Dammit. Just when you thought the Knicks had turned a corner, they never showed up for a blowout loss to the Warriors. It was the ultimate trap game: second of a back-to-back, night after a great win, last game before the all-star break, sub-.500 opponent playing without its two stars, and the Knicks were completely unprepared. They woke up sometime in the third quarter (I said I was going to bed then, but I snuck a little watch in at the end) and actually cut a 31 point deficit to 9, but ultimately shat the game away in typical Knicks fashion. Their play was weak, slow, sloppy and disgusting to watch. Only two players did anything even resembling basketball, and they were Nate Robinson and Renaldo Balkman, who led the aforementioned high-flyin', jersey-poppin' run in the second half. I wrote down some game notes from the first two and a half quarters. Here they are:
- Pre-game: Have you ever noticed that when the camera goes to Clyde during the pre-game show he always begins his statement by rocking side to side on his heels? Oh, well he does do that.
- Jerome James was STILL starting, which meant either he or Mittens was guarding Al Harrington. I guess when you don't play any defense, mismatches aren't really an issue.
- James actually looked like he was gonna abuse the significantly shorter Harrington on the offensive end, but managed to get his shot blocked twice. He then sat for the rest of the game, as usual. Imagine how good he would be if he could run and jump!
- Malik Rose was the first guy off the bench, and he came out with a flurry of what I think were intended to be 18 foot jumpers. Well...they were from 18 feet out...and he jumped...but that's about all they had in common with the jumper you and I know. Malik took 6 shots in 8 minutes, which is about 6 too many shots and 8 too many minutes for him.
- Here's a fun quotation from the AP report.
In the first quarter alone, Thomas used 11 players -- or two more than Warriors coach Don Nelson had in uniform. Thomas said his club matched up poorly with Golden State, and it showed while the Warriors roared to a huge lead.Neat.
- I once thought that Nate Robinson had the quickest spin move in the league, but Monta Ellis has him beat. Speaking of those two, they have very similar stature (small) and a somewhat similar game (shoot, jump real high, annoy people), but they're polar opposites in the way they carry themselves. Nate is all energy: yelling, jumping, jersey-popping, chest-bumping. Monta is as cool as can be, regardless of the situation. Both had very solid games.
- On more than one occasion, Mittens was boxing out so badly that it actually got him the rebound. Like, the shot would go up, and he'd turn his back to it and head down court. But then the shot would miss so badly that it actually fell into his hands at the three-point line. Maybe he knows something we don't. For what it's worth, Eddy's calf was clearly bothering him. I hope he gets some R & R during the break, so he'll stop resting on the court.
- There's a reason they call Stephen Jackson "Jack", and it ain't his last name. He shot anything and everything available, and somehow made a preposterous 16 of the 26 shots he took. Great game for him.
- Don Nelson was wearing a blue Warriors polo under a gray suit jacket. Just thought you should know.
- In the second quarter, Mike Breen wanted to give Clyde some Valentine's Day chocolate on camera, but Eddy was standing in the way of the shot and Breen told him to move his ass outta the way (in nicer words). It was that kind of night for young Mittens.
- Quentin Richardson was pissed about a non-call in the second quarter and figured, "Hey, we're gonna lose this thing anyway, and I really wouldn't mind some Taco Bell right now!", so he started arguing with the ref (Sean Corbin, I think.) Once he got T'd up, Q kept arguing, politely noting that it was "fucking bullshit". Then he got tossed. Ejected players are supposed to leave the arena, but Quentin could be seen standing in the tunnel in the fourth quarter with a chalupa in either hand. Smart man.
- Isiah probably knew what was up. During his pre-game interview, he had curiously mentioned how tough it would be to win the game.
- Other news...Hey, remember how much you hated Tim Hardaway during those Knicks-Heat series in the 90's? Well don't stop hatin', my friend! Tim's back to remind us what an asshole he is! His comments about John Amaechi make Shavlik Randolph look progressive and liberal. Tim's just bitter because MJ never returned his phone calls.
Anyway, this game sucked ass. I guess we shoulda seen it coming that the Knicks would follow a gritty road win with an unspeakable loss. Almost nobody played well, and it's a really sour taste to have to take into the all-star break, but oh well. We're 23-30 with 29 games left to play. These kind of games can't happen, though, if the Knicks wanna make any sort of gesture towards the playoffs. That's all for now, kids. Peace.