Bucks tomorrow. See ya then with some lookalikes and a preview. Peace.
Wow. I wish I was there. Jamal Crawford served up a bountiful helping of ridiculous this evening, leading the shorthanded Knicks to a blowout revenge victory over the Miami Heat. Crawford dropped a full deck on Miami, scoring a career-high 52 on ridiculous shooting. It was magical. I saw most of the game, but had to revisit Knicks in 60 to catch all of Jamal's unbelievable game. Some belated and very brief game notes:
- Stats on Crawford's big night: 52 points on 20-30 shooting, including 8-10 from three point range. This includes a stretch in the middle quarters in which he hit 16 straight field goals. 16 straight field goals. Many of those were ridiculous threes off crossovers, and one was a four-point play in the final seconds of the first half. Jamal got defensive looks from Wade, Posey, Wright, and others, but no one could stop him. It was just about the most ridiculous offensive performance I've seen at the Garden. Again, I wish I could've been there.
- Funny that Crawford goes for 52 on mostly fadeaway jump shots, only a few days after I bitch about his reluctance to go into the paint. Touche, Jamal.
- The Knicks blew the thing open with a 15-2 run at the end of the first half.
- Crawford has 75 points in his last 5 quarters of basketball. And he hardly played in the fourth tonight.
- On a fast break, Marbury cut into the middle of the lane, and shuffled the ball behind him with one hand to a streaking Balkman. Humpty took off from like, just inside the free throw line, and threw down a thundering one-handed slam that nearly tore down the rim. Me: "HOLY ASS BALLS!"
- I bet most people missed this, but Malik Rose unsuccesfully attempted the infamous "Clap" defense on an Earl Barron shot in garbage time. For those of you not wise in the ways of the clap, this involves loudly slapping one's hands together just as a shooter releases. It is a deadly defensive mechanism, but failed in this case. Bold move, though, by Malik.
- Crawford obviously took the cake (not literally, although that does happen in this league), but there were other fine performances in this game. Wade had 37, mostly from the line. Marbury was clearly in pain, but had 9 points and 13 assists. Channing Frye shot the ball well (7-11) to drop 16 and 6. David Lee recorded another double-double (yawn) with 11 and 12.
-I picture Dwyane Wade, James Posey, and Dorell Wright sitting at Jamal's house right now. They're at a well-lit table in an otherwise dark and smoky room. Jamal emerges with a heaping plate of food, and says "Would you like some pancakes, bitches?"
Anyway, I can't say I saw it coming but...wow. Sorry for the short and late post, but I'm kinda blown away by that whole game. The Knicks play Milwaukee on Sunday. Back tomorrow. Peace.
Posted by Seth at 11:53 PM
Did you know that that was the Heat's alternate logo? I don't think I've ever seen that before. Thanks Sportslogos.net!
The fully-equipped Miami Heat come to the Garden tonight to take on the not so fully equipped Knicks. Depending on where you look, Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry are listed as anywhere from "questionable" to "probable". Based on what I've heard, I'd say Curry's probably out, and Marbury's probably in.
Anyway, there isn't much to say about this game that wasn't said about the last one. The Knicks need to get back to their winning ways at home. Maybe the Heat will do what the Knicks did on Monday, and underestimate the short-handed squad. I smell a 27 point run for the home team.
Gotta run, but I'll have a quick recap later tonight or tomorrow morning. As it is the weekend, I can't guarantee that I'll see all of the game, so your comments on the game action and outcome would be much appreciated. Go Knicks. Peace.
Posted by Seth at 3:22 PM
Here's what's floating around the internet after last night's loss to the Suns...
- The Knickerblogger recap
- Jake Appleman of SLAM's game notes
- Your NYK reader, willymilly, was at the Garden last night, and had a few game notes of his own:
- When I first got to the Arena and saw Clyde's suit my eyes started to burn. How does the man pull it off?Good points. Nate is probably the fastest and craftiest slasher on the team. He has one of the quickest spin-moves in the league, and is good at drawing the double and making the quick pass. There's no reason he needs to be shooting 3's at all. Likewise, Crawford has a pretty good percentage on his drives to the basket, and Richardson might benefit from posting up a bit more. The Knicks are an in the paint team.
- Whenever Eddy was out of the game there was no presence in the middle on defense and Amare rolled everyone, it was disgusting. It gave the one Suns fan in our section something to cheer about.
- "Feed the Beast" was said numerous times in the first half. I kept telling my buddy Eddy was going to have a forty point game. How wrong I was.
