Last night, in Houston, it actually looked like the Knicks could win their second game in a row.
The Knicks (10-22) played relatively well all night and even when they fell behind the Rockets (22-13), the game didn’t get away from them – neither team held a double digit lead the entire night. There were 18 lead changes, 14 ties and the game ended up being one of those last second nail-biters that could have gone either way. Unfortunately for Knicks’ fans, it went the Rockets’ way. And a big reason for the Rockets’ good fortune was none other than our very own J.R. Smith.
It seems J.R. wasn’t paying attention to the score in the waning seconds of the game and pulled a “Bargnani.” If you recall, last month against Milwaukee, Andrea Bargnani inexplicably took a shot when he should have held onto the ball because the Knicks had the lead. But no, Bargnani missed the ill-advised shot, the Bucks got the rebound and because of that miscue, the Knicks needed overtime to win the game. Well, it was like deja vu all over again in Houston last night. This time, it was Smith’s turn to be the bonehead and in honor of that, I have written a poem.
How much time is left?
What is the score?
The brainless, hapless player catches the ball
His teammates cry out!
No! Don’t shoot the ball!
But it’s too late.
It’s already so.
He quickly heaves the ball from afar and misses, badly.
Confusion and anger abound but the deed is done.
They all have been Bargnani’d again…
Okay, fine, that was pretty terrible, but so was Smith’s shot.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- Iman Shumpert had another great game. He led the team with 26 points and was automatic from behind the three-point arc, finishing 6-6. In fact, what the hell was Woodson doing in the fourth quarter? Shumpert should have had more minutes in the waning moments of the game. If he had, the Knicks may have been able to pull this one out.
- Carmelo Anthony ended up with 25 points and even though he looked like he was grimacing from the second quarter on every time he got his hands on the ball, he was still able to shoot well. Okay, 10-23 from the field isn’t that great and Melo took some terrible shots, got called for stupid fouls and he helped orchestrate a 24-second violation for the ages. Oh, my bad, this is the “what went right” section.
- With a game like last night’s, I should be able to think of at least three things that went right but I’ll be damned if I can think of a third item. I guess it’s a positive that even though Melo was limping and tyson Chandler almost had his right eye scratched out in the third quarter that they both seem to be fine and should be ready for the game in Dallas.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- I feel like every time I do a recap, I put Andrea Bargnani in this section. Last night he was just 3-10 and that included an unremarkable 0-3 from 3-point range. At one point, he missed an awful three-point attempt (I believe it hit off the side of the rim), the Rockets grabbed the rebound and on the other end, he ended up fouling Chandler Parsons (17 points, 11 rebounds) who nailed his shot and converted a three-point play. So that pretty much summed up Bargs’ night.
- Like I mentioned above, J.R. Smith didn’t know that the game was tied with 19.9 seconds left, or at least that’s what he told reporters after the game, and after a Beno Udrih miss and a Tyson Chandler offensive board, the ball was kicked out to Smith who instead of dribbling it or passing it around because there were only 19 seconds left in the game and a fresh :24 clock, he shot the &*#$ing ball from 26-feet away, ended up missing terribly which resulted in an Aaron Brooks defensive rebound and an awful foul called on Udrih. That play ended up sealing the deal for the Rockets. Yes, the Knicks had one more chance to tie or win the game – actually they had a couple in the closing seconds – but they missed both shots. Shumpert missed an 18-footer with 10.9 seconds left and Udrih missed a shot with 0.03 left.
- Why did Mike Woodson insist on starting the fourth quarter with a lineup of Bargnani-Stoudemire-Smith-Murry-Hardaway Jr.? The Knicks had an eight-point lead to open the quarter and then what happened? The Rockets opened the quarter with a 10-1 en route to outscoring the Knickerbockers 29-19 to end the game because of course they did. It’s as if Woodson is allergic to starting the fourth quarter with a strong lineup. Why pull away and make the game a laugher? Let’s put a fakakta lineup out there and make the fourth quarter annoying for Knicks’ fans to sit through. Thanks, Mike!
- James Harden was hitting ridiculously awful shots all damn night and obviously, that means he finished a team-high 37 points for the Rockets. He was just tossing balls up over guys like Shumpert and Chandler and sinking the shots. He even banked one particularly hellacious shot in the third quarter because he was out of his mind scoring 16 in that quarter alone. What a pain in the ass he is.
- The Rockets were on a two-game skid coming into tonight’s game and they found out what every other team in the league knows: If you’re riding a losing streak, the Knicks will cure your ills.
- Only Melo and Shump finished with a positive plus minus, Chandler finished even, Smith finished -11 and poor Tim Hardway Jr. finished -14 in 10:52 of playing time.
- Rockets coach Kevin McHale wisely removed Jeremy Lin from the game for the fourth quarter and kept Aaron Brooks on Toure’ Murry. Murry couldn’t get anything going against Brooks and Woodson subbed for him with 8:44 left in the game.
- How come no one on this Knicks’ team knows how to read a game clock, shot clock or scoreboard? These idiotic plays are happening way too often. They cannot possibly be this stupid. Woodson needs to pull his head out from his posterior and coach this damn team. Their clock management skills are worse than a bunch of three-year-olds who don’t know how to tell time or count.
- In a funny moment during the third quarter, Kevin McHale was pretty animated about a non-call to which Clyde Frazier said, “Them Boston guys are always cryin!” And speaking of Clyde, his suit jacket was spectacular. It was green plaid with some gold and red accents, slightly Christmasy and probably a little out of place because it’s January. Now, I’m assuming it was just the jacket because if his pants matched, he’d have been full on 1970′s pimp.
- Tonight’s featured artist was One Republic, because like the last Friday night loss, er, game I recapped, MSG shined a spotlight on an artist and their music. Ugh, just seeing the name One Republic made me have flashbacks to 2007 when that damn Apologize song that was all over radio. I wanted to kill it with fire then and I still do.
- The Knicks have one more game left in the Texas triangle of doom road trip: Dallas. That game can be seen Sunday night at 7:30 PM on MSG. Yeah, good luck to whomever is recapping that one.