Game Recap: Grizzlies 94, Knicks 83: A Grizzly Performance

What is there to say, other than the Knicks appropriately walked into FedEx Arena and really mailed one in?  A 94-83 drubbing that wasn’t even as close as the double digit score would indicate due to a 31-19 4th quarter in the Bockers favor, the Knicks put up a horrendous performance against a 3-6 team without Z Bo.  The Knicks shot 37% from the floor, and while the defense was strong at times, in general, it was a terrible and lackluster performance.  The Knicks came out flat from the start, Amar’e picked up 2 fouls in the blink of an eye and the rout was on, with the cherry on top of that awful start being a horrendous 2nd foul on Melo with under a second to go in the first on Rudy Gay.  It was that kind of night.  The Knicks did a decent defensive job, outside of repeatedly getting torched by Gay and OJ Mayo, who put up a very efficient 26 and 18 respectively.  For the Knicks part, Melo played well prior to first hurting his wrist, then spraining his ankle (more on that in second), and had a nice little Baltimore battle going with Rudy Gay until his injuries.  Fields and Bill Walker were the lone bright spots, as Landry played a strong controlled game, somehow ending up with +9 +/- in that sea of garbage, while his fellow starters posted horrendous numbers.  Bully Walker shot 4-7 from deep on his way to nice 14 point performance.

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Defending What Toney Douglas Do

You may or may not know the quasi famous (at least on Knicks blogs) acronym, but Toney Douglas has long had a saying, which he explained on his introduction to the NY media after acquiring him on draft night a few years ago.  When asked what he was going to bring to the floor, Toney explained he was going to “Do What Toney Douglas Do”, and DWTDD was born. 

To give a little background on the other woman in my basketball universe, I’m a psychotically bent Maryland Terps fan (we’re talking I religiously watch games on ESPN3 on my laptop against vaunted squads such as Radford, Samford and Florida Gulf Coast), which means I also have an unhealthy love of all things ACC basketball.  So, I’ve been lucky enough to have years advance notice on our recent backcourt youngins, Toney and Iman.  I’ve seen them destroy lesser college kids, battle the great Greivis Vasquez and mature on the court over a couple of years span, so I’d like to think it provides me a little insight into their games beyond what we have seen at the NBA level.  I love what they both represent; athletic, physical, defensive minded guards who play extremely hard.  They share those similarities, and those traits alone will keep each in an NBA rotation for the next decade.  But, they are different players, and it’s not always easy to fit a square peg into a round hole, or a combo guard into your starting PG spot.  A common mistake that I see NBA coaches making, whether it be out of necessity or ignorance, it’s trying to mold a player to fit the slot on the lineup they need to fill.  I have already seen that happen to one of these young guards, and I hope D’Antoni keeps that perspective on the other.
Hopefully, with Baron healthy at some point, this will be a moot point, and one of these kids will be the Bockers’ starting 2 (with Fields in the discussion, I guess…), with the other coming off the bench to provide some fire power.  I’ll throw my two cents in on “Shumpamania” at some point but, more than anything, I wanted to take my own opportunity to DWTDD or, in this case, Defend What Toney Douglas Do.

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Offensively Offensive

Let me preface this entire post by saying it is extremely early and I am not typically an alarmist. We are a baby step into the marathon of the season, but what I have seen so far is so disturbing I can’t help but voice my concerns. Still, plenty of time to right the ship.

I am sure in the coming days/weeks, we’ll have a piece on our individual feelings on Mike D’Antoni and the current state of his tenure and future here as the Knicks coach. Personally, I don’t fall into the devout followers of either camp; I don’t think he has earned an extension thus far, but I also don’t want to see him axed tomorrow. He finally has a full complement of players that he believes can contend at a championship level, so I think we should give him the opportunity to excel with this cast.

However, I do have some very strong opinions on what I see as major systemic issues with our identity right now and, even crazier for a commentary on the man commonly referred to as Mike _’Antoni, I am not nearly as (relatively) concerned about the defense as I am the offense.
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