- The backboard dunk that you mentioned with Crawford.. from where we were sitting it looked like it went off the front of the rim. I don't remember if he passed it out to Lee who dunked after that or not.. but I'm pretty sure it went off the front of the rim.
- Nate was all over the floor and it was quite entertaining and uplifting. Even though his shooting frustrates me, he hustles and is pretty much a faster David Lee. If he could just tone down his shooting he could be key in the next couple of weeks if Steph has to take extended time or less minutes.
- When the Knicks penetrate, they score 97% of the time. I don't see why they don't do it more. Q, Nate, and Crawford are faster then almost every defender that they'll go against. The past couple of games it's been Q who has fallen victim to terrible shot selection. Nate usually penetrates more, but tonight he didn't do much, and Crawford is always half and half.
- An interview at the Big Picture with the Cavalier. Yay Sports is one of the funniest sites out there, and the interview is worth a read.
- Oh. It's TNT NBA Thursday. Mavs-Bulls followed by Nets-Clippers.
- Finally, you've probably seen something about the case of Genarlow Wilson, but for links to the full story and how to help, check out this post at Pounding the Rock.
That's all for today, kids. The Knicks play the Heat again tomorrow night, with or without Marbury and Curry. See you then. Peace.
Posted by Seth at 3:47 PM
Well it wasn't a win, but the Knicks kept pace with the Phoenix Suns, and saved themselves from any embarassment. Solid Knick defense and some poor shooting by Phoenix had New York leading by as much as 10 in the first half, but they went into the break down by 3. Eddy Curry had 21 of his 26 points in the first two periods, but went down in the third quarter with a strained calf. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 30 points. Game notes:
- Clyde rocked a cherry-red suit jacket with a black, flowered tie. This is why liquid crystal television was invented.
- Doesn't Raja Bell look kinda like the generic template humanoid when you're creating your own player in NBA Live? He's about average height and weight, of indiscernible ethnicity, and almost completely hairless. I almost feel the need to throw an afro, some high socks, and some goggles on him.
- Why on earth would a professional sports team wear purple and orange? It's actually painful to the eye. At least the Suns give me a permanent answer in the Skittles Team Colors game. Otherwise, grape and orange would be impossible, ya know? Anybody?
- I've said it before, and I'll say it again. When Channing Frye does not hesitate, he does not miss.
- Amare Stoudemire slipped on a wet spot in the first quarter and fell kinda funny. My heart skipped a beat, but he was fine.
- Jared Jeffries played a wimpy 5 minutes and then sat for almost the entire rest of the game. I don't know what's up with the guy, but it's really disappointing. He just looks scared out there. Actually, I guess his natural facial expression alternates between "scared" and "stoned", so it's not that unusual.
- Crawford does a fantastic job of feeding Curry. Those two have really amazing chemistry, or as Clyde would say, "great ESP". Marbury is better at the pick and roll, but Crawford is superior at feeding the big fella. He had 11 assists.
- The Suns' television station does a thing where they whore out color commentator Dan Majerle for a part of the second quarter. Majerle traded spots with Clyde, and immediately went gay for Mike Breen. At least 3 times, he called Breen "handsome" or commented on how good he would look in a hat, glasses, etc. In all seriousness, as much as I hated Majerle when he was on the Heat, he's a witty, articulate, guy, and a very solid broadcaster.
- Remember two years ago when Crawford succesfully completed an off-the-backboard dunk twice in one season? Well, he kinda half tried it in the second quarter, with no success.
- Patrick Ewing was sitting sideline, as he's been doing frequently, only this time he was sporting a Sam Jackson beret.
- Good Nissan Trivia question: Who was the last NBA player to average 20 points and 10 assists for a season? I'll give you some time to think. Check the end of the post for the answer.
- The Knicks went to a "Hack-a-STAT" defense in the third quarter, sending Stoudemire to the line for 12 attempts. Clyde made the point that Nash and Stoudemire were the only two people moving on offense. They just ran a basic pick and roll, and if they couldn't complete it, Nash would kick it out to one of the guys camped out on the wing for a three. Whatever works.
- David Lee power dribbles like it's nobody's business. He's got the hard bounce to the kiss off the glass move down pat.
- Lee POSTERIZED Amare in the fourth quarter. He drove the lane, and Amare actually got a piece of the ball, but Lee flushed it in anyway.
- I don't get on Curry much for his lack of rebounding, because I'm really impressed with all the other things he's been doing, but Nate Robinson had 8 rebounds to Curry's 4. No comment.
