Okay *clears throat:* In a world where bad shooting and lead changes are not excepted in the first three quarters of a basketball game. One man, one desire for lead changes; scoring in down-to-the-wire basketball games; fans hailing the eminence of this scoring deity by chanting the three letters M, V, and P and the rest being history. Carmelo Anthony stars in: “Crunch Time.” In theaters tonight. This little made-up movie trailer guy monologue summarizes what Carmelo Anthony exactly did in the 4th quarter. But first: With a Loveless, (and I don’t mean loveless as in being lonely, I mean without Kevin Love. Sheesh) Timberwolves team that’s whiter than white bread (Timberwolves-being-white jokes commence!), the Knicks still had a difficult time trying to get past the pack of Wolves. The Knicks looked cluttered in the first quarter. In a quarter where Alexey Shved was indeed Shveding if you will, you’re not going anywhere. The Knicks ended up losing that quarter, 29-22 because of slow defense. Same thing in the second quarter. Even Shved was turning into J.R Smith on one possession. It was all kinds of WTF and crazy. When the Knicks switch their assignments, I would gag. The Knicks did improve in the second, but were still outplayed by two points, trailing 55-46 at halftime. But the Knicks limited the Wolves to 18 points in both second half frames. When Carmelo Anthony hit a three to propel the Knicks into a 88-86 lead in the fourth, that was the only the Knicks second lead change. Then, Melo exploded in the final minutes of the fourth. Like their game against the Bulls, the Knicks played some crummy basketball, except, tonight they won and had couple of lead changes unlike having no lead changes against Chicago. It certainly is a recent Knicksian trend. Here are some notes: More
I seen the lights go down on Broadwa— *record needle halts* wait, THAT’S WAY TOO MAINSTREAM. WHERE’S MY NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL? Oh yeah, that’s right. I don’t even know any of their songs or lyrics *goes on YouTube and looks up their most popular song (wait, what?).* I STILL DON’T KNOW ANY OF THEIR SONGS OR LYRICS. TOO UNDERGROUND *brain fries.* Billy Joel is too cool for the Brooklyn Nets err…I mean hipsters. Mhm, yeah. So, according to Jay-Z, “the city was under new management when the Nets beat the Knicks at the Barclays Center in the inaugural Knicks-Nets showdown. Well, I have some news for you, Mr. Shawn Carter: Cool story, bro. You don’t have to tell it again because you are the absolute worst troll ever. Maybe it was the NetsDaily guy aka Satan controlling your account. I highly doubt it, but still. Maybe you were in a conference room with jolly ole Mikhail and the NetsDaily guy at the same time while sipping shots of Russian Standard (they hate Ciroc) proclaiming that “THE KNICKS ARE FUCKED” watching all seven of your concerts at the Barclays Center before the season started on a movie projector screen that was recently built in the conference room.
Alright, that was my Nets mocking vent session. But seriously, though, Jay-Z is hilarious. He needs to stop wearing his Nets hat so tight, yet I digress. Anyways, the Nets arrived at MSG last night to try and get their revenge after Jason Kidd used his three point prowess in crunch time to defeat them back at the Barclays. In the end, the Knicks routed them, leading the hipsters (I had to) to the exits early. The Knicks started out well, outscoring the Nets in the first quarter 26-23. Despite winning the second quarter, only by one point, the Knicks were doubling the left post, leading to a crapload of wide open looks from the right side of the court in the 2nd. The rotations were really terrible. Joe Johnson hit a couple of wide open threes, while Keith Bogans was Mayansing it up. Then the Knicks trumped the Nets to 19 points each in the third and fourth quarter, which contained a 23-7 run from the end of the third going into the fourth, leading to mocking of the “BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKLYN” chant (needs more O’s, right?) at the end of the game. Oh, and that’s without the PA announcer telling them to chant it. Notes and stuff: More
Check that. The Three Masked Cavaliers (move over, Musketeers) attempted to storm into MSG with their 5-19 brigade. Commander, Kyrie Irving aka Batman/Zorro/Uncle Drew, struck gold, playing with a vindictive attitude under the mask, erupting for 41 points. Commander Irving reminisced game 2 Rajon Rondo from last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, refusing to give up in the final seconds, hitting a couple of huge threes in crunch time. The Wine and Goldknights’ raid nearly succeeded, but Lieutenant General, Anderson Varejao, missed a crucial second free throw with a second left. The Knickerbockers without their 5 star commander, Carmelo Anthony, retained their home turf. Sorry guys, I got too excited with war metaphors, but they do correspond with tonight’s down-to-the-wire Knick win at home. Sloppiness on defense summed up the Knicks’ first quarter, mostly the interior defense, being the main cause for the Cavs’ early 28-27 lead at the end of the first. Steve Novak, J.R Smith and Jason Kidd combined for five threes in the second, propelling the Knicks into a 48-45 first half lead at halftime. 15 points of the Knicks’ 21 second quarter points came from beyond the arc. The Knicks went on to beat the Cavs in the third quarter 30-28 and ended up losing the fourth quarter 29-25 because of that man named Kyrie Irving, who had 16 points in the fourth. Notes and stuff: More
