Game Notes: Jazz at Knicks
by Jake Appleman
–The Ex-Knicks are everywhere: Charles Smith, what appears to be John Wallace, Allan Houston and Larry Johnson.
–Andrei Kirilenko emerges from the still-closed Jazz locker room looking like the mullet-rocking serial killer that he may be. I’m half convinced there’s actual ice in the man’s eyes. In the corner, Kyrylo Fesenko helps his back spasms by reading a book. An actual book.
–Someone asks Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin about players crying. Yeah… One must wonder if the same reporter would try the same approach with the now-retired Jerry Sloan.
–Over on the home side the best player available is Toney Douglas…which leads to the ordinary sight of a New York media horde standing there and talking to itself. Hotel bookings, ex-Knick stories, whiteboard analysis…NOTHING IS OUT OF BOUNDS.
–Head back to the Jazz and Fesenko’s still reading…BUT IN WHAT LANGUAGE, MAN? I’m sorry loud CAPS LOCK version of myself, I just didn’t care that much.
–As Raja Bell shoots jumpers over Jeff Hornacek, a pocket of Jazz fans yells out, “work him hard Horny!” Sounds pretty BYU winning if you ask me…
–Dick “Knick” Bavetta warms up at midcourt and looks like he’s auditioning to be a backup dancer on the Cotton-Eyed Joe Tour.
–The Knicks are so small and injured; Jared Jeffries starts at the 5.
–In what would be the only time when it seemed like the Jazz could hang with the Knicks: Al Jefferson uses a pretty spin baseline to throw the hammer down on Amar’e Stoudemire. 2-2. Down the other end, STAT picks up an offensive foul. Kirilenko and Jefferson convert layups in the next two offensive possessions and the Jazz are up 6-5.
–Melo uses AK-47 like a traffic cone en route to an easy layup. Two straight Jazz turnovers after the Knicks go zone yield a Toney Douglas 3 and a midrange jumper from Melo. What was once 11-8 is now 18-8, and if the game ended here you get the sense nobody on the Jazz would’ve cared; they just don’t seem to get stops, and by that I mean the concept of “getting stops”…they just don’t get it. It’s this bad: midway through the first quarter the Jazz haven’t missed a field goal attempt and they’re down eight.
–The Jefferson/Amar’e Let’s Score on Each Other Freedom Festival continues. Whatever you can do, I can do better; whatever official you can yell at, I can yell louder. Something like that.
–Douglas converts a ridiculous throw-it-up-in-the-air-with-my-off-hand-while-I’m-falling-to-the-floor shot, multiple bounces on the rim. 28-14, Knicks. After an invisible Devin Harris re-appears to find Kirilenko on an alley-oop, back-to-back Anthony and Douglas threes put the Knicks up 36-18. Shelden Williams and his ugly duckling jumper will get the Knicks to 40 by quarter’s end.
–It’s Williams to Williams, as Shelden finds Shawne…bombs away, 43-24, Knicks. Who wouldn’t wanna be Landry Fields or Shawne Williams for a day: play in the NBA, fly under the radar, contribute…good gig.
–Having attended all but one of his home games in Newark, the Derrick Favors optimist in me is pleased (6 points, 4 boards, tough inside) so far. Why Earl Watson would try and find the rook on a lob down 17…that’s a whole nother story. Then Favors buries a midrange jumper (one of two on the night), which is something not usually seen in Jersey. Assist to Popeye Jones for putting work in with the kid.
–C.J. Miles, ball in his hands heading to the basket, has been awful tonight.
–STAT’s midrange game is buttery. The man just makes biscuits. Or maybe it’s field goals. Biscuits sounds so much cooler. Let’s stick with biscuits.
–From the bad idea vault: down 12, foul the three-point shooter. Earl Watson, your bad.
–The veritable homeslice Alex Raskin of Hoopsworld and the Wall Street Journal predicted this game would be a Knick blowout win. Kudos to him.
–Empty lunch pail: Paul Millsap records his first field goal 20 minutes into the game.
–Anthony Carter and Earl Watson collide in an aging mediocrity sandwich.
–Behind Amar’e and Toney Douglas, the Knicks open up a 23-point lead. Heading into the third, the Knicks were +21 in three-point differential, so it wasn’t surprising that Douglas would stick the dagger that took the game from “probably a blowout” to “certified blowout”.
–The Knicks open up a 28-point lead and Favors is called for an offensive foul. Things you don’t do down 28 if you have the ball: 1) Turn said ball over 2) Tell Dick Bavetta you’re “bi-winning” 3) Commit an offensive foul.
–Amar’e receives a standing ovation and an “M-V-P” chant. Loving every minute of it, he becomes the leading towel waver on the bench. Up 30 on the second night of a back-to-back, it’s like the Cleveland game never happened.
–Joe Frazier is shown on the Jumbotron for the 40th anniversary of his fight with Ali at the Garden.
–Anthony Carter look-ahead feed to Sheldon Williams. And-one. 100-70, Knicks. And this is where I stop writing.