- Speaking of Curry, he strained his left calf muscle early in the third quarter. He just seemed to come down funny, and immediately limped off the court. He was able to get to the locker room by himself, but with a significant limp. It didn't look that bad, but I'm sure we'll hear more tomorrow.
- Some noteworthy performances...Crawford had 23 in the fourth quarter to keep the game close...Q continued his shooting woes with an 0-5 scoreless performance...Nate couldn't shoot either, but pumped up the volume anyway, shooting an unsightly 5-19. He did rebound, distribute, and play some pesky defense, though...The Knicks had 21 turnovers, in part due to Marbury's absence.
Anyway, it was a tough, but surprisingly noble loss for the struggling Knicks. Hopefully Marbury will be getting back into the action soon, and Curry's injury isn't that severe. The Heat, with Wade and Shaq-fu, come to town on Friday. Back tomorrow. Peace.
P.S. Answer to the trivia question: Tim Hardaway. How 'bout that shit?
EDIT: I wrote this on my notepad, but forgot to mention it for some reason. Knickerblogger reminded me. The Knicks are a low post team. They would benefit from a serious cutback on three point attempts. The main jackers- Q, Crawford, and Nate, are all very capable penetrators, and that's gotta be the go-to move, whether it results in a score, a drawn foul, or an easy look for a big man. Points in the paint are this team's strength.
Posted by Seth at 10:11 PM
A few things before I get to the preview...
- I realized last night that I have the free trial of NBA League Pass this week. I watched the Nuggets-Sonics game last night, which was amazing. Considering that I never watch Nets games, this may have been the first time that I ever watched a local (not New Jersey local, just local) broadcast of an NBA game without having any emotional stake in the outcome. Watching a mellow, homey broadcast of a contest that doesn't include my Knicks is very therapeutic.
- Kelly Dwyer did a guest post at Free Darko and it's immensely entertaining.
- Did you ever realize that in the Suns' alternate logo (above) the purple flames form a firey bird (presumably a phoenix)? I love Sportslogos.net.
Speaking of the Suns, on to our Game Thread. Those crazy kids from Phoenix come to town tonight, bringing a 14 game win-streak with them. The Suns are, like, exponentially better than the Knicks, so here's hoping our boys (probably without Stephon Marbury) can at least keep this game respectable. I'd like to see the kids actually show up for the game, and look to get into an offensive flow and defensive effort from the outset. Former Knick, Kurt Thomas, is out for Phoenix, so there's really no one to guard Eddy Curry. Let's see what he can do.
Either way, I'm not expecting much, but the Knicks oft surprise in the level of their play. Phoenix is looking to set a franchise-high for consecutive games won, so don't expect them to just fuck around and get it done late. They are a swift, merciless team, and anything less than full effort is gonna be an embarassment in the Garden. Recap coming later. Go Knicks. Peace.
Note: I was really pleased to see a few comments in the last game thread. Let's keep it up. I love to hear what you guys think. Before, during, or after the game (you realize that includes the entire history of the universe?), feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, suggestions, and knock-knock jokes. Do it to it.
Posted by Seth at 3:49 PM
Some links from the day after the disaster...
- Knickerblogger has the play-by-play of the first quarter. It's rather one-sided.
- Mike Dougherty on Jared Jeffries.
- From the New York Times:
“It seems like the court’s tilted, like they’re running downhill, shooting layups and making 3’s,” Lee said. “And we’re going uphill just to get the ball across halfcourt and try to get a shot up.”Fishy. Someone should check out that American Airlines floor.
- Extreme Makeover: Hype Edition. Lookin' good, homie.
That's it for today. The Suns come to town tomorrow night at 7:30 (although the Knicks might not start playing until 8), in just about the worst possible matchup after a debilitating loss. Should be interesting to see the overall demeanor of the squad, with or without Stephon Marbury. See you tomorrow. Peace.
EDIT: My Site Meter is officially fucked. If anyone knows anything about fixing that up, I'd appreciate some help.
EDIT: Sweet Jebus, I have the free trial of League Pass and I didn't even realize it!
