Game Notes: Warriors at Knicks
Not so smooth on the crystal ballin’.
by Matt Lawyue
Tonight’s game features the (2-5) Golden State Warriors vs. the (1-8) New York Knicks. How perfectly disastrous is this match-up on Friday the 13th? Let’s breakdown both teams starts to the season:
Knicks: They’ve lost five straight and are one loss away from starting out 1-9, which would be the worst ten game start in franchise history. They’re averaging a league leading 29 three’s per game, but only hitting 8.4 of them (a dismal 29.1 percent clip). Chris Duhon has broken down faster than it takes Anderson Varejao’s dignity to be stripped from him. Jordan Hill, the teams ’09 draft pick (taken ahead of Brandon Jennings), has been non-existent. The team’s annoyed by the 2010 talk and Coach D’Antoni will soon have to borrow Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s Rogaine. For his mustache.
Warriors: They’re coming off a horrendous loss to the Pacers Wednesday night, and suffered an even more embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Kings on Sunday. Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis have tag-teamed this and are at odds with Coach Nelson. Stephen Curry has sputtered out of the gate and has already lost his starting job seven games into the season. It’s surprising he even lasted seven games, considering Nelson might start a pigeon from Washington Square Park if he could.
Three things that will certainly happen tonight:
1. Both teams will combine for more than 230 points (not including any overtime).
2. I will be attacked by a shape-shifting Eddy Curry lite, who transforms into Eddy Curry regular (+60 lbs), when the moon shines brightest, or when the Jumbotron turns on. Either or.
3. Danilo Gallinari and Stephen Curry will engage in a “who has the sweetest jump-shot” competition, only to be outdone by an Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson competition, where they battle for the most ill advised shot of the night.
I am ready for anything tonight. If Stephen A. Smith get’s his job back on the eve of Friday the 13th, what madness will be in store tonight?
– Coach D’Antoni says Toney Douglas has been sick the past couple of days and won’t be starting tonight (started the previous game). He doesn’t know if it’s the flu or not. Nate is back after spraining his right ankle a while back.
– When asked why Stephen Curry wasn’t in the starting lineup anymore, Don Nelson says, “I took him out of the starting lineup because he doesn’t have enough tattoos…in fact he doesn’t have any tattoos. How can the guy start in the NBA with no tattoos?” He did go on to say, “He just needs experience more than anything. We think he’s going to be terrific. He’s got all the ingredients to be a really special player. We’ll bring him along slowly.” Wait, didn’t Curry start the first six games of the season?
–Knicks: Chris Duhon, Larry Hughes, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, David Lee
– Warriors: Monta Ellis, Anthony Marrow, Stephen Jackson, Kelenna Azubuike, Mikki Moore (As Russ points out, any team starting Mikki Moore at your 5 is in trouble)
– I can’t stand this video introduction. It’s a digital train wreck, with cheesy music.
– First Knicks possession ends with a Duhon lob to Lee for the layup. And we’re off.
– It looks like Gallo got a haircut. He looks 10 years old. Hits his first three however. Long live the haircut.
– Somebody brought a cowbell to the arena. [Insert mean joke about Eddy Curry's *former weight].
– Absolutely no Knicks defense as Azubuike soars to the rim. Swiss Cheese D! It’s Monta Ellis’ turn.
– Gallo with a quick 7 points. Al Harrington enters the game. His battle with Jackson begins now.
– It’s 18-20 Warriors with 4:38 left in the first. Prediction here we come.
– Toney Douglas and Nate Robinson enter the game together. Big ovation. Let’s see how the ultra small ball plays out. Once again, Ellis gets to the hoop with nobody stopping him. A theme for the night?
– Jackson drills a shot in Harrington’s face, almost to say, “It’s on.”
– Toney Douglas hits his first two shots and the guy behind me feels good about himself for the rest of the night because he called it. You go.
– It’s 32-26 Warriors at the end of 1. Knicks shoot 10-23 and turn the ball over 5 times. The Warriors are 14-22 from the field. Stephen Curry doesn’t touch the floor.
– My friend is at the game and she texts me, “There’s a reason they dim the lights when the dancers come on. Ew. Haha i see you.” No part of that text message is flattering of my friend.
– Douglas is 3-3 to start. He dishes to the always unreliable Jeffries for the easy deuce. The Knicks are on the break and Douglas again puts the ball where it needs to be for Chandler, who gets hacked. Douglas is looking good so far.
– We get the 1st quarter report and it says Andris Biedrins is out with “Osteitis Pubis.” Clearly a very serious ailment of the pubis variety. (I look it up and it’s a: result from inflammation of the pubis symphysis and is characterized by sclerosis and bony changes of the pubis symphysis. Right.)
– They just showed Jordan Hill in a snuggie. I don’t know who I feel worse for. Hill or the snuggie?
– Jackson has 14 points. C’mon Harrington, you’re 10 behind.
– Knicks have a 4 on 5 and still manage to turn the ball over. Douglas then channels his inner Knoblauch, who sails one into the third row. It’s 46-38 Warriors with 6:34 left in the second.
– Maggette is jealous and wants to get in on the competition tonight. He’s been banging Harrington down low for the last couple of possessions. This time he spins and wins with a quick move for the layup.
– Azubuike gets the “and one” on Harrington and the lead has ballooned to 12. Still no Curry. I wonder if he’s at a tattoo shop getting inked up as quickly as possible.
– Azubuike is getting his money’s worth down low where the JV team is patrolling the paint.