After winning their first (and only) game of the season against the Blazers at home, the Wizards flew on their brooms en route to New York to try and propel on a two game winning streak. Not surprisingly, the Wizards have numerophobia of the number two, and they lost against the Knicks, causing their measly one game winning streak to fall into pieces. Despite being up by 9 at the end of the first quarter, The Knicks were annihilated on the offensive glass 13-3, which basically kept the Wizards in the game early (I know, that sounds pretty funny), but the Wizards didn’t go further. Despite the Knicks sloppy start, they pretty much commanded the rest of the game. After having an early first quarter lead, the Wizards never regained the lead from the Knicks. Even if John Wall wasn’t injured, he would of probably been jacking up random threes trying to improve his .071 3P% from last year. Even if Wall took ten threes, he would still probably miss all of them because he is a monstrosity of a three point shooter. Anyways, here are some notes:
Throughout 10 games, Rasheed Wallace’s return to the NBA has been a lot more better than many people expected it to be (yes, even his spectacular garbage time games against the Heat and the Sixers count). No one, well, maybe some exuberant people such as me, would believe that last sentence. People believed that Sheed would have a crappier season than his one game with the Hawks. Okay, maybe not that eerie. I’ll make a compromise because his one game with the Hawks is clearly not fair compared to his other stints (he did shoot 8-24 in his lone game against the Nets, though. SMALL SAMPLE SIZE. AM I RIGHT?). “We the fans, of the National Basketball Association, believe that power forward Rasheed Wallace had a far more sub-par season with the Boston basketball Celtics than the Atlanta basketball Hawks, after being traded by the Hawks to the Detroit basketball Pistons, thus winning the Pistons an NBA title in 2004, due to the bantam, tiny, petite sample size of one game.” Deal, delegates? Deal. *shakes hands. *delegates sign document. More
Another epic comeback was almost sealed in heart-attack inducing fashion, but the Knicks couldn’t quite pull out of Dallas with a second win against the Mavericks. The first half was filled with lots of ball movement and unselfishness that propelled the Knicks into an early 54-49 lead at halftime. The Mavericks romped ahead of the Knicks in the third quarter 35-26, leading the Knicks to trailing by 4 at the end of the third 84-80. The Knicks showed life in the fourth quarter like they have in previous games, but despite the “good job, good effort,” they fell short because of poor decision making in the latter. Notes from this game are brought to you by…me:
- Despite his smart fundamental play in the first half and his team leading 23 points, Carmelo Anthony had a typical mediocre shooting night shooting 7-16 from the field. Melo played 41 minutes and fouled out, resulting in a dose of “Hit The Road Jack.” Melo was rolling early. He continued to pass out of double teams finding the open man, but got sloppy with the ball later, reverted back to iso ball and committed 7 turnovers. On one possession, Melo attacked the rim, did a 360, and converted a mesmerizing layup. Unfortunately, the circus shot was called off and Melo was tagged with an offensive foul, which was absolutely not a foul because looking back at the tape, Vince Carter clearly moved and Tony Brothers happened to be brothers with Vince Carter deciding that it was an offensive foul against Melo, leading to fans denouncing the refs. The subject of the 4th quarter, as well as the whole game, was Melo’s shot selection on the very last possession of the game. Melo, who was being guarded by lockdown defender, Shawn Marion, beat Marion off the dribble and pulled up for an extraneous double-clutch jumper that hit short rim. I was facepalming right after Melo missed the shot because I knew that it wasn’t the decision I wanted Mike Woodson to go to. Prior to that, to prevent the Knicks from taking the lead in the fourth quarter, Chris Kaman sucked the venom out of one of his pet snakes he brought with him that he was hiding under the hardwood floor tiles, smacked the bejesus out of Melo’s face, and hissed at everyone in transition. More
Guys, the Knicks lost a preseason game. The season is totally over, like, really. Kill everything with fire. Panic mode: ENGAGE. Hold up a second, that’s what Nets fans are saying right now because they lost two preseason games in a row. BOOM. Obviously, I’m just kidding about the Knicks, but it’s funny enough that there are people that are already panicking in preseason form. This is the first time the Knicks faced the new Raptors young gun core, which included my current tall Lithuanian hero, or the other STAT, Jonas Valanciunas (I’m Lithuanian. Screw you, Linas Kleiza). That other guy that was being made fun of because of his execrable jump shot last season, particularly from beyond the arc, and just in general, Landry Fields, faced his former team for the first time as well. In case you didn’t watch this game, you didn’t really miss anything new. Actually, you did miss something important. This important thing I’m talking about is Amare’s preseason debut. Oh wait, I forgot! There’s another VERY substantial occurrence you also missed. Kurt Thomas was tagged with a technical foul. Ah ha! That’s what I was thinking about all this time! Anyways, here are some more notes:
- As I just mentioned, Amare Stoudemire made his preseason debut after being out for the first two preseason games with soreness. His new and improved post game that he had worked on with Hakeem Olajuwon over the summer didn’t really appear that much in the game, but when it did, it was mediocre. Watching Amare’s post game was like watching a Milli Vanilli music video. It seemed like he was predetermining himself more than performing fluid natural movements. Since Amare only displayed his new post game approximately 2 times, I’ll let it slide. On one of Amare’s post possessions, he performed a beautiful spin move to the basket, which was then rejected by Jonas Valanciunas. I know Amare’s post game can improve. Again, being judgmental over preseason games is like saying you can drive a car with an empty oil tank. There were flashes of Amare’s mid-range game from his inaugural 2010-11 season, which made me very jubilant because that was one of his offensive staples back in the 2010-11 season. I’m not worried about Amare right now. I think he’ll be fine. After all, he ended up going 8-11 from the field scoring 18 points. More
Tonight, the Knicks went into our nation’s capital to kick off their inaugural preseason game against the Wizards, and after watching this game, although it’s relatively meaningless considering the fact that it is a preseason game, I was impressed with the new look Knicks; new look as in the brand spanking new jerseys. The jerseys are pretty sleek, sexy, and just plain awesome, except the jersey piping, which makes me want to smash something (I’ll admit it, the “sexy” part is just a filler, but still, the jerseys are still pretty hot, yo). The Knicks scored 38 points in the first quarter (!) off of 11 assists. That being said, ball movement played an important role in this game– especially from my main man Raymond Felton. The second quarter was filled with loads of boredom until the Knicks finally broke the Wizards 18-0 run with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter. This game pretty much stayed close until the fourth quarter.
Here are some other notes: More
In this USA Today article, Carmelo Anthony said that he’s the selfish player people claim him to be because of “the whole Linsanity thing.” He goes on by saying “That’s when it started. That’s when it started to escalate as far as people saying I was selfish.” This I find not to be true on many levels. Prior to Linsanity happening, Melo was being barraged with criticism from really, the lion’s share of Knick fans for having a string of bloodcurdling shooting games. What I never understood was the criticism from certain Knick fans saying that he was a ballhog and a piece of shit (there’s many more things he was called and they weren’t good things). You should of expected what you were gonna get in Melo. I was expecting it to happen because of the following reasons: 1. His hefty usage-rates, 2. Being a purebred shooter (and a high volume scorer), and 3. Making sweet love to the basketball whenever he receives a pass from anyone. Those fans were acting like it was a breaking news story coming from tabloids, TMZ in particular, the headline being “BREAKING: Melo Is A Ballhog Fiend. Knick Fans Are Exasperated” or something like that. They were probably fans that came out of the woodwork for all I know.
Throughout his career, Melo has been a high-usage player. Last season, he was 4th in USG% with 31.8%, only behind LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Kobe Bryant. And in his Denver days, his highest USG% was at least 30% in five (and a half if you want to count his year being traded from Denver to New York) seasons played with the Nuggets. All of that being said, Melo is a usage rate stalwart. He’s certainly not in the upper echelon of defenders, averaging a steal to less than a steal per game, and most importantly, to him at least, he’s essentially branded as a scorer in isolation situations and in any situation. It’s a dead giveaway. Shooters shoot, and…yeah. I don’t have to go any further with stats because by looking at Melo’s stats, you get an elegantly painted picture of what his career has been like statistically.
When Linsanity detonated the fuse (MSG) back in February, Lin was demonstrating fundamental basketball, Red Holzman-like basketball—-passing to the open man and getting almost the whole team involved in the game, developing a synergy with spot-up shooter extraordinaire, Steve Novak, in particular. Melo was sitting out with a groin injury most of the time Linsanity was occurring. There was skepticism about Melo and Lin co-existing in the midst of Melo’s injury because of Melo’s isolation-oriented game and Lin’s let’s-get-the-whole-team-involved game. Melo came back and just couldn’t quite tie the knot with Lin, unfortunately. Lin is back with the Rockets after the Knicks decided to not match a remunerative deal a few weeks ago and Mike Woodson’s offense is going to be fabricated around isolation (or Iso Joe), Melo’s offensive tactic of choice.
Melo, I like you and all, but it’s not a revelation at this point that you’re a selfish player. It’s the way you play the game. You’re a shooter that likes to throw up shots and score. Stuff like this has been surfacing for ages now. But blaming Lin? C’mon man. That’s a bunch of poppycock. It’s a little ridiculous to blame the player who rose from a guy laying down on his brother’s couch to global basketball rock star status boosting the Knicks into the playoffs. Let’s not go further by saying even worse tomfoolery. You went just a bit too far this time *Bob Uecker voice.