Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Alive: Knicks vs. Heat

Thoughts On the 2nd Quarter

Score: 28-27

-Mardy Collins checks back in. Before Stephon even takes off his warmups. Yipes. Gus keeps talking about how D'Antoni is "sending a message."

-Gallinari shows a little something with a nice behind-the-back dribble when his defender overpursues his ball hand.

-According to Gus: "Mardy Collins has a habit of dribbling very high and losing the ball." Yet, this guy is in his second stint on the floor while Marbury, a guy who had a stretch of putting up PG stats that we've only ever seen from Oscar Robertson is further from the floor than Anthony Roberson. Look, I'm all for messages. And for trying something a little extreme to get Steph's attention - after all, you gotta fight crazy with crazy - but I'm less than enthused about Collins and Duhon handling the ball so much for a squad that I root for.

-Q comes back in and replaces Gallinari. You've got to think that the rook's PT shows that Gus is on-point by saying that D'Antoni is sending messages to his team, to fans and to the media tonight. I mean, Gallinari hasn't played in 3 months due to a back injury and here is running up and down on opening night. And, 3 months ago he played just one game. Marbury, on the other hand, started last week against the Celtics.

-The Knicks just got three possessions on one trip down the floor and all of them looked like something that was cut from a bad sports movie.

-A phenomenal put-pack dunk by Wilson Chandler gets Gus hollering. The camera cuts to the Knicks bench were Z-Bo, Lee and Crawford are up on their feets, cheering Chandler. It's clear that these three guys are invested in this team's success right now. They're psyched. They know that they're going to get the chance to make or break this season. Their sitting-down colleagues on the bench cannot say the same. Not yet.

34-31

-Following Chandler's rim-rocker, Beasley gets the ball on the right-top of the three-point line from Wade. He drives all the way across the lane and gets up a shot. Good. You can tell that Beasley just knew he had to silence the crowd after the Chandler dunk. He got the ball. Forgot about his teammates. And got two to quiet 20,000.

37-40

-Chandler's got 8 points and 5 rebounds early and he's got Jared Jeffries' attention. Mine too.

-Randolph rattles down his second field goal. It's another 17-footer. He's not getting into the paint at all on offense.

-Well, apparently Chris Duhon isn't the only Knickerbocker getting WWOD? updates from the bench. Randolph finally starts attacking the painted area, leading Gus to chime in "that's where you want him." Well, either there or back in Portland...

-Randolph is back inside. He's attacking. Or as Walt says, "Nice posting and toasting by Z-Bo. Now, he doesn't jump off the ground folks. But he has such an uncanny move when he's like 5 or 6 feet from the hoop."

43-40

-Miami Heat timeout.

-Coming back from the commercial break MSG shows us 30 seconds or so from the huddle that just occurred. Gus remarks that "we've been granted unbelievable access by this team." This is reason No. 3,454 why the Walsh/D'Antoni Era will be better than the Isiah Thomas Era.

-Crawford's back. He hits another for his 16th and 17th points.

-Q draws a charge on the Matrix on the defensive end and is also on the trigger-end of Wade's 3-12 start from the floor.

-Randolph is still going at the hoop. He's too quick for Haslem. Which felt weird to type. OK, Zach's back outside soon enough. But he dropped in another meteor from 17.

-Q three-pointer set up by some nice ball movement.

52-42

-At no point last year, at least that I can recall, did I hear such glowing play-by-play on back-to-back plays:
Gus: "Great help defense by the Knicks."
Walt: "[The Knicks are the] consumate team on both ends of the floor."
That just happened.

56-42

-As we're under 30 seconds to play in the first half D'Antoni is pointing and coaching his team's last possesion. Q hits a shot from the elbow.

-Of course, the Knicks then let Mario Chalmers fly down the length of the floor before fouling him as he shoots with less than 2 seconds left. Just when you thought...

-Just when I thought you couldn't do anything more stupid.....you go and do something like this....and totally redeem yourself. With 1.4 ticks to go, Rose throws a baseball pass to Q, who snuck out early after Chalmers' second free thow. He gets fouled as the buzzer sounds and hits both free throws.

HALF

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