Player of the D.A.Y.

By Sam Rubenstein

I’m more interested in soaking up the A.I. to Denver reaction than I am writing this right now, but consistency is consistency. There were some NBA games last night that didn’t involve the Knicks beating the Utah Jazz. None of those games matter for the purpose of this post. There are maybe 3 or 4 days a year when I can proudly say that I am a New York Knicks fan, and this was one of them.

As Stephon Marbury would say, I’m flexing a real hard juice card. The Knicks overcame suspensions and all the drama circling around them, as well as a fourth quarter collapse, to beat one of the best teams in the NBA. They blew it in OT, when Deron Williams hit what should have been the game-winning jumper over Jamal Crawford. The Knicks had a timeout in their pocket, so the Jazz relaxed. Stephon and David Lee made eye contact and went for it.

David Lee had already scored 17 points on 8 of 12 shooting, and grabbed 20 boards in 45 minutes. But the biggest play of the game was his inbounds heave after those numbers had been racked up. A perfect lead pass that sent Steph on his way to the basket for the winner. Marbury did the rest, going full speed to the rim and finishing the game winner. If you know your Knicks history, one of the most painful moments ever was Patrick Ewing’s blown fingeroll against the Pacers in Game 7 of the ’95 Eastern Conference semifinals. A lay-up is not a sure thing, and Steph executed. He also put up 29 and 8.

But it was the decision and pass from David Lee that started the sequence. 20 boards against Carlos Boozer, making the most out of increased minutes with an 8 man team, and an absolutley perfect pass in that situation. If Eli Manning were throwing that pass it would have hit Steph in the ankles. David Lee, you are player of the D.A.Y.