Check that. The Three Masked Cavaliers (move over, Musketeers) attempted to storm into MSG with their 5-19 brigade. Commander, Kyrie Irving aka Batman/Zorro/Uncle Drew, struck gold, playing with a vindictive attitude under the mask, erupting for 41 points. Commander Irving reminisced game 2 Rajon Rondo from last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, refusing to give up in the final seconds, hitting a couple of huge threes in crunch time. The Wine and Goldknights’ raid nearly succeeded, but Lieutenant General, Anderson Varejao, missed a crucial second free throw with a second left. The Knickerbockers without their 5 star commander, Carmelo Anthony, retained their home turf. Sorry guys, I got too excited with war metaphors, but they do correspond with tonight’s down-to-the-wire Knick win at home. Sloppiness on defense summed up the Knicks’ first quarter, mostly the interior defense, being the main cause for the Cavs’ early 28-27 lead at the end of the first. Steve Novak, J.R Smith and Jason Kidd combined for five threes in the second, propelling the Knicks into a 48-45 first half lead at halftime. 15 points of the Knicks’ 21 second quarter points came from beyond the arc. The Knicks went on to beat the Cavs in the third quarter 30-28 and ended up losing the fourth quarter 29-25 because of that man named Kyrie Irving, who had 16 points in the fourth. Notes and stuff:
- With Carmelo Anthony sitting out (substantial sanctions, David Stern? I don’t think so),
Brittney GrinerChris Copeland made his debut, finishing with 11 points on a very efficient 4-5. Cope was off to a great start. He hit a corner three back in the beginning of the first quarter, leading me to believe that it was Melo in a hand made Chris Copeland suit. Turns out that wasn’t the case later on. Cope on the defensive end was mediocre. He was using his hands too much. Cope even said that he wasn’t a good defender, claiming that he’s a scorer, but at least he should of tried his best. Maybe he did try his best and he’s just that bad of a defender. Hmph. Overall, Cope’s debut was an outstanding one on the offensive end, but poopy on the defensive end. I’ll take it.
- The Knicks are like Kevin Garnett in that they love 20-22 foot jumpers. Who’s that bulldog/duck that loves to sensually kiss those long twos? That is the man himself, Raymond Felton. Per usual, he couldn’t get enough of those, according to him, sexy long twos. The long twos need to remind him that he’s married. He took 6 of those. Seriously, does Ray know that he needs to stop cheating on the three point line (and, ahem, J.R)? But Ray did go 3-4 from downtown, so it’s all good. Along with his 25 points, he had 7 assists, mostly from the Felton-Chandler pick and roll excellence continued, containing a couple of beautiful lobs. Ray continues to get a little overexcited with the lobs, but when they work, I fist pump like Judd Nelson every time.
- Ronnie Brewer made his lone jump shot in the wee minutes of the first quarter. Not much of him was seen, but he did come up with 3 rebounds and a couple of assists. The littlest of things can help.
- After missing his only shot of the game in the early minutes of the first quarter, Tyson Chandler went on to make his next 9 shots, continuing to scare the living bejesus out of everyone because of his through-the-roof efficiency. Tyson ended with a double-double (23-10). He dominated both the offensive glass and defensive glass, grabbing 5 rebounds each. My Tyson Chandler tip-out counter: OVERLOAD. Somebody has to trademark Tyson’s tip-out because it’s so absurd how many times he tipped out rebounds. You know what? I’m gonna trademark it right now. When in doubt, if you’re ever playing Scattergories and the category is “Famous sports phrases”, The Tyson Tipout™ will get you not double points, but triple points. To tack along with Tyson’s double-double, he went 5-7 from the charity stripe. WATCH OUT, RESTRICTED AREAS, THE UNFALTERING TRUE SHOOTING PERCENTAGE/EFFECTIVE FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE BEHEMOTH IS COMING FOR YOU. Oh, and somehow, Tyson ended up with a -8. This is where +/- can backfire.
