In poker there are whales, filthy-rich players who lose loads of money to anyone lucky enough to play with them. This is what the Knicks have been over the years and what they are right now. They’re whales in the front office, where Masai Ujiri’s trying to fleece draft picks for Kyle Lowry since it worked out so well with Andrea Bargnani. They’re whales on the court too where overpaid, inefficient veterans like J.R. Smith log heavy minutes over young upstarts like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert.
And New York lived up to it last night, playing awful basketball but leaving Milwaukee with a victory over a squad that doesn’t even want to win in the first place. It shouldn’t have been worth slogging over in a blog post, especially when so many other news sites and fellow bloggers would have covered it anyway. There are simply better things to write about, and I touched on New York yesterday anyway while looking at the best and worst teams in crunch time.
But I couldn’t help myself, especially not after SportsCenter called the Knicks’ most ghastly of ghastly performances this year a “nail-biter” and J.R. Smith reminded us why he’s one of the more amusing players on Twitter.
So here I am, going out of my way to try and figure out what really happened last night:
- Two teams came into last night’s game with a combined record of 12-36. That’s 75 percent of their games resulting in a loss. One team doesn’t even want to win while the other seems to do everything possible to lose. Naturally, the game came down to the wire, but that’s what makes “nail-biters”.
- Carmelo Anthony produced a stat line mimicking ESPN’s documentary series 30 for 30, finishing with 29 points on 29 shots in 55 minutes. I’m all out of breath after writing about Josh Smith having a similar night on Monday, but I have to at least acknowledge the most recent 30-30 attempt and, in the process, Melo dropping his ranking in true shooting percentage into the mid-100s.
- The Knicks took 41 threes with J.R. Smith being responsible for over a third of them, 17 to be exact. Overall, he shot seven-for-23.
But trust me give me that chance again I'll shoot it again!—
JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 19, 2013
Smith’s taken 234 shots for the season, scoring only 219 points yet Mike Woodson allowed him to play 48 minutes but Tim Hardaway Jr. only 22. Of the two wings, who would be better-paired with Iman Shumpert and Melo?
- Mike Woodson played Tyson Chandler 37 minutes in his first game back from a broken leg. Too bad they didn’t have an extra center. Instead, they used a roster slot on Chris Smith in order to please not LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but J.R. Smith.
- Andrea Bargnani had no presence of mind whatsoever:
Zero hesitation from the Bargsmonster, yet Woody started him in the following overtime.
- Brandon Knight became the latest guard to have a field day against New York. He finished with 36 points, which brings up a question: who you would rather have between him and his rookie-scaled contract or Brandon Jennings for $8 million a pop?
- Giannis Antetokounmpo made his first career start. So at least the Bucks got that going for them. Which is nice.
- Did I mention these two teams were a combined 12-36 and played 10 minutes of “free basketball?”
knicks/bucks overtime is like wale releasing a double album—
Ben Detrick (@bdetrick) December 19, 2013
No, the Knicks and the Bucks didn’t produce a nail-biter.
There’s only one video to describe last night:
The Knicks will never learn if they keep winning games like this. It’s like they’re at the poker table chasing every draw, only to make them whenever they’re about to go broke. Eventually things will turn for the worst, but it’s for the better if the Knicks are really serious about winning. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t seem like they are.
The Knicks need to go broke in the standings, leaving them with no choice but to stop sacrificing draft picks and/or young players for the chance at a pipe dream. It’s not only better for the Knicks to stop being managed so recklessly, but better for the league as well. The NBA’s just more fun when they’re good, not when they pay over $100 million to assemble one of the most dysfunctional rosters of recent memory.
This post has been edited to fix a few links.