Friday, December 7, 2007

Clyde: "This is a revelation, folks, that you're seeing from Evans."

Gus Johnson: "That's usually what happens with this Knicks team. They will face an opponent and allow a player that normally doesn't do a whole lot to start the game extremely well."

So, Curry started. He and Randolph have seemingly given up a half dozen offensive rebounds to the Sixers in the first few minutes and the Knicks trail early. Andre Miller and Iguodola are feeding the ball into the post to Dalembert and Evans who are eating the Knicks frontcourt alive. These guys are not skilled offensive players but Sixers gameplan in the 1st is to ride them against such a bad defensive unit. It's working so far. Lee and Balkman can't get on the floor soon enough...

Pre-Gaming: Knicks vs. Sixers


Actually the games are Friday and Saturday. And one is at the Garden and the other is in Philly. But these two teams are engaging a battle for last place in the Atlantic Division and somehow it feels sort of like going out to Long Island to watch big, beat-up monster trucks slam into each while on fire. You know?

The Knicks are more talented while the Sixers have more hope. Their Isiah Thomas was just fired (Billy King) and replaced with the Ed Stefanksi of the NJ Nets. And, the just lost to the Celtics by ten points. So, if you do the math then they should still beat the Knicks by forty.

According to other people, Marbury will be playing tonight. Eddy Curry is a game-time decision with his practice-related injury. Here's what he had to say about that:

"It was a freak accident," Curry said. "I don't know how it happened. Just something freak. Everyone was cracking up. I just rolled it, fell to the floor."

This quote from Eddy seems to confirm my suspicion that he injured himself just messing around during the shootaround. If he had rolled his ankle during a scrimmage or during some other sort of useful and strenuous activity then I doubt that "everyone was cracking up" when they saw it.

Reading this quote really makes me hope that Curry doesn't play. His defensive inabilities are too glaring for him to be our starting center. I'd much rather see us play a bit smaller with Randolph at center and Lee at power forward. Zach might actually be able to pull Dalembert away from the hoop which would open up space for everyone else inside. If Curry plays than Dalembert can park himself in the paint and block shots at will from anyone who penetrates.

Other things to watch for:
-Andre Miller. He's been on a tear as of late and is the most trade-able asset in the league right now. Every night for him is an audition for everyone else.

-Nate Robison. He has been laminated onto the bench lately.

-The Tone. Tonight is the first of back-to-back, home-and-home games and it will be important to set the tone from the opening whistle. A slow start could potentially cost us two games.

The Better Half

(ESPN has Erin Andrews, FOX has Pam Oliver, ABC has Michelle Tafoya and What Would Oakley Do? has Becca. Please join me in welcoming our first-ever sideline reporter/guest columnist. "The Better Half" will appear in this space each and every week and will feature the best, brightest and prettiest sports-related musings in all of the land in an attempt to explain what our girlfriends and wives are thinking when we ask them if they want to order wings before the Giants game starts.)

The Better Half
Episode Three
I Was There

It wasn’t exactly dinner and a movie. But it was still a date with two parts: A movie and a basketball game, one right after the other. Something she wants to do (and he does too), then something that he wants to do (and she does too). I had been eagerly awaiting the Todd Haynes movie I’m Not There, about the multiple personas of Bob Dylan. I remember being driven to school in my dad’s car when I first heard "Ballad of a Thin Man," I think my freshman year of high school. Not only did I fall in love with Bob Dylan (I do remember that moment in the car very specifically), but I was forced to realize that everything my parents liked wasn’t lame. It was a big day.

Anyway, the Dylan movie was weird at times, but it was still great. Cate Blanchett (one of the six different people to play Bob) is one of the most amazing people on earth. If you don’t agree then I don’t really want to be your friend. She was Bob Dylan. I hate using the word uncanny, but it was uncanny. And I fell in love with Dylan all over again. It only takes one Dylan harmonica blast to give me that burst of ohmygodheissoamazing. One of my favorite parts was at the end, where Haynes shows a real clip from Dylan’s show at Royal Albert Hall in ’66. It’s that part where he plays the harmonica forever and ever during Mr. Tambourine Man. It’s beautiful and perfect, and a gorgeous ending for the movie.

