SHANNON BROWN FOR MVP.
Look. Last night’s game wasn’t pretty. It was sloppy. It was ugly. But, it ended up with a New York Knicks (31-43) victory over the Golden State Warriors. How? I don’t even know.
They came into ORACLE Arena dropping three of their previous four, all in humiliating fashion, and ended the first quarter facing a 33-22 deficit. Things didn’t look so bright for the Knicks. And so we thought. They somehow had a miraculous second quarter, which was topped off by a 15-0 run at the end of the period to outscore the Warriors, 34-12. That second quarter propelled them to the victory, despite not scoring more than 18 points in each of the third or fourth quarters.
Last night’s win has brought them within one game of the pathetic eighth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, simply because the Atlanta Hawks look like a Division III basketball team, losing their last six games. Their downward spiral of a season is the only reason why the Knicks even have a shot of playing meaningful basketball in April.
Let’s face it: Both the Knicks and the Hawks are not playing good basketball right now. But, somehow, there’s a chance that one of them heads into the playoffs. That is, unless, they both decide to stink up the joint and the Cleveland Cavaliers steal the final spot out of nowhere.
So where does that leave the Knicks? They have an easy matchup tonight against the Utah Jazz, but then return back to the east coast to face the dreaded gauntlet. The gauntlet includes the fifth seeded Brooklyn Nets, twice; the sixth seeded Washington Wizard, once; the second seeded Miami Heat, once; the third seeded Toronto Raptors, twice; and the fourth seeded Chicago Bulls, once.
Meanwhile, the Hawks face the Sixers, the Bulls, the Cavaliers, the Pacers, the Pistons, the Celtics, the Nets, the Heat, the Bobcats, and finally the Bucks.
Yep. Basically, if the Knicks want to make the playoffs, they’re going to have to win a lot during the next two weeks. A LOT.
God save the Knicks.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
- In an overall ugly game, the second quarter was the best thing that happened to the New York Knicks since sliced bread. They went on a 15-0 run in the final 2:08 of the quarter to give the Knicks a surprising 56-44 lead heading into halftime. The run was sparked by the play of Tim Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith, who were the only two Knicks to score during the 2:08 of play.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. had his best game in about a week, finishing with 15 points on 50 percent shooting, to go along with two rebounds, one assist, and one steal. Timmy hit a critical three-pointer in the fourth quarter to keep the Warriors from mounting their expected comeback.
- J.R. Smith also had himself a good night, ending with a team-high 21 points, to add on top of his five rebounds, two assists, and three three-pointers.
- Amar’e Stoudemire had double-double by way of 15 points and 13 rebounds.
- Meanwhile, the ever-so-quiet Tyson Chandler played decently thanks to his six points and seven rebounds. He added one block and did his usual thing slamming down a dunk in the third quarter.
- And finally, Shannon Brown made his coach look like a genius. The Knicks were up by three points, with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, when Brown was inserted into the game for defense. The ball was inbounded sloppily to Stephen Curry, who threw the ball away after some great ball denial by Brown, who then chased the ball down, stole it, and was fouled during the fast break. That foul ended up being called a clear path foul, which gave Brown two free throws and the ball back. He sunk both of them and because of that, the Knicks became champions for the evening. Shannon Brown for MVP.
- Either the Knicks defense made an appearance, or they just lucked out with the Warriors shooting ice cold for the night. Regardless, the Knicks help the W’s to 35 percent shooting, from the field, 32 percent from beyond the three-point line, and only allowed three Warriors to score in double figure. That being said….
WHAT WENT WRONG:
- ….the Knicks did allow Stephen Curry to torch them, yet again. Curry went to town on the Knicks, ended in the night with a game-high 32 points, to go along with six three-pointers.
- Paging Mr. Anthony? Mr. Carmelo Anthony, please report to the court. The swingman from Syracuse had an off-night, to say the least. ‘Melo finished the evening chucking up bad shot, after bad shot, after bad shot. He ended up with 19 points, nine rebounds, and three rebounds. However, he was 7-of-21 from the field, including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. He had a fourth quarter to forget as his first field goal for the quarter came with 1:20 left. But, he was able to drain two clutch free throws, to expand the Knicks lead to three.
- Speaking of the fourth quarter, the Knicks’ first two offensive possessions ended with a STAT turnover. STAT had three of his four turnovers in the final frame of play.
- The Knicks allowed Jordan Crawford to score four points. C’mon, guys.
- The Knicks beat the Golden State Warriors on MC Hammer’s birthday, who was in attendance. Hey, Hammer! Can’t touch these Knicks, right? I’ll show myself out.
- As stated earlier, the Knicks will face off against the Utah Jazz tonight. Tip-off is at 9:00 p.m. If the Knicks beat the Jazz and the Hawks lose tonight, they’ll be tied for the eighth seed in the east. Yippee!