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Knicks 118, Hornets 109: “Randle moving that rock”

Bleed the block!

Charlotte Hornets v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Hot off the heels of Sabrina Ionescu drilling a game winner to help celebrate the open of the WNBA’s 25th season, the New York faithful laid down some of the most vociferous MVP chants of the NBA season for Julius Randle. How utterly astounding has this turnaround been? The Knicks notched their 40th win of the season and when Julius keeps that sphere revolving, we’re in store for the lightning strikes that have been emblematic of an actual MVP candidate. Not just some regular ass best player on the team. Time and time again Julius is the best player on the floor.

New York hit the road gripped up. Randle parrying the Hornet swarm with the fast hands to shoo them pesky pests. Zipping swings and cutting lariats to the weak side snipers. Charlotte’s early 3-2 zone blocked off the top but that weak side corner was a boss beater. Reggie Bullock came out burying from his bunkers and it started to feel like maybe the Knicks developed a workaround for defenses sitting on his dribble pitch work.

The Knicks shot way out in front having as much as an 18-point lead. But them fuggin Hornets just kept slipping back into gear and chipping into the lead three pinches at a time, eventually taking the lead and going up four. New York flowed into their gridlock offense.


  • Regarding the guy that sucks total shit. No, not itinerant whimsical pedolosopher, Danny Lanzetta. I meant Elfrid Payton. Thibodeau’s willingness to stick with him is so annoying because it’s the dumbest thing he could possibly do to prove he’s smarter than everyone. We know you’re smarter, coach. This just isn’t the way to prove it.
  • Elf’s defense is that of a slow donkey jogging around with a butterfly net held by neck and shoulder. Swinging at the bugs he had two fouls in a first quarter stint of ragged baldness. Those fouls led to a four-point and a three-point play respectively. They say it ain’t who starts but who finishes. Well Payton starts and he stinks at that and then when he finishes has practically nothing to show for it. His best moment was a nice crossover. He got the ball with the shot clock winding down, did his lil’ cross, and it led to a hilarious 12-footer that fell short by about seven feet and at it’s highest point was only about 9’5” high.
  • New York got dominated on the boards. Things leveled out in the end, but a 15-7 offensive rebounding advantage threatened to do them in. The Hornets aren’t the team you want giving second and third chances to. Reloads are some of the best looks in the game and Charlotte got more than their fair share.
  • Seth Partnow’s drool was all over this game. The Hornets hit 26.5% of their triples (13-49).
  • Tyler Zeller is really starting to look the part of Billy Hoyle, Woody Harrelson in White Men Can’t Jump. Some smart Los Angeles based basketball team should make an alternate uniform that pays homage to that flick. I’ll take my muse fee up front, thank you.
  • Taj used to really finish over the top with excessive force but he has done such a tremendous job shifting his weight and lunging to the open side of the rim to shed defenders. Last year he was still trying to go straight down the gullet and wound up short so often. Somehow, Fort Greene’s finest is getting better.
  • Charlotte did a great job making the Knicks defense scramble but that’s exactly what the Knicks defense is built for. Only problem is a breakdown in communication can cause multiple outages. Thibs has installed a diesel dog surge protector but it still won’t stand up to 49 wet forks every time out. Too late now but... lots of work to be done still.
  • Despite Devonte Graham’s ability to cut buckets of onions at the Garden and cause some breathy inhaled greps, my heart didn’t burn out today. He knocked four from the Battery in the second quarter. Chopped ‘em right down my throat. Nearly popped a Pepcid.
  • At halftime Wally Szczerbiak sounded kinda sick. Getting over something maybe. It made me think: he’s always looked kinda clammy. I don’t think I’d wanna shake his hand. Then I wondered if he’s an anti-vaxxer. Ultimately my guess is no, but I would like to posit that I would also guess he is an ardent supporter of all levels of law enforcement.
  • In the third quarter Nerlens Noel blocked everything in sight. You say Nerlens Wall. I say Suez Noel.
  • Another sign of just how much depth Julius has added to his game: He scorches finger break passes all over the court, but for Nerlens, he wiggles and absorbs as many defenders as possible then drops these soft muffins that move slow enough for Nerlens to eyeball ‘em, buff his palms and get two hands and ten fingers on the orange. He had one in each half that made a turned a great defensive effort into an easy shuffle for our favorite manually challenged skinny guy.
  • Passy sassy Julius is the one for me.

Tomorrow we reconvene and toast. A wonderful season no matter what happens. If the Bucks beat Miami tonight, a Knick win certifies fourth place.

Of course Miami could theoretically win today and lose tomorrow to them D-boy, Pistons. Stranger things have occurred. Like my favorite commenter said in the game thread keep “moving that rock.” That was Rice2012, this is a big 15. <3