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Pistons 115, Knicks 108: ‘This game was ass’

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A game where 48 minutes were wasted, except for Allonzo Trier.

NBA: New York Knicks at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks lost on a bleak and depressing Tuesday night to a bleak and depressing Pistons team in a bleak and depressing game. After a hot start the Knicks relinquished the lead early by bricking layups and open treys while Blake Griffin got rolling.

It sucked. The whole game sucked. Most of the players sucked. The rotations mostly sucked. Fizdale sucked. A lot of the reclamation projects on the team sucked, which sucked because they’re getting minutes over a lot of the rookie contract guys on the team, most of whom sucked.

Fuck this game.

Notes:

  • I have shit on Kanter endlessly. Through much of this season he has been a drag on the team with his shameless stat hunting in a contract year and annoying pouty behavior after getting removed from the starting lineup in favor of Mitchell Robinson. Tonight, however, I have nothing but praise for him. He was absolutely excellent. His defensive rotations were on point, he played as good of pick-and-roll defense as you could ever expect him to play, he challenged shots at the rim, he won multiple contested rebounds in traffic and he kicked out of the post when doubled. His play (and attitude) since being re-inserted into the starting lineup have been noticeably better and today was arguably his best all-around performance as a Knick. Anybody taking cheap shots at Enes after this game neeeds to shut the fuck up.
  • Allonzo Trier went undrafted. I recommend saying that to yourself any fucking time you’re upset about any fucking thing, because it feels really good. Yes, he’s only 22 games into his career, but the production speaks for itself. 24 points on 12 shots, 10 rebounds and 7 assists. If Perry has a cap for his time as GM of the Knicks, that’s the biggest feather in it. The kid is a B A L L E R #MaltaPapi.
  • Damyean Dotson is a professional basketball player and he acts like it. After a string of DNP-CD’s he was forced into action late in the 2nd quarter for a possession due to foul trouble. He came back in early in the 3rd quarter due to more foul trouble. He defended well, hit shots within the flow of the offense and when forced to create, and he wasn’t Mario Hezonja. The kid absolutely needs to be in the rotation. He was prepared, ready and focused as soon as he was called upon just as he proved earlier in the year and again tonight.

That wraps up the positive portion of the recap. It is now time to delve into the fuck yous.....

  • Fuck you Trey Burke for reverting back to your ball pounding, isolation heavy bullshit. Burke started his night by missing a couple of shots on which he thought he got fouled in the first quarter. Rather than adjusting to the whistle he kept trying to draw fouls while looking off open teammates on multiple occasions in the process. His team low -18 for the night was exactly right.
  • Fuck you Tim Hardaway Jr. for trying to find your shot and heroball the team back into the game when you didn’t have it going. Tim missed several bunnies at the rim early in the game, which were unfortunfate, but rather than continuing to attack he started settling and reverted back to Hornacek-era Tim. He still got to the line and chipped in with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals, but, don’t let the box score fool you, this was a bad game for him.
  • Fuck you Emmanuel Mudiay for reverting back to last year’s form. Kid tried to get it going tonight, but he didn’t have the juice. He tripped over himself on a turnover, got stuffed at the rim a few times and took more than his fair share of ill-advised jump shots. Let’s hope this was just a minor blip and his recent resurgence will continue.
  • Fuck you Mario Hezonja for being a total waste of time. Courtney Lee bothers the shit out of me for pump faking on semi-contested threes and stepping into 20 foot pull-ups. Hezonja pump fakes semi-contested threes to take step back highly contested threes. He somehow ended up as a +2, but that was luck. The Croatian did nothing of value in his time on the floor and the Knicks were lucky he fouled out in 6 minutes. He’s just 23 years old and he certainly has talent, but his application of it is ineffective and too often detrimental to the team.
  • Fuck you Frank Ntilikina for not being more forceful in getting the ball. Too often tonight Frank’s teammates looked him off when he was open, but it’s on him to let them know that shit isn’t going to fly. He went 0-3 in 15 minutes and his defense, when re-inserted far too late in the game, had a palpable effect in rendering the Pistons’ pick-and-roll actions futile, but my man needs to make it his business to let the Trey Burkes of the world know he’s not cool with being ignored.
  • Fuck you Kevin Knox for being a lost ass rookie who seems to have no idea how to use his body, length or athleticism to his advantage on either end of the floor. Knox bricked some J’s and had some wild drives which mostly ended poorly. Of more concern is that, to my eye, it seems that teams are now targeting him as a player to exploit defensively when he’s on the floor. He’s certainly had positive outings, but tonight was one of many on the other end of the spectrum where his play is soft and indecisive. Get big, young man, get big.
  • Fuck you Noah Vonleh for committing so many dumb fouls when your importance to this team’s defense is paramount. Blake Griffin is a tough cover, but fouling out in 19 minutes is unacceptable for a 5th year veteran.
  • Fuck you Mitchell Robinson for being an undeveloped 20-year old who still undermines himself with loads of stupid fouls. Mitch is going through a little bit of a rough patch right now and most of it self-inflicted. He needs to stop reaching in and pushing before he goes up to contest shots around the rim. He’s better than he was in Summer League, but those foul trouble issues still plague him at times. I believe in him, but, still, fuck you.
  • Fuck you Ron Baker for not even being an option. I wish you the best of luck in your future as a children’s book writer.
  • Fuck you Fiz for allowing Burke to cook when he wasn’t getting anybody else involved. Fuck you for not putting in Frank sooner in the late third and early fourth quarter when Ish Smith was lighting up Burke and Trier in pick-and-roll over and over again.

Observations:

  • Fuck Fiz, but he’s got a tough job to balance right now. Surprisingly, he’s got a lot of guys on a team who deserve minutes. Some are young guys who are presumably part of the core and others are reclamation projects looking to carve out a niche for themselves in the league in search of a new contract. It’s hard and not a position I envy, but Dotson has to eat up Hezonja’s minutes ASAP and Frank cannot be sitting for quarters at a time, especially not when the opposing point guards are destroying us time and time again in basic pick-and-roll.
  • The Knicks aren’t good, but they have a lot of guys who need minutes. It was the front office’s decision to load up on players likeHezonja, Burke, Vonleh, etc. who need time to prove themselves. They very likely landed some of them because they promised them time on the floor. That’s all well and good, but at some point you have to wonder if devoting minutes to some of these dudes is all that useful. You also have to weigh if some of these guys are realistically going to be part of your future or if it may not be more valuable to move them for picks and/or to dump unwanted contracts like Lee’s.

The Knicks didn’t lost this because of a lack of effort. They competed hard for all of it, but, man, it really wasn’t fun to watch. Quoth FooBarChu, “This game was ass." Yes it was, my friends, yes it certainly was.