I’m going to start this recap off with an apology to my fellow Knicks fans.
I am truly sorry. I don’t what it is about this team that makes them decide to play like idiots whenever I’m assigned to write recaps, but they do and I am beginning to take these losses personally. It’s as if they’re in the locker room, huddling before the game and saying, “Hey, Stacey is doing the Knicks Wall recap today, so let’s find new ways to look awful on the court! Okay? Go Knicks!” Then J.R. Smith does a dance, they run onto the court and they go on to lose.
The Memphis Grizzlies (11-15) were on a five-game losing streak coming into today’s game and they were also without their best player, Marc Gasol. Knicks fans may have been thinking, “This game should be easy peasy!” And you’d think it would be a somewhat easy win for the team that plays in MSG, right? Well, you’d be very wrong. Madison Square Garden has become a house of horrors for the Knicks. They’ve lost 10 games at home already this season and they only lost 10 games at home all of last season.
That’s really terrible. And what’s worse than losing at home to a team who was riding a five-game losing streak? Letting them victimize you on the boards and in the paint. Memphis scored 60 (!!!) of their 95 points inside.
During the third quarter, Andrea Bargnani made a defensive gaffe that was so bad that I had to rewind it so I could watch it again because I couldn’t believe it actually happened. He turned his back on the guy he was defending and allowed him to drive the lane and hit an easy layup.
The Knicks about midway through the fourth quarter were a John Starks-esque 2-17 from three. Then they suddenly started hitting threes but of course, it was too late to actually mount a comeback. Maybe if they had three more minutes to work with they could have gotten it done. Or maybe if they’d learn how to read a game clock and realize that when you’re down six with under a minute to go, you probably shouldn’t waste 12 seconds trying to get a shot off.
This team is just so frustrating to watch. I am considering getting a heavy bag just so I can punch things while I watch them play. I might as well workout while being tortured by this team. And Christmas is on Wednesday so there’s still time for someone to get one to me. (Hint, hint).
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Carmelo Anthony finished with 30 points and seven rebounds. He was 11-22 shooting and didn’t commit a turnover.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. injured his ankle in the second quarter, but he continued to play and finished with 16 points on 7-13 shooting. It was definitely his strongest performance of the season and, as Clyde pointed out, THJ did a good job of not just chucking three-pointers (unlike some other teammates we’ll get to in a bit.), as he would work his way inside the arc and shoot a long two instead.
- J.R. Smith was 6-12 this afternoon (!!!) and had 16 points. Maybe he didn’t go out last night and the curfew worked? But then again, he was taking pretty bad shots.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Poor Tyson Chandler just could not handle Zach Randolph (25 points, 15 rebs) today. To be fair, it’s only his second game back and he needs to get his legs under him but it was pretty brutal to watch him being used and abused like that. Hey, Clyde is rubbing off on me!
- Bargnani. Dude, seriously, you’re killing me. Watching someone that tall have so many issues with defense makes me want to pull what little hair I have left out of my head. Why did the Knicks get this guy? Oh, right, his ‘offense.’ Yeah, he finished with three points in 22 minutes.
- Iman Shumpert looked putrid in the first half and didn’t do much to recover in the second half either. He was 1-7 today and thanks to that performance, he is now ranked 349th in FG%. Woof.
- Randolph was killing the Knicks all day. Driving to the basket, hitting jumpers, drawing fouls, etc.
- The Knicks were 15-23 from the free throw line. That is unacceptable.
- Coach Woodson insists on sticking with his “big” lineup which did nothing to stop the Grizzlies from out-rebounding the Knicks 56-29. That’s also unacceptable.
- Clyde Frazier said it best when describing the Knicks’ play at home this year. He said, “The home court was their Xanadu last year. This year, it’s their Waterloo.” Okay, first of all Xanadu is one of my favorite movies of all time – it has Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly and lots of roller skating and second of all, how does he do that? He rhymes so effortlessly. He should really think about teaching a class at the Learning Annex.
- John Leguizamo was interviewed during halftime and said that Ice Age 5 was just announced as a go and will be out in 2016. 2016?! It’s not even 2014 yet!
- They had a snow globe made with Clyde’s head in it. He was wearing a Santa hat for Christmas and I know it was supposed to be a cool tribute to Mr. Frazier but it was hella creepy and I think Clyde agreed with me. He actually looked like he didn’t even want to touch the damn thing.
- Next up for the Knicks, a meeting with the Orlando Magic. As far as I know, I’m not doing the recap so you’re all safe. For now…