– Nate puts up a horrid shot and Maggette does him one better on the other end, an air ball from the top of the key. Everything you don’t love about basketball was found in that sequence.
– It’s now 60-46 Warriors with 2:14 left in the second. Slipping, slipping…
– Now CJ Watson is even getting in on the action. CJ WATSON. This is becoming pathetic for the Knicks.
– Stephen Curry comes into the game with 1:05 left in the second and gets a nice ovation from the crowd. Either because Monta Ellis picked up his third foul or Curry has a butterfly tattoo on his ankle.
– It’s 66-52 Warriors at the end of the half. Dismal play by the Knicks and pretty much what you expect from the opposing team playing the Knicks. Even if they are the Warriors.
– D’Antoni is clearly unsettled with his rotation or finally falling out of love with Duhon and Jeffries who log about 13 minutes and 3 minutes a piece.
– Nelson praised Anthony Randolph pregame, only to get the kid on the floor for about four minutes. Oh Nellie.
– Jordan Hill starts the 3rd quarter for Wilson Chandler and drains his first bucket. The youth movement has begun. It’s also not a good sign for Chandler, who’s been touted as one of the “attractions” of playing for the Knicks in 2010.
– Jackson introduces Hill into the League by drilling a J in his face. Jordan is unfazed and comes back down and nails a jumper of his own. Jackson comes right back at Hill and draws the foul on him. Game, set, match.
– Duhon bricks yet another three, but Hill is right there to clean up the mess. He’s looking manageable so far. Duhon is still ice cold. He just air-balled a running floater, but the Warriors can’t put anything together on their end. Gallo hits a three and suddenly it’s a 9 point game with 5:40 left in the third.
– Toney Douglas comes in for the struggling Duhon and the Knicks finally have their rookies on the floor together during meaningful minutes.
– For Monta’s size, he’s getting to the lane with ease against the Knicks frontcourt. Will somebody lay a body on him please?
– CJ WATSON for three!
– Chandler returns for Hill with 3:05 left in the 3rd. Now there’s a Darko Milicic sighting (two DNP’s the past two games). D’Antoni clearly has to do something with this lineup and he’s throwing out guys who weren’t in his rotation thus far. Very odd game right now. It’s 82-74 Warriors with 2 minutes to go in the third.
– Nate is rusty. He’s jumping as if he’s going to shoot it, only to throw it away mid-air. He’s done this a couple of times tonight.
– It’s 86-80 to end the third. The Garden is in it as the Knicks finish strong. Still, once again they’re going into the 4th quarter having to comeback to win it. We all know this story — Knicks go on a run to make it close and then fall short. Role credits.
– Anthony Morrow silences the crowd with a three to start the 4th. Of course. Then C.J. Watson hits his own three. So does Jackson. The Warriors are 4-4 to start the quarter, with three three’s to their credit. Knicks timeout. It’s now a 13-point lead for the Warriors. So much for the Knicks starting strong.
– The loudest ovation of the night goes to: Fat Joe. It’s that kind of night.
– Monta Ellis, once again, to the rack and finishes strong. Kid is lethal going to the hoop. Douglas then does his Monta impersonation and finishes at the rim to cut the lead to 11. Monta comes right back, again to the dish, for the “and one.”
– This really is embarrassing for the Knicks right now. Ellis gets to the hoop at will and nobody on the Knicks puts a body on him. Azubuike gets to the lane and the boo’s rain down. It’s now a 16-point lead with 6:14 left in the quarter.
– Now Marcus Landry is in the game. D’Antoni threw darts at his roster this morning and decided minutes based on that. Or the fact it’s a 16-point game with 5 minutes left.
– The Knicks lineup right now is: Douglas, Landry, Duhon, Lee and Hill. It is Friday the 13th after all. D’Antoni’s emptied his bench, but Nelson sticks with this guns. Curry still sits on the bench.
– It’s 113-97 Warriors with 3:14 left. Most of Nelson’s starters are still in.
– Marcus Landry has a breakaway and lays it off the glass instead of dunking it. The fans erupt in boo’s. What else did you expect them to do?
– This whole scene right now is upsetting. The Knicks are down by double digits and all the fans care about are free t-shirts, getting their mug on the Jumbotron and dancing around. Where have all the die-hards gone? Where is the passion? Why aren’t people booing right through this entire timeout? It’s making my stomach upset.
– Stephen Curry comes in with 1:30 left in the game. For a guy who started and played heavy minutes for the first six games, to coming in during garbage time with a minute to go, well it is Nellie’s team right?
– Final Score: 121-107, Warriors over the Knicks. None of my predictions came true. Eddy Curry didn’t attack me. Combined points were under 230. Jackson and Harrington didn’t duel. Curry played a total of 2:35, while Watson played 27:13 (he hadn’t topped the 13 minute mark in any previous game). The Knicks turned the ball over 21 times for 31 Warriors points. On the season, Duhon is now 18-79 from the field and 9-42 from downtown. Yikes. On the bright side, Gallo notched his first double-double with 19 and 10.
– Asked what kind of warning Curry had about his minutes diminishing, he says, “None really. You don’t really know what to expect coming into each game. It’s just how it went.” That’s encouraging.
– Coach Nelson explained his minutes distribution because of balanced scoring (four guys with +20 points) and decided to keep the unit he had out there because it was working. He didn’t feel like he needed to make a change, case in point: Curry stuck to the bench.