- Jason Kidd was visually impaired on offense. J-Kidd was trying to channel his inner Donyell Marshall by jacking up a ton of threes, but he didn’t succeed in doing so because he didn’t even make a quarter of them, shooting 3-13 from three. Yes, all of his shot attempts were from the perimeter except one. Chucking up threes wasn’t the solution, so J-Kidd decided with his cranium full of basketball IQ that he was going to dish and provide some assistance in the rebounding department. He rightfully did so, dishing 8 assists and snagging 6 rebounds and even had a couple of rejections. Of all the Knick starters, J-Kidd was the only one that went positive (+5). I applaud of your veteran leadership and ass-hauling for 37 minutes, J-Kidd. Now get some damn rest.
- Another episode of Bad J.R happened. Captain J.R got me high tonight for bad reasons, and it barely got me through tonight (Billy J.R.). Erratic as J.R is, well, he was hyper-erratic in another typical Bad J.R shooting night. *Echoes of Ray Felton 20-22 foot jumpers in his head occur.* J.R’s drink of choice tonight was shots of Ciroc *J.R fantasizes about him being P. Diddy in the Ciroc commercial.* Not to mention, he got away with a no-call strip on C.J Miles in crunch time, which is the equivalent of barely passing a sobriety test. Amazingly, Earl ended with a -1.
- Stevie Novak capped off a barrage of threes in the second quarter. He also produced under the boards, grabbing 5 rebounds. Novakaine’s quick release was only really on in the second. His release was off for the rest of the game, but on the bright side, there was a Novak block sighting. Unfortunately, Novakaine’s perfect 1.000 FT% was ended tonight, after missing a free throw in the 4th quarter. Sad face. Novak tried being Ricky Rubio, but that pass resulted in ref Monty McCutchen David Lee Roth jumping over the ball, hitting courtside patrons, causing them to spill beer on other fans in the vicinity.
- Kurt Thomas’s alter ego “The Bruiser” was showcased. 4 of his 5 rebounds were hustle offensive rebounds. Kurt also had a couple of sweet assists and a block with a +4 in 14 minutes. That’s what we exactly have Kurt for.
- Pablo Prigioni inbounds steals make me go wild. They really do. Other than that, there wasn’t a lot of action from Prigs. He did contribute to the boards getting 3 rebounds. I predict two inbounds steals next time around.
Kyrie Irving must of borrowed Kobe’s mask from last season, making a few little modifications to it. Anderson Varejao was held in check by Tyson, holding him to only 8 rebounds. Surprisingly, Donald Sloan didn’t flop. Maybe he learned the first time he flopped. C.J Miles was quite the scorer. Tristan Thompson did his best Tyson Chandler impression going a perfect 5-5 from the field. And Tyler Zeller’ s hook shot isn’t actually a hook shot, it’s basically my hook shot from 5th grade blacktop basketball.
The Knicks are now a perfect 10-0 at home. Jeremy Lin’s return to MSG is tomorrow, which is gonna be so blood-tingling. I think there will be mixed reaction when he makes his entrance. Fans should be cheering for him because after all, he was branded in NYC where he jump started, but I doubt everyone is gonna cheer for him. There will be some boos, though. Quite frankly, I got over the Jeremy Lin offseason stuff really fast. It would of been awesome to have him back, but he didn’t come back, and look at where the Knicks are now. Raymond Felton has proved so many people wrong this season, which has made me done several cartwheels. I had so much faith in Raymond Felton prior to the season starting. I knew that he was eating too many cupcakes, and he knew he was very out of shape. At some point, he may have been contemplating about eating himself to death. He hated Nate McMillan’s system back in Portland (sorry, Blazer fans), leading to his worst season historically and playing in Denver as a bench option was never the same feeling he had in his first stint as a Knick. Ray loves New York. He wanted to be back in New York. And here he back in New York at the helm for the 18-5 Knicks.