Posted by Seth at 3:17 PM
The Knicks have been, at various times this season, baffling, disappointing, and disheartening. Not until tonight, however, have they actually made me feel sick to my stomach. The Knicks showed up about 10 minutes late for their game against the Shaq-less, Wade-less Miami Heat. The Heat, in what seemed like a matter of seconds, turned an 8 point lead into a 15 point lead into a 26 point lead as New York stood and watched. You read that correctly. They led the Knicks 29-3 at one point in the quarter, eventually ending the period up 40-12. At some point, the Knicks wiped the sleep out of their eyes, stretched, put their sneakers on, and chipped away at the gargantuan lead, even cutting it to 6 at one point. The comeback gave away late in the fourth however, as Jason Williams hit two running daggers from downtown to stifle the Knicks attempt. All but handed an opportunity to beat an under-manned team, the Knicks played the most disgusting basketball I've seen in quite a while. Not to mention that Marbury's injuries finally caught up to him, and he sat the second half. Whatever. Game notes:
- I've never been to American Airlines Arena, but the place looks straight-up goofy. Even when seats are full, there are these huge red swaths of open space between the sections, which make the building look damn near empty. Give the Miami fans credit for getting really loud, though.
- Noticed that the little design shaved into Wade's hairline is a number 3.
- Curry started the game with a resounding swat of an Alonzo Mourning attempt. It was the only play even resembling a defensive effort in the first quarter.
- You know that HIP commercial that bugs me so much? The one with Earl Monroe? Well, I realized that when the lady comes up and challenges the Pearl to a game of one-on-one, and then sinks that shot, she's shooting from fucking halfcourt. That commercial sucks.
- It probably should've happened earlier, but Isiah clearly stirred the Knicks during a timeout when they were down 29-3. He sat them down, and then simply walked away, standing with his head hung as the players frantically coached themselves. I liked it, to be honest.
- The 27 point run was the largest in Heat record and, I believe, the largest in Knicks record. The first quarter was the Knicks' second worst of all time. The largest was a 42-12 deficit against the Pacers in 1980. (From ESPN).
- Watching Alonzo Mourning play basketball makes me want to eat my own eyeballs. He gets away with anything he wants out there, and takes full advantage of it. He had numerous fouls go uncalled (including trying to pluck out one of Channing's eyes), as well as a goaltend or two that just went unnoticed. I've never liked the guy.
- On a similar note, people keep calling David Lee a "blue-collar" player. I can see how someone who doesn't watch him much would have that notion, but think otherwise. Sure, he grabs a lot of rebounds, but he a. plays some pretty-boy defense, and b. always prefers the double-pump tomahawk to the basic stuff. He likes to hustle, but he's got some flash to him too. "Blue-collar" isn't really his game. There are ups and downs to that.
- Some boxscore notes...Curry had 26 points, but played miserable defense...QRich had a rare stinker from downtown, shooting 2-8...Nate made his first noise on offense, with 11, but played miserable defense for most of the game...Lee had 15 boards...Jason Kapono had an efficient (9-14) 22 points for the Heat.
- The Knicks are 2-24 when they trail at halftime. Which means they're 16-1 when they lead at halftime.
- I was trying to think of some sort of visual, artistic representation of the Knicks' performance in this game, but I think it can be best illustrated with Ron Rothstein's necktie.
Anyway, sorry if I'm a little pissed off, but this is the kind of effort that really tries one's loyalties to a sports team. I still love my Knicks, as I stayed with them through the predictable comeback and the inevitable defeat, but it disgusts me to see them put out that kind of effort against a depleted team. Even teams like the Spurs get criticized for mailing it in, so the Knicks certainly can't get away with it. It should be interesting to see how the Knicks fare (presumably without Marbury) on Wednesday against the far superior Phoenix Suns. Until tomorrow, peace.
EDIT: I was happy to see a few comments on the game thread. Keep it up, kids.
Posted by Seth at 9:46 PM
Whoa now. Whoa. Settle down. I know it's a little different, but I'm sure you'll get used to it. Yes, the game previews formerly labeled "Knicks-Opponent Tonight" are now "Game Threads". You'll notice that the actual product is eerily similar, but I'm trying to encourage a little more commenting in this house. We'll see what happens.
Anyway, the Knicks head to Miami tonight to start off a very tough week. The Heat are coming off a tough loss to Dallas yesterday, and Dwyane Wade has been playing like hot fire as of late. Miami has a great shot-blocker in Mourning and some longball marksmen in Kapono, Posey, and Walker, so this is gonna be a toughie for the Traveling Pants. Stephon Marbury is sore like a mofo, but will be suiting up. Hopefully, Steph can show Dwyane Wade the same kind of white-on-rice business that he brought to Ray Allen and Gilbert Arenas in the past few weeks, even through the pain.
It's gonna be a tough one, but let's see what deez Knicks can do. Recap after the game. Later.
EDIT: New Carnival of the NBA today at Detroit Bad Boys, and it's a great one. Check that out.
EDIT: I said "tough" 4 times in that post. Tough tough tough tough tough tough.
Posted by Seth at 3:08 PM