Preseason Recap Knicks 98 Celtics 95

This wasn’t your mamma’s Knicks-Celtics preseason game, that’s for sure! Overtime, up-and-down pace to the game, and a down-to-the-wire 98-95 finish were all on display during this Knicks victory in Hartford, Connecticut. Also, appearances by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, Kurt Thomas, as well as others — so yes, maybe this was your mamma’s Knicks-Celtics preseason game. Or, at this point, your grandmamma’s. You may have been away and missed this sure-fire Knicks classic, (perhaps you were watching the Nets? Ahahahaha.) and in doing so missed out on the Pablo Prigioni-Chris Copeland pick-and-roll you will be telling your kids about. Some notes to catch you up:

  • Firstly, the Knicks were without Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, JR Smith, and Ronnie Brewer for tonight’s game. If those guys were healthy, can you imagine how much the Knicks would have won by? At least 4000 points.
  • The Knicks jumped out to an eight point lead midway through the first, and then proceeded to end the quarter down one. The Knicks, it turns out, are still allergic to momentum.
  • There was a nice play where Melo air-balled a long two-pointer off of a catch-and-shoot opportunity and the ball dropped right into James White’s hands and he made a lay-up. That, some decent defense on a variety of different players, and seven rebounds was basically the game for White, who was starting in place of JR Smith.
  • The Knicks were down 8 at the half, after the various  bench units Mike Woodson put out didn’t have much success. (My favorite one being Felton-Prigioni-Shurna-Novak-Sims. That group’s Points Per 100 Possessions is off the charts!)
  • The Knicks started the third quarter horribly, and quickly fell behind by more. Melo began getting frustrated as he wasn’t getting calls (Hey! What’s new?) and the rest of the team decided to collectively stop running back on defense. A couple of minutes before they left, the first-stringers put together some quality possessions and quality shots. After that, the Knicks went to lineups consisting of Prigioni, Kidd, Novak, Copeland, White, and Thompson, with Woodson (and I can only assume) throwing darts to decide who went out on the floor.
  • Down 3 heading into the 4th, the Knicks hung around, in large part due to ¡PABLOCURA! and all the steals ¡PABLOCURA! got by being ¡PABLOCURA! (I really love writing ¡PABLOCURA!.) From what I can remember he picked someone’s pocket clean, then stole an inbounds pass after a score and threw it overhead towards Novak standing at half-court. Or, you know, ¡PABLOCURA! things.
  • As if that wasn’t enough, he and Chris Copeland ran a Stockton/Malone-esque pick-and-roll. Twas’ filthy my friends. The Celtics 3rd stringers had no way of stopping it, and if you can beat the Celtics 3rd stringers, you make it anywhere. This pick-and-roll let New York tie, and eventually win the game. ¡PABLOCURA! would just drop these calm, calculated bounce passes that Copeland would pick up and go hard to the paint with. You should have seen it. Shit was cray. Also, Copeland scored all 21 of his points in the second half, and basically guaranteed him a roster spot. Now onto the fun stuff.
  • The Knicks slogan for this game, it being something along the lines of “This rivalry is so intense it had to be on a neutral field” is equally as bad as the “YOU. US. WE. NOW.” abomination they had from last year.
  • Speaking of ¡PABLOCURA!, MSG interviewed him and showed the clip before the game. May I just say that Pablo has a perfect accent. It’s the best accent on the team, with whatever style of English Jason Kidd attempts to speak being a distant second.
  • Tyson Chandler had himself a nice game! He caught some *very* nice alley-oops today, including one from halfcourt thrown by Felton. The Knicks now have three point guards, all very capable of running the pick-and-roll, to mess around with Stoudemire, Chandler, and occasionally Melo as roll-men.
  • This game was very chippy. Spero Dedes and Clyde Frazier kept saying how this game wasn’t the atmosphere of a preseason game, and I would agree. The style of play was a lot more physical, and the crowd was very much in the game. With the game being played in Hartford, Connecticut, the fans seemed pretty evenly divided for either team. During free throws, half of the crowd would try to distract the shooter, with the other then cheering for him after he made the shot. It was certainly an interesting dynamic.
  • Clyde said some thing! First, he said that the signing of Jason Terry would mitigate the departure of Ray Allen, except he pronounced “mitigate” like “mini-gate.” Then, Clyde talked about how he didn’t like the Celtics. He cited that he didn’t like rooting for a team that always won. No worries, Clyde. You won’t have to deal with perennial winners as long as you stay with the Knicks. Also, he compared Woodson’s coaching style to Red Holtzman’s. All these things happened and I’m happy they did.
  • A lot of the Celtics, especially Jared Sullinger tried to post up Steve Novak, and Novak was having none of that, because Steve Novak doesn’t get posted-up. Y’all heard?
  • Tyson Chandler shot a jumper. I cringed.
  • Glenn Grunwald and Allan Houston were at the game. Glenn, as shown in this screenshot taken by super-cool fella Seth Rosenthal, was rocking a leather jacket, like all the other cool kids in his class.
  • Jason Kidd pretty clearly got outplayed by Prigioni. Kidd was 1-6 from three-point land (with the Knicks being a collective 3-29) and didn’t run the pick-and-roll as effectively as Prigioni. Once again, he played mostly off the ball as he was on the court with Felton or Prigioni most of the game.
  • Also, Steve Novak (38) and Jason Kidd (34) led all players in minutes. That’s a thing that happened this year.
  • I was incredibly scared Doc Rivers would put in Paul Pierce just to hit a dagger against the Knicks, for old times sake.
  • Poetically, the game ended with a Copeland block.
  • As with all preseason games, take almost everything you see with a grain of salt. Sadly, being as this are the Knicks, the backup point guard situation will be scrutinized relentlessly until the Knicks next preseason game, in which Kidd could outplay ¡PABLOCURA! and explode the heads of every Knicks fan. More importantly however, the Knicks will *hopefully* be getting Amar’e back for the next couple preseason games so he can work on chemistry n’ stuff.

That’s it for now. The Knicks play Landry Fields, Landry Fields’ girlfriend  and the Raptors on Friday, as they try to stay undefeated this preseason. And as we all know in the cut throat pirate game that is basketball, it’s undefeated preseason or bust.