Hello darkness, my old friend.
I’ve come to talk with you again.
The Knicks and Warriors were treated to the sounds of silence on Sunday afternoon as Madison Square Garden decided not to play any music in the first half. It was a bold gambit — the Knicks were playing a team that usually squeezes all drama out of the game by the end of the first quarter. I was expecting a cacophony of boos before halftime. Instead we were treated to inspired second-quarter run from Kristaps Porzingis and the reserves, as the Knicks finished the half with a 50-49 lead.
Golden State reestablished themselves in the third quarter, of course, but the ‘Bockers never quite folded, as we might have expected of them. The game was close until the very end, when Steph Curry helped to seal the deal, propelling the Warriors to a hard-fought 112-105 win that both helped the Knicks in the tank standings — as P&T’er Willy Hernangomez Stole My Heart noted, it was a nice trip to the ECF — and provided a major confidence boost for youngsters Kristaps Porzingis and Ron Baker.
But before we get into the notes...let’s give it up for Draymond Green! He is quite the asshole, is he not? The All-Star/habitual testicle assaulter complained about the lack of music after the game, because he has to complain about something, right? Seriously, just look at him — dude appears biologically incapable of closing his mouth:
“It was pathetic. It was ridiculous. It changed the flow of the game, it changed everything,” said Green. “You get so used to playing the game a certain way, to completely change that, to me I think it was disrespectful to everyone from [senior VP of entertainment] Michael Levine to [Warriors executive] Rick Welts and all these people who have done these things to change the game from an entertainment perspective and give the game a great vibe. That’s complete disrespect. You advance things in the world to make it better, you don’t go back to what was bad. It’s like, computers can do anything for us. It’s like going back to paper.
“They need to trash that, because that’s exactly what it was.”
Clearly the Warriors overcame the dastardly trap set by the MSG entertainment staff and played inspired basketball in the third and fourth quarters on behalf of...the Warriors’ entertainment staff? Who were being disrespected? Whatever, dude.
— Kristaps Porzingis in his three games since coming back from injury: 20.7 points, 10.4 rebounds. That’ll do. The Knicks’ starting center put up a very Ewing-esque 24 points and 15 rebounds. More importantly, he finally got some shots to fall while being guarded by Green, the most devastating tormentor he’s faced in his two-year career. Sunday appeared to be more of the same, as Kristaps started off 0-5 from the field and looked incredibly uncomfortable. Steve Kerr rested Green as soon as Jeff Hornacek rested Kristaps, and I thought to myself: this is gonna be a long game.
And then this happened...
KRISTAPS CROSSOVER— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) March 5, 2017
HE IS 7’3” pic.twitter.com/ot6edzu9Oq
Kristaps has scored many buckets in his young career, but this one had to be one of the most satisfying. Draymond humiliated him in three consecutive matchups since he came into the league, and appeared ready to make it four. One crossover later, the Unicorn we all know and love was back. How back was he? This back...
Kristaps beats the buzzer with the Dirk fade.— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) March 5, 2017
Knicks lead at the half! pic.twitter.com/HnM5tQ7hdb
Perhaps that’s why Draymond Green was whining like a baby after the game — he finally stared the future in the face, and it was terrifying.
— Derrick Rose got to the free-throw line 11 times on Sunday. It was the first time he’s had double-digit free-throw attempts in consecutive games in five years. I don’t know if he’s selling the contact better or jumping into defenders instead of twisting away from them. Whatever he’s doing, he should probably keep it up if he wants some team to spend big money on him this summer. (Note: As a supporter of the tank, I’d rather Rose didn’t become a free-throw machine this late in the season. But that certainly would be pretty Knicksy, wouldn’t it?)
— Jeff Van Gundy loves Ron Baker. Spike Lee loves Ron Baker. Twitter loves Ron Baker.
The reserve guard dropped 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block on Golden State, wowing the national TV audience with his game and his magnificent lion’s mane. He also finished a team-high +10. The Knicks can only go as far as Ron takes them.
— The Knicks were led in assists by Kyle O’Quinn, who dropped 5 dimes in 10 minutes. Triangle, I guess. I’m a little bit surprised they didn’t play him more, honestly, though it’s hard to find minutes for both him and Willy Hernangomez (13 minutes) while playing Kristaps at the center against a small-ball team. It’s almost as if the Knicks have too many centers!
— I figured this would be the game we’d get to see real playing time for Chasson Randle. Poor guy can’t even count on blowout minutes against the Warriors at this point.
And so the Knicks head back to Orlando, site of their last victory, for a rematch with the Magic on Monday. SEGABABA time!