When it looked like the Knicks (20-33) could actually win last night’s game against the Grizzlies (30-23), you have to admit there was still a part of you that had that uneasy feeling of doom that you tried to talk yourself out of having. It was kind of like watching the game with an angel one shoulder and a devil on the other. And while the angel was saying things like, “The Knicks can pull this off. They’re going to win and what a great win this would be!” the devil was laughing maniacally and taunting you saying, “Oh come on, you don’t actually believe they can do this, right? You know they’re going to start missing shots and making stupid mistakes in the last minute.” But you soldiered on because you wanted to believe the Knicks could complete an 18-point comeback and win a game on the road.
Too bad the devil was right.
The game wasn’t a total loss because it was fun to watch the team make a comeback. They were firing on all cylinders and playing like a playoff team: making shots, playing defense and even scoring on fast breaks.
And then, they remembered they were the 2013-2014 Knicks and let the game slip away in the waning moments because their basketball IQ is a collective -13000.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
- The Knicks didn’t lose by double digits.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 23 on 7-15 shooting and was 4-9 from three. He hit some big shots in the fourth (scoring 14 of his 23 in the final 12 minutes) to help the Knicks take the lead they’d eventually relinquish but while the run was happening, THJ was giving us something to be excited about.
- Carmelo Anthony recovered from his sluggish first half – he must have had an All-Star game hangover. Melo finished with 22 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and two steals.
WHAT WENT WRONG
- Poor Raymond Felton. He didn’t have a good game (six points on 2-7 shooting) and he’s going through some personal stuff that is clearly affecting his play on the court so even though he’s part of the what went wrong section, I won’t pile on.
- Iman Shumpert has forgotten how to shoot the ball and now it’s not just from the perimeter. He’s even having trouble under the rim. What the heck happened to him? It’s not like we were expecting him to be the next Michael Jordan but we expected a little more than six points on 3-9 shooting, including 0-5 from three.
- The Knicks allowed Mike Miller to score at will from three. He shot seven and made five.
- Tim Hardaway Jr.’s defense is abysmal. While he scored 23 points, his +/- was a -13 because he can’t guard anyone.
- To steal a line from a Twitter friend, “The Grizzlies were working the paint like Picasso.” This is a common theme for Knicks games this year. The opposition is allowed to score in the paint with almost no obstacles in their way (the Grizzlies scored 42 of their 98 in the paint) because either someone loses their man (Ahem Amar’e) or they forget how to rebound (Ahem nearly everyone else).
- Mike Conley had missed the last seven games before the All-Star break with a bum ankle so naturally he returned to score a team-high 22 points for the Grizzlies. He was 10-12 from the free throw line and 6-15 from the field.
- Poor Clyde Frazier sounded completely despondent during the final minute of the game. He was the voice of the fans who were also despondent because they foolishly thought the Knicks could win.
- From NBA.com: The Knicks lost for just the 10th time this season when holding their opponent under 100 points. They are now 16-10 in such games.
- This is how the Knicks made me feel last night:
- Next up, a quick turnaround as the Knicks find themselves in New Orleans to take on the Pelicans at 8 p.m. on MSG. Also, it will be our first chance to get a look at Pierre the Pelican’s new face. *shudders*