The Washington Wizards, who stands a half-game behind the Toronto Raptors—the team whose mascot, notably, peaked 75 millions years ago—for third place in the east, was looking to make up some of that ground when they faced the Knicks Thursday night at the Garden.
After a good performance basketball-wise, but bad performance tank-wise on Tuesday against Chicago, this game was one to watch for Knicks fans. Despite that storyline, NBA fans were watching this game for one very, very important reason: BRANDON JENNINGS BACK.
Jeff Hornacek says he expects ex-Knick Brandon Jennings to be "a little more aggressive" in his first game back against NYK.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 6, 2017
Though his return may not have been as grandiose as we could have hoped for, he did still give us one, beautifully-timed postgame quote. More on that later.
With the loss, though, the Knicks hold on to the 6th worst record in the NBA. We’re so, so close, and the Knicks still have two playoff teams left on their schedule, including a SEGABABA in Memphis tomorrow. The Kings, Mavericks and Timberwolves are hot on their trail, but the tank is resilient.
Carmelo Anthony missed a last second three-ball that could have sent the game to overtime, sure, but Marshall Plumlee, who took KP’s spot in the frontcourt, scored ZERO points.
P&Ter Foiegrastyle made sure to mention Plumlee’s effect, for better or for worse. Tanky!
Carmelo Anthony: Melo played a pretty good game tonight. He scored 23 points, grabbed 6 boards and dished 4 assists. Whether he’s auditioning for another team or not, that’s a good game.
Sure, he missed the shot at the end, but are we really gonna be upset about that?
Brandon Jennings: He didn’t do much for his new team tonight. He scored 4 points, got 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Y’know, i guess that isn’t terrible. Still, there weren’t as many incredible moments of pettiness from him as we coukd have expexted, unfortunately. But still, he did have this quote postgame, and that was pretty funny:
Brandon Jennings' spot-on observation after his first game back at MSG: "The Garden was dead tonight."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 7, 2017
John Wall: 24 points, 8 assits. That’s a beautiful point guard stat line. Dang, that must be nice.
Yes, Paps Seth. Yes.
Everyone agrees that John Wall should play for the Knicks— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) April 6, 2017
Willy Hernangomez: 13 points, 8 rebounds. He is really, really good. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do when his role expands, but you guys already know that. Solid centers are not hard to come by, but young ones that appear eager to expand their games are. He is that guy, and the Knicks know they’ve got to hold on to him, and watch that expansion happen before their very eyes.
Ron Baker: Yes, comment section, he’s not a point guard. 12 points and 2 assists is indicative of that. As a bench combo guard, though, he’ll be good.
THE BENCH!!!!: Hooooo boy. 44 bench points. The breakdown of those 44 points is a little more fascinating, though. Vujacic got 10, O’Quinn got 7, Kusminskas dropped 8, Ndour got 3 and Justin Holiday got fucking 16. Yes, he committed the last-second foul that allowed Washington to stretch their lead to 3, but as with Melo's game-ending brick, it's more about the journey than the destination.
Screw it, this is going to be an appeal for Justin Holiday because my dude straight up balls. He's the type of guy that the Knicks have to keep, he’s the ideal bench player, and he shows that he has the ability to change a game from off the bench every single night. New York's bench has been superb down the stretch, and Holiday has been the main catalyst for that.
Lemmie say it: he’s my favourite Knick. Don’t @ me.
Marshall Plumlee: He’ll never forget his first NBA start. How can one ever forget a zero point, 2 rebound performance that saw him yanked largely in favor of Kyle Goddamn’ O’Quinn??? Tank!
Let’s not ever forget that the night Plumlee makes his first career start, notorious bench legend Wilmer Flores hit a home run for the Mets.
Let’s never forget that symmetry.
But hey, at least we’ll get to watch Vince Carter play tomorrow night!