clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Wizards 101, Knicks 100: “The Knicks suck all over the world”

New, comments

Gutted.

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Jesus.

The Knicks lost in incredible fashion Thursday afternoon, 101-100 to the Washington Wizards. This was one you had to see to believe, and even then you might not. After falling behind 2-0 New York led nearly wire-to-wire. But the fourth quarter was a nightmare factory, all that much darker for the many bursts of light witnessed in quarters one through three.

Everything started out copacetic. Emmanuel Mudiay was orchestrating like Benjamin Britten, switching up the tempo on a hesitation lay-in and throwing in a cute quicksilver dunk for good measure.

Noah Vonleh kept up his act as the Kevin Knox of rebounding, gobbling six in the first eight minutes, more than he’d haul the rest of the game. Luke Kornet hit four three-pointers in the first, many of them showcasing quicker releases than we’re used to seeing. Damyean Dotson had the touch early, hitting three treys to give New York six for the quarter and a 30-20 lead after one.

In the second Mitchell Robinson returned after missing 13 games with ankle and groin injuries. Boy did he return.

Birthday boy Allonzo Trier looked especially happy for the gift of an athletic center to pair with in the two man game. In addition to that oop, Trier used Mitch to set himself up for an open jumper. It was a good opening half for Trier.

While Trier, Kornet and Dotson all reached double-figures in the first half, Bradley Beal missed six of his first seven shots, which felt like the death knell for Washington. A Tim Hardaway Jr. three put the Knicks up 19. They hit 9 of 18 from distance before the break. Their bench outscored the Wizards’ 28-17. What, me worry?

85 seconds into the second half David Fizdale called time after the Wizards scored a couple buckets to cut the deficit to six. I thought Fiz was overreacting. How wrong I was. But not for a while. The Knicks responded by going on a 6-0 run. Kornet was jumping passing lanes for steals and dribbling 50 feet or more with confidence. Mudiay was hitting fadeaways off glass, and when he wasn’t he was smoking fools.

New York led by 16 behind their point guard being 9-of-10 from the field for 18 points. Spoiler: he would cool off. Considerably.

On one sequence Robinson blocked Chasson Randle (OAKAAKUYOAK) in the paint, then altered a Beal shot from there, too, when the Wiz were trying to cut the lead to seven. On the other end Dotson missed a long two, but Robinson got the rebound and slammed it home to make it 86-75. Entering the fourth the Knicks led by 12. They opened the final frame with all subs (Robinson, Mario Hezonja, Dotson, Frank Ntilikina and Trier), while Washington had Beal and four non-starters, which seemed like a non-starter as far as competitiveness. How wrong I was.

Sam Dekker, of all people, went at Kornet a couple of times with mixed results, but when Dekker is leading the charge best believe other guys are looking around thinking they’ve no reason to hold back. Washington scored the first seven points of the fourth to cut the gap to five. Speaking of, the Knicks went over five minutes without scoring. New York got tighter than a Brexiters butthole. On one eternal sunshine sequence, Trier and Vonleh used the buddy system to both get stuck to Beal off a pick like they were laundry lint, leaving Otto Porter open for three. The lead was down to four.

A deep three by Beal crowned a 14-2 Wizards’ run, with half those points coming off a quintet of Knick turnovers. Another Beal three rimmed out and Trevor Ariza channeled his Game 7 Ariza to miss from deep, too, but there was no breathing easy; it already felt like Washington going on top was down to when and not if. Porter did just that with a jumper. Meanwhile, improbably, disgustingly, the Knick offense had degenerated entirely into Mudiay post-ups. Seriously. Mudiay scored four points in the first 10 minutes of the fourth. He was the only Knick to score in all that time!

Beggars can’t be choosy. A Mudiay three put the Knicks up 98-97.

The script was written, a script straight out of Mad Libs: you knew what would happen; you just had to fill in the names. An Ariza drive made it 99-98 Washington. Vonleh riposted with a baby hook. 100-99. Beal missed from downtown. Washington got one last chance. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

If you’re the masturbatory type, here.

That’s when the Knicks lost. Well, that and when a Mudiay fling came nowhere close. But that’s not why the Knicks lost. I’m not smart enough to know why the offense became the Vonleh-and-Mudiay show. I’m just able to tell you that’s no way to win an NBA game. Maybe it is the way to win a better draft pick. I don’t think that’s what Fizdale was thinking. But I’m not qualified or remotely sure what he was thinking in the final frame. This one hurt. The silver lining is it’s another loss in this rare rabbit hole of a time where losses have value.

Notes:

  • Kornet was using the full pallet today. Ball-handling, spin moves, shooting off the dribble. I like Kornet unlocked. 16 points. Five steals, too.
  • Washington switched Tomas Satoransky on Luke a LOT. Kornet wasn’t totally ready for it. But give him a summer to work on that and I suspect he’ll add another weapon to his repertoire.
  • Got a glimpse of a delicious future where the league keeps downsizing but Robinson is quick enough to deal. When the Wizards went super-small with Ariza at center, Robinson was bossing the offensive glass. What a terrifying proposition for other teams.
  • Quite the quiet night for Kevin Knox. 2-of-11 shooting, including missing all six three-point attempts. Trivia: do you know how old he is?
  • It’s de rigueur to fetishize building your team via the draft. But there are cautionary tales against the lottery as messiah. The Wizards drafted John Wall first in 2010, Beal third in 2012 and Porter third in 2013. That trio combined to win three playoff series and sign contracts totaling $550,000,000.00.
  • Brendan Brown makes at least one good point every night. Tonight it came at the end of the third quarter, with 34 seconds left. The heart says go two-for-one...but since the Knicks would get the ball to start the 4th, the brain said “Nah. Take your time. Get a good look.” Trier used almost the whole shot clock before hitting a pull-up three. The Wizards ended the quarter getting some baseline nonsense from Porter.
  • Great line by Jonathan Schulman: Kenny Albert looks like a neckbrace.
  • Albert note of note: James Donaldson (OAKAAKUYOAK) ran for mayor of Seattle in 2009, finishing fourth. That may make him the second-most successful Knick-turned-politician of all-time, behind Dollar Bill Bradley.

Quoth ClydeandThePearl73: “The Knicks suck all over the world.” Fair. Their next chance to suck is back in the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden on Monday when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder. Given the virtual impossibility of that loss being as knife’s-edge painful as this one was, you should pro’ly def watch. See you then, God willing.