Folks, the following pre- and post-game quotes tell it all, but I’ll tell you a little more after the “Read More” jump.
“We lost this game before the game even started. A lot of us weren’t taking the game serious – joking around, not really preparing for the game, and it showed. It just seems like we’re always taking a team’s first punch. . . .We’re not that good. We can’t come in here and joke around and take the game lightly. It is a precious game, and we’ve got to be serious.” —Chris Duhon
“We didn’t come out the way we should have come out and got ourselves in a hole. “But I can see how we need to play and I think I can figure it out. There’s some signs out there that we’ve turned the corner on a few things.” — Mike D’Antoni
Now that game was eventually enjoyable, even after the Knicks appeared to quit early again as they fell behind by 21 points, 32-13, in the first quarter.
This time the Knicks at least tried to battle back, unfortunately unable to overcome their incompetencies including piss-poor defense and coach D’Antoni’s perpetually woeful end-game coaching. At least they didn’t quit after they finally start playing.
As for his coaching, it made little sense that Danilo Gallinari was either on the bench or lying on the floor because of his back (Uh Oh — pay attention children) with the teams hottest hand for almost the last five minutes of regulation. D’Antoni didn’t put Gallo back in until there were seven seconds remaining in regulation. How do you do your best shooter like that? Defensive match ups? Maybe. But for four minutes and 53 seconds?
— Jared Jeffries haters need to give it a rest at least until we put our clocks back an hour tonight. Jared was the Knicks’ most influential player on the floor. He was critical to the 3rd quarter comeback and he was out most accurate shooter from the arc, hitting 3-4. Go figure. Only he and Gallinari shot over 50%. But his strongest sequence got us tied in regulation at 80-80 with a 23-feet arc dropper. During a four minute stretch leading to the tie he brought down a couple of boards, hit a couple of tres and slammed home a winner. His line included 11 points, 1 assist, 1 block and 5 fouls.
— Danilo, despite foul trouble, had a nice line with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and 3 TOs in 23 minutes. His shooting was timely and he put a little more motion in his offensive game instead of lounging on the arc. Gallo is no match for the league’s 2s and 3s defensively. He was jumping around like a popcorn kernel when he was guarding Stephen Graham 15 feet from the basket. I thought he was auditioning for “Dancing With the Stars.” He willl need to learn how to play D this upcoming summer.
— Chris Duhon’s drive to the basket at :07 to tie the game at 100 almost made up for those 5 tunrovers and lowly 13 points in 56 minutes of play. Duhon has the skills — he has no urgency in his game, no heart. If he had urgency, he would treat every possession with reverence. If he had heart, he would drive to score with disregard for the opponent’s life and limbs. He did get 8 assists. Whoopee. My boy’s new nickname is Chris “Kringle” Dukiehon (Santa Paws). The point guard that just keeps on giving. . . . to the opposition.
— Leave Wilson Chandler alone. This is really his sophomore jinx year. He only started (actually really played) last year. This would be a development year, if they knew how to develop him. He still played like Vince Carter-lite going 4 of 16 for only 9 points. Clearly he has the green light, but will someone please give him an inside game. He shoots an awful lot of off-balanced shots and tres. He should be a power player in the paint. Make Chandler hurt somebody. They’re turning his second season (as a starter) into a soft-more year.
— Nate’s stat line was not special (2-9 from the arc, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers) but with 17 points in 36 minutes, his energy and effort keeps the Knicks coming back. The Knicks strongest and most balanced unit includes him with some combination of Harrington, Chandler, Lee, Duhon and Jeffries. I said it before the season and I will say it now — Robinson needs to start to set the tone for the Knicks. D’Antoni knows this. Isiah knew this. So instead they use Nate to clean up the deep-in-the-hole shyte and then complain about him being a solo act. Get him in early and let him and Lee run that break early.
— Felton was abusive of the Knicks. Compare his stats to Duhon’s: 22 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and only 2TOs in 49 minutes. It’s hard to believe that Wallace shot 4-10 because he was looking like a stud going to the basket and grabbing 15 rebounds. D.J. Augustin (we coulda had him) had 15 points on 5-9 shooting.
Cross Overs . . . . Last night the Live Blog (LBE) was the bomb. The Fanatics were in full force with cameos, commentaries and quips from Auggie, Peaceman, DLT, Post Up Prince, Paul, Orange and Blue, LIVES, DVJ as DaJoka, Modi and Cooleyhigh. We also had a visit from Jeff and Michael from “Project Spurs” another excellent Bloguin NBA blog. It was great to have them add their knowledge and insight. We hope to see them again. . . .I will not do the LBE tonight, but if anyone is interested in producing it, I will set it up if you want. Let me know now. . . . Larry Brown appears to be pining for Eddie Curry or at least he is wishing him the best. . . .Congratulations to the Bloguin award winners. We did not get the honor of “Rising Star” . . . .I heard my friend Kanye West is going to appear at the awards ceremony. Go Kanye Go.
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