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Nets 120, Knicks 112: 'tankathon.com'

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Yep.

NBA: New York Knicks at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

With their 120-112 this-is-why-DNR-exists loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Knicks tied Sacramento in the loss column for sixth in the tanking rankings and climbed to within one game of Philadelphia in the loss column; in a Schrodingerian twist, New York is both 16 games behind the Celtics and 13 games “behind” Boston via Brooklyn in the lottery race. What an age!

Quoth Net analyst Donnie Marshall early in the YES broadcast, regarding the Knick defense: “This is the worst display of close-outs on shooters that I’ve seen all season long.” Word, Donnie. Brooklyn won the game in the first half, thanks to a plague-like swarm of three-point bombs. Midway through the second quarter, the Knicks were 14 of 40 from the field. THE NETS WERE 13 OF 16 FROM DOWNTOWN. Brooklyn set a franchise record with 14 first-half threes. Seriously — even though I was covering the game, I almost shot out of my Shake Shack ‘n Peppermint Beer pseudo-coma when I realized the Knicks had fallen behind by 18. How bad was it?

In the second half the Nets were up as many as 22. The Knicks did the fake comeback thing because it do what it does: in the third they cut the lead as low as eight, and as low as six in the fourth. The high point of the fakeness was a sequence where Chasson Randle threw in a Jordanesque (or Landry Fields-esque) follow dunk off a Kristaps Porzingis missed free throw, followed by KP devouring a Spencer Dinwiddie shot like Saturn eating his children and keeping possession to spark a Knick break; if Bill Russell were dead, he’d have risen from the grave pumping his fist. Courtney Lee’s drive and finish was the first last only bright shining moment of the game for New York.

Notes:

  • The Nets retired the number 72 in honor of Biggie Small’s birth year. Biggie’s mother addressed the crowd before the game, revealing it was her “very, very first professional basketball game.” Props, Ms. Wallace! Let’s recap with some Notorious B.I.G. lyrics:
  • “Who the fuck is this?”: Brook Lopez went all Brooks Thompson from downtown, nailing all five of his three-pointers in the first quarter and finishing six of nine. Much respect if you remember Knick alum Brooks Thompson. OAKAAKUYOAK.
  • “Dumbing out, just me and my crew”: The Net bench doesn’t look apt to mix it up. But they’re not just a bunch of pretty, unknown faces: Brooklyn’s backups outscored New York’s 53-28.
  • “Things to make you smile, what numbers to dial”: Did you know only three players have 100+ blocks & 100+ three-pointers this year? Two played in this game: KP and Lopez. Trivia: Who’s the third? Answer at the bottom. P.S. Porzingis has more blocks and threes than the other two. :)
  • Bonus trivia: Who was the first player in NBA history with 100 blocks and threes in one season? Hint: He won a ring at the Knicks’ expense.
  • “Crazier than a bag of fucking angel dust”: Sean Kilpatrick played 25 minutes, missed eight of nine shots, including all six three-point attempts...and led everybody with a +16. You tell me what it all means, Nostradamus.
  • “'Cause I went from negative to positive”: Only one Knick finished with a positive plus/minus. Chasson Randle, this is your life!
  • “And my whole crew is loungin'“: No Mindaugas Kuzminskas tonight. No Sasha Vujacic. No Marshall Plumlee.
  • “Born sinner, the opposite of a winner”: The Nets entered tonight on all sorts of double-digit losing streaks, including the third-longest home losing streak ever. Enter: Knicks.
  • Nine shots in the first quarter for Carmelo Anthony, as many as he had in the entire Detroit game. He finished with 27 points on 26 shots, joining this writer’s GOAT, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Elvin Hayes as the only three players in NBA history to score 10,000 points for two different teams. Why the passive resistance in the Palace versus tonight’s parabola orgy at Barclay’s? Maybe Melo preferred to set a milestone in the borough of his birth, as opposed to the city that could have completely changed the interpretation of his career had they not fucking drafted Darko Fucking Milicic (OAKAAKUYOAK).
  • 19, 10, and 5 blocks for Porzingis. Fouled out. Either I’m looking for signs he’s frustrated ‘cuz it seems he’d have to be...or I’m seeing signs he’s frustrated. I miss smiley KP.
  • Ron Baker and Chasson Randle played. Both. At the same time. Baby steps.
  • In the second quarter, Willy Hernangomez blocked Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and followed with a Mutombo finger-wave, and the vortex of darkness that is this life witnessed a faint pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Jeremy Lin missed his first nine shots. OAKAAKUYOAK.
  • Quincy Act: 12 points, six rebounds. OAKAAKUYOAK.
  • Hey, Charles Oakley! We see you illin’ in the first row with Ice Cube. OAKAAKUYOAK.
  • A good point from Nets play-by-play man Ian Eagle: Derrick Rose is going to be the first league MVP to not reach the Hall of Fame.
  • We ready to evaluate Jeremy Lin’s hair game as a pantheon contender? If I ask you to compare Anthony Mason’s styles vs. Lin’s, your heart and your sense of decency spit “Mase” immediately. But then your brain kicks in. You don’t have to think LeBron is better than MJ, but he’s in the conversation whether you like it or not. Is Lin in the hair convo?
  • Trivia one: Serge Ibaka.
  • Bonus trivia: Robert Horry.

Quoth: AJ_in_VA: “Tankathon.com.” Only 15 games left to Suffer Hell For Markelle! Quoth Biggie Smalls: “That Brooklyn bullshit/we're on it.” No. The Knicks very much were not on it. Tuesday they get a chance to not beat Indiana — snowpocalypse permitting -- before a rematch with Brooklyn Thursday. Then comes a West Coast trip. It’ll all be over soon. Then we can get to the biggest night of the year: lottery night.