Chris and I exchanged opinions (he likes the movie too) on the subway while scrambling south from Columbus Circle (where we saw the movie) in hopes of catching my favorite part of the pre-game, when the lights turn off and they announce the players one by one. It’s so exciting! My dismay that the game has begun (and the Knicks are losing) when we get there is assuaged by the fact that the concession stand by our seats is serving knishes along with the usual stuff. Which is a big deal. Sometimes they have them and sometimes they don’t. Frankly, it is a problem.

Armed with potato-y goodness we settle into cramped seats in the middle of the row. The Knicks are down by 9 points at the end of the first quarter, and I think I should have stayed at the movie theater to see Margot at the Wedding. The team continues to be down by 14, 10, 14, a hundred thousand million for like an hour. But then the Knicks start to catch up and then they take the lead. I am cheering. I am so nervous. Milwaukee (that's who the Knicks were playing) has a chance to tie but they miss two three-pointers. The Knicks win!! It is one of those movie moments, tingly feeling and sparkly. It is the sort of excitement that once felt like a distant excitement that other people felt and that I never got, but now it is mine and it is such a rush.

On the subway, I remove my magnetic Knicks schedule (they were handing them out when you got there) while digging through my purse, and two people ask me if the Knicks win. I say yes, and both ask again like they didn’t hear me right. And, THEN one of the guys says, “That was a quite a game last night.” I totally know he is talking about when they lost by seven jillion points to the Celtics so we talked about the game! Like friends or like strangers with something in common.

I’m a New Yorker talking about the Knicks while riding on the subway. It’s big moment. And a good night.

Around the Internets in Eight Minutes

-The true story behind BC getting screwed by the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

-Remember Slamball? Darius Miles does. And it confuses him.

-If you thought that I was wasting a lot of time for no particular purpose than you need to see this comprehensive list of every unnecessary nickname that Chris Berman has made us endure during his broadcasting career. My favorite Mets-related are probably Todd Good Housekeeping Zeile and John Generalissimo Francisco Franco.

-Thanks to Anna Rawson the LPGA is going to on TV a lot.

"Desperation is a Stinky Cologne"

Seemingly every web page I visit today has a banner advertisement for tomorrow night's Knicks/Sixers tilt at the Garden.

Nate is getting more face time with these ads on than he has gotten playing time in the past week. I hope he is getting some kickbacks on this. For his sake.

I'd make fun of this some more but I'm actually going to the game. To experience Knicks basketball.

Friday's Starting Five

1) Allen Iverson. Yeah, he is the Answer. He scored 35 points had 12 assists and 6 steals as the Nuggets beat down the Mavs.

2) Lute Olsen. The father of the hoopcats is extending his leave absence for the entire season. He is still remaining mum on the reasons. Some people respect this. Others get angry. If you like, you can watch them argue this on television.

3) Todd Collins. Perennial backup comes in for knee-capped Campbell and leads Skins over Bears. Collins hadn't scored a touchdown since nineteen ought twelve and hadn't tossed a pass in the NFL in three years. And, he was still good enough to beat Rex Grossman.

4) Greg Schiano. The Rutgers head coach is being interviewed for the Michigan job. It is both a good thing and a bad thing that Michigan wants to take Schiano out of Piscataway. It becomes a great thing if he turns them down like he did with Miami last year. Potentially losing their coach and Ray Rice at the same time could land Rutgers back where they came from. Real quick.

5) The SEC. Tebow (Florida), McFadden (Arkansas) and Dorsey (LSU) take home nearly every major College Football Award at last night's awards-giving-out fiesta.