game went is the fact that Mike and Clyde started talkin’ Iggy Azalea and text messages with three minutes left...IN THE THIRD QUARTER.
Yeah, safe to say that the will of every poor soul still watching the game at that point was completely broken. P&T’er Walt Clyde Phraser even invoked the dreaded word: “cursed.” Of course, crappy defenses are the building blocks of any sturdy curse. The Knicks were playing the Swiss cheesiest of matador D and despite decent scoring by a few Knicks, they couldn’t really get anything of any substance going to cut into their massive deficit. The few runs they went on weren’t even necessarily stopped by the Lakers, but rather by an accumulation of turnovers and dumb fouls by New York.
I was hoping not to be too morose in this recap, but I almost couldn’t believe how badly the Knicks were playing at times. They turned the ball over on seemingly every other possession and they gave up too many open layups and dunks to even count on several sets of hands. Shots were not falling and I remember at least three passes intended for players who weren’t even paying attention.
We could easily say that duds like this happen to everyone, but we know that the Knicks are better than this, and we know that this is a game that they needed to win against a team they should beat and already have beaten. The fact that they would come out as flat as they did is discouraging.
You know that after this game, the trade rumors that are already deafeningly loud, will only gain a couple decibels.
But hey, Special Agent Kujan was in the house, so not everything was bad.
(Obviously, the best screenshot I could capture was with his eyes closed because that’s just the kind of night this was).
Let’s get to the notes from this game:
- Carmelo Anthony was good tonight on offense and dammit it did not matter. He put in 26 points on 10-17 from the field and 0-2 from deep, had 3 rebounds and 5 assists. He also turned the ball over 4 times, which wasn’t good. His last points of the game came on a late third-quarter field goal–I don’t even remember him taking a shot in the fourth quarter.
In these situations, I try not to put too much stock in stuff like body language and how players react to things going well or badly. But any one watching this game most assuredly noticed Melo walking down the court instead of jogging, and generally looking tuned out. Whether that was the case or not, we’ll never know, but anyone would admit that he, at the very least, looked distracted. Whatever happens, I think at this point we can all just hope that it gets resolved soon.
- Kristaps Porzingis dropped 16 points on 5-14 from the field, 1-5 from deep and 5-7 from the line. He also added 9 boards and a pair of blocks. As we’ve repeatedly said here at P&T, KP ain’t right. Previously, it was because of injuries. Now, it could be the residual effects of his injuries, but I think the most likely explanation would be an unfortunate cocktail that consists of a lack of confidence and just generally being distracted by all the things happening in the organization. Either way, he hasn’t been himself in a loooong time.
- Kyle O’Quinn, who started the game at the 5, much to the chagrin of the sane basketball community, didn’t actually end up playing much. He only played 16 minutes compared to Willy Hernangomez’ 24. In his 16 minutes, KOQ dropped 10 points and did just about nothing else.
- Willy Hernangomez, whom I predicted to start in my preview piece, obviously did not start and didn’t necessarily have a great game either. He did end up playing the bulk of the minutes at the 5, dropping 8 points and pulling down 13 boards on the night. I won’t make any predictions as to what his extended minutes might mean but who am I kidding yes I am: unless Noah is ready to go Wednesday night against the Clippers, Willy is going to start.
- After the Lakers had been shredded by point guards in back-to-back games, Derrick Rose had a chance to be the third consecutive one to carve them up. He did not do that. Instead, he dropped just 5 points, had 4 rebounds, and 3 assists while turning it over 3 times. Early in the game, Clyde chalked it up to rust, so let’s just go with that.
- Brandon Jennings, at times, looked like the only Knick interested in being there tonight. He did not have a great offensive performance, but he showed great defensive intensity which was nice...mainly because he was the only one doing so. Jennings scored 16 points and had 5 assists in 28 minutes. He scored more than D-Rose and definitely played better defense, but all things considered, neither had a particularly large impact on the game.
- Justin Holiday was a bright spot for the Knicks tonight. His stat line isn’t terribly packed, but for someone whose role is to score from off the bench, he did his job just fine. He scored 14 points in 22 minutes on an efficient 5-8 from the field and 3-5 from deep. Holiday is a good player, and he’s the type of guy we should hope remains a Knick moving forward.
Let’s try to delete this one from our memories. The Knicks didn’t play defense, and the Lakers took advantage of it as any other team should. Let’s hope D-Rose can knock off some of that rust, and be ready to face the other LA team on Wednesday night.
And just like that * poof, * this recap is gone.
UPDATE: KEYSER SÖZE RESURFACES TO REPORT...