Von Wafