As my colleague Brandon said in his recap of Thursday night’s game, good or bad, take it [the preseason] with a grain of salt. But even though it was a preseason game, and even though the Knicks sat most of their stars, last night’s contest was still pretty awful to sit through. As a matter of fact, on the broadcast of the game, Mike Breen said that everyone who did manage to stick it out until the end deserved a prize. Mr. Breen, I will send you my address and I expect to see that prize soon. Thanks.
The Knicks were out-shot, out-rebounded, and perhaps worst of all, out-hustled by the Boston Celtics all night. You can blame the loss on the fact that the Knicks have played three games in four days and that it was the second game of a back-to-back. And, if you like playing the blame game, you can also blame the aforementioned absences of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Metta World Peace, Kenyon Martin and Raymond Felton… but, even with all that said, there’s no excuse for being out-hustled. Coach Mike Woodson was not happy with his team after the game saying, “You gotta be proud to wear a Knick uniform and tonight, it was an embarrassment.” He also went on to blame himself for the team’s lack of energy.
There was one semi-amusing aspect to last night’s debacle: The referees where handing out the new delay of game technical fouls, as if they were handing out candy on Halloween. In case you didn’t know, the NBA is trying to “speed up” the games and because of this, players are supposed to just let made baskets drop and not touch the ball. So no more tossing the ball to your opponent or to the refs or you will be called for a delay of game. Teams get a warning first and then techs are called for the rest of the game. What’s next? Will they outlaw high fives after free throws?
Some people will say that you can’t get too angry at a loss like this, but those people probably had plans last night and didn’t sit through the entire game.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
- Ike Diogu and Toure’ Murry had good games. Diogu finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds while Murry finished with 16 points. They’re both playing for jobs — Diogu had been in China and Puerto Rico prior to this year and Murry was in the D League. Both guys played well for a while but seemed to lose it a bit at the end of the game — making silly mistakes like Diogu allowing the :24 clock to run out and Murr making foolish passes and committing sloppy turnovers — but other than that, they were pretty much the only positives that you can take from this game.
- There wasn’t much else that went right. The game was pretty awful on the offensive end and the defensive end. When the Knicks couldn’t shoot, they couldn’t stop the Celtics from making their shots and when they could shoot, they still couldn’t stop the Celtics from making their shots.
WHAT WENT WRONG:
- The Knicks started off slowly in the first and third quarters. This sluggishness set the tone for the game and the Knicks never had a lead. They were able to cut the lead down to three late in the first half, but never got closer than that and by the time the fourth quarter rolled on, they were down by as many as 32 points.
- They allowed Boston to start the third quarter on a 20-5 run and couldn’t recover.
- The starting five’s +/- was -111. And even though the stars weren’t playing, guys like Shumpert, Bargnani and Prigioni were in the starting lineup, so they shouldn’t have been so terrible.
- The game was played up in Manchester, NH and they were having issues with the scoreboard, game clock and :24 second clock at the arena. This problem caused a slight delay in the middle of the 1st quarter. I figured the scoreboard was just put into shock because of how horribly the Knicks were shooting to start the game.
- Clyde Frazier told a story about how when he was a rookie that he, along with Phil Jackson, had to carry everything as a part of rookie hazing. This included the reel-to-reels they watched game film on. Remember those? Oh right, you’re probably not as old as I am. Never mind.
- Up next for the Knicks: WSH 10/16 @ 7pm
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