What. A. Night. The title says it all. Please excuse me you will. Tonight, the best Friday Night Knicks game of all-time occurred, bar none. It’s not even a question. A bajillion years from now, you won’t be able to come up with a better Friday night game like this. To be honest, who the hell was thinking of Robert Randolph during the game? Probably lots of people during and after the first half of play, but no one gave two shits about Robert Randolph after the second half. People were probably throwing darts through an image of him. What happened tonight was absolutely mesmerizing. The Knicks went from a more than atrocious first half to the best second half of the season, containing the best third quarter of the season, which is not even a question. The Knicks only scored 36 points in the first half, shooting 34% from the field, 1-12 from the perimeter and coughed the ball up 8 times, while J.J Redick bombarded them with threes early on. It would of been miraculous if the Knicks made a shot with ease in the second quarter. The Knicks needed some kind of motivational booster or strategy adjustments going into the locker room. “Fuck Robert Randolph” tweets were all over the place, per usual. But after the awe-inspiring 1972-73 championship team ceremony (I’ll talk about that more later), the Knicks annihilated the Bucks in the second half six ways to Sunday, the seventh way being Carmelo Anthony, and, if you want to include an eighth (Beatles homage), J.R Smith. In the third quarter, the Knicks scored 42 points, 6 more points than they scored in the first half, went on a 25-2 run at one point, and the granddaddy of them all (no pun intended), Jason Kidd’s buck-naked-inducing (no pun intended there either) 59 foot buzzer-beater from beyond half court. Somehow, the Bucks did come within a six point deficit in the fourth quarter, but that was sealed by one of the few Carmelo Anthony heat checks that happened tonight. Here are some notes:
- Before I get into Melo’s 3rd consecutive 40 point performance, tonight, Bernard King finally got inducted into the hall of fame. It was blasphemous that he wasn’t in the hall of fame years before tonight. But now Bernard is in, so we don’t have to keep on talking about how he was a snub. Speaking of Saint Bernard, Carmelo Anthony reminisced his idol a la NBA Jam, 2K, or whatever, to the highest degree possible. He got off to an awesome start, scoring 10 points in the first and was looking like the Melo of recent. He was frigid cold in the second, as were the Knicks as a whole, but then, Melo bursted the thermometers inside MSG, in which Mount Vesuvius came out of it’s dormant phase, and went on a heat check of epic proportions, becoming an Anonymous hacker for relatively the whole second half. Melo rejuvenated himself. At one point, he had 17 points on 7-7 shooting, countering Brandon Jennings’ third quarter heat check. Ditto to the fourth quarter, where he went on his third heat check of the game and basically sealed the game. After starting out with 12 points on 11 shots, Melo finished with 41 points on 28 shots. Also, Melo snagged a season high 14 rebounds. The feats he had acquired? Melo is the first Knicks player to score 40+ points in 3 straight games since the man/his idol, Bernard King, in November 1984. Also, Melo’s 131 points over the last three games is the most points scored by anyone throughout a three game span this season. Yup, even more than Kevin Durant in a span like that. The scoring title is looming over Melo’s head, as KD is the only obstacle still in his way to becoming the scoring champion this season. So close.
- J.R Smith may plan a Project X party on the Knicks bus with him and Melo being the emcees. J.R and Melo scored a combined 71 points, 12 points less than the Bucks scored. His recent play, consisting of driving to the rim consistently, was seen, but not as much as the previous outings, as he took 11 threes and converted on 5 of them. It’s all fine and dandy, though. J.R made half of his shots and also ended with a double-double (30-10). My dream came true when I saw Monta Ellis guarding J.R because two of my favorite erratic players were against each other. You may be Dwyane Wade without the rings, Monta, but when it comes to nightlife, J.R is the undisputed champion of that, partying and, can’t forget this, Instagramming.
- It looks like Tyson Chandler swept off all the rust on his stiff neck. Looking up on the glass helped! Tyson pulled down 10 rebounds. The last couple of games, he was indeed rusting, but was his old self with his tip-outs and what not. He did miss a wide open pick and roll, but other than that, it was a typical night on the glass for Tyson.
- When Jason Kidd hit his 59 foot buzzer-beater, I tweeted the tweet that’s linked up top. Obviously, it wasn’t literal, but it came up just at the right time. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, J-Kidd’s adrenaline (not cortisone, thank goodness) shot kicked in and dished a sick assist through two defenders to a cutting Tyson. Besides J-Kidd’s buzzer-beater, his only other points came from a coast-to-coast layup, running past Brandon Jennings and Ekpe Udoh. They must have underestimated J-Kidd’s driving abilities and speed. Their morale degraded right after that moment. And for your viewing pleasure (courtesy of our friends over at The Knicks Wall), here is the moment that will be playing through my head on a continuous loop for the rest of the season and possibly the rest of the year (I’ll definitely revisit it if I forget about it).
- Oh, I can’t forget about the second gif that shows J-Kidd channeling his inner Pete Townshend (courtesy of The Knicks Wall as well).
- Pablo Prigioni’s highlight of the night: a beautiful fast break outlet pass to Melo for an easy dunk. Prigs logged 17 decent minutes and had 4 assists and assisted on a semi case of Grand Theft Prigs, in which Raymond Felton got the steal on an inbounds pass. Ray contributed to the colossal 25-2 run in the third quarter by hitting a couple of big shots, but turned the ball over 4 times. Wasn’t a good night for him. It’s all good because him and J-Kidd are probably celebrating their buzzer-beating highlights in style.
- Chris Copeland received a couple of nice feeds from Ray and hit 2-4 from three.
- Iman Shumpert is an Adidas nationalist, hence him requesting his barber to buzz the Adidas logo on the back of his head, which is a great thing. In recent times, Shump has been phenomenal in the early parts of the game. Tonight, he went scoreless, missing all 7 of his shots, but on the bright side, he had a very nice block.
- Somehow, Brandon Jennings missed a free throw, got his own rebound and converted an and-one right after the missed free throw. ONLY AGAINST THE KNICKS.
As mentioned up top, the 1972-73 team ceremony was epic. It really was. Some people were presumably thinking that Phil Jackson was going to get booed because of those guys named Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, but, as he did, the Knicks crowd gave him a huge ovation. When team trainer Danny Whelan’s name was announced, I was wondering if he could resurrect from the dead and become the only member of the Knicks training staff, but, of course, that won’t happen, as we will be stuck with the horror movie that actually is a horror movie of a training staff for awhile. When Earl Monroe came up to the podium, he reminded me that there is never going to be another Black Jesus. There is only one Black Jesus, and that is The Pearl. I knew Walt Frazier was going to get the biggest ovation. I think everyone expected it. But really, Clyde is the coolest. During the game, there were times where he would scream like he was at a concert because he really wanted this game to be won for the 72-73 team. And Clyde’s wish was granted. Also, R.I.P Dave DeBusschere. Lastly, I’m trying to find the Willis Reed jersey I have. It’s lurking around somewhere in my basement. Ahhhh, gotta start looking for it. Hey, at least I have Clyde’s jersey! Legends night was a huge success. OKC awaits us till Sunday.
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