Knicks 102, Clippers 90

Well how about that, folks? In decidedly un-Knickslike fashion, the 'Bockers turned a double-digit deficit into a double-digit lead to surprise the visiting Clippers. The Jerome James experiment was an outright failure, as James picked up two quick fouls (callllled it) and ended up playing only 7 minutes. Meanwhile, the Clippers were hot like the fire in the first half, as Elton Brand couldn't be stopped and Tim Thomas douched his way to a few threes. A complete scrapping of the James plan, some good ball movement, and the Clippers' sudden collapse helped the Knicks flip the script in the second half, as they glided to a 12 point victory. Long-ass game notes:

- Pre-game- Both Curry and James were all smiles about starting together. Conspicuous (oh snap...nailed that spelling on the first try) absence, however, of both Lee and Frye in the interviews.

- Clyde: "The last time the Knicks saw Elton, they were Branded." You know how they made that show, "Ali Rap"? Well, you know where I'm going with this.

- Long-time Clippers announcer, Ralph Lawler (picture your grandpa), has something he calls "Lawler's Law". Basically, he's come to the conclusion that the team that first reaches 100 points will win the game. This has proven a 34-1 success rate for the Clips and a 36-3 success rate with the Knicks. Yeah, it's kinda obvious, but anything to make the old guy happy.

Lawler is also the league leader in bedtime stories and prunes eaten per game.

- The beginning of the game was eerily similar to the Knicks-Heat debacle, as it took a 10-1 run by L.A. before Isiah finally called timeout.

- One thing about having Jerome James on the floor is that it makes it far too easy to double Eddy Curry. At least when Chan's starting the opposing power forward has to respect his jumper. A defender can leave James in a heartbeat without worrying about any offensive threat.

- In the first quarter, James kinda hip-checked Sam Cassell and got called for the foul. Cassell came up flappin' his gums like he always does, and nearly got into it with Jerome. Now THAT would be an interesting fight. Who's your money on?

- Eddy appears to have a new tattoo. It's mostly obscured by his jersey, but the word "Never" is clearly visible on his chest. Maybe I just haven't noticed it before.

- Pet peeve of mine: So-called "Knicks fans" whose sole attention to the Knicks is reading the papers occasionally and then parroting the whole "Marbury is so selfish" schtick. Anyone who's watched the guy play this year knows that he's busting his ass on defense and really trying to distribute the ball while playing through pain. I bring this up because the oral surgeon who was pulling my wisdoms on Friday was talking with me about the Knicks (as I gave in to anaesthesia), and threw in a few "Marbury's such a ballhog", etc. kinda comments. Had I not been slowly rendered unconscious, I woulda given him an earful. If he really watched any games, he'd see things like Marbury in a 2-on-0 setting, dishing to the slashing QRich because he knew Q was struggling. Since he's been relatively healthy, Marbury's been playing some fantastic ball.


- Eddy Curry is 5th in the league in free throws attempted.

- Mike Breen pointed out that Richardson can really contribute even when he's missing his threes. It's true. He grabbed 7 boards, played some solid D, posted up smaller guys, and hit shots down the stretch.

- The artist formerly known as Tim Thomas came out guns blazing, throwing down an aggravatingly impressive dunk in David Lee's face. Replay showed that Tim, in fact, elbowed Lee in the eye whilest dunking, leaving Dave with a nasty shiner that's gonna stick for at least week. The thing swelled up something awful. Lee put up 16 and 10 anyway. (Has anyone seen Beerfest? Maybe they should hit David in the face again everytime the black eye starts to go away, as a good luck charm?)

Don't ice it...embrace it.

- The Knicks, who were down by 10 at half, started off the third quarter on a 17-2 run. Brand started bobbling passes, Cassell got selfish, and the threes weren't falling for L.A. It was a magical quarter.

- Another key to the third quarter success was Steph's realization of "Hey...hold the phone...Shaun f'ing Livingston is guarding me!" Steph overpowered the wiry youngster for some inside baskets.

- When Steph picked up his fifth foul, Nate dilligently provided him with a scowl towel as he hit the bench. Atta boy.

- David Lee has a very good understanding of mismatches. He bullied Quinton Ross and Cuttino Mobley on numerous occasions. He also bakes a mean peach cobbler.

What can't Dave do!?

- Eddy was 13-16 from the line.

- The Knicks, including the previously ice-cold Q, started hitting their threes in the fourth. That really sealed the deal.

- In one of Madison Square Garden's darker moments, the entire crowd did The Wave for a solid minute. (Who am I kidding? I love The Wave.)

- Satisfying the crowd's chants, Isiah put Nate in with 30 seconds left. Nate's got the heart of a champ.

- Doug Christie was seen doing some really complex hand signals after the game. He wouldn't happen to have an overbearing wife, would he?

Anyway, this was one of my favorite wins of this Knick season. They finally turned a bad start completely around, and stifled a hot team. I'm impressed. It's the Knicks first streak in a long time, and now they head out west to play Utah on Saturday (Christ...what are we gonna do until then!?). Sleep easy, everyone. Back tomorrow. Peace.


The District Celtic said...

Pet peeve of mine: losing 15 games in a row.

Seth said...

dc- Hook 'em Horns!

Anonymous said...

Think I heard Clyde say "balling and appalling" after the Knicks came back in the 3rd. That one was new to me.

I also wondered about the "Never" tattoo.

Ra said...

Yeah but how do you feel about Curry saying he wants to be traded if Isiah gets fired?

Seth said...

Great! I'm happy that Eddy has that much respect and loyalty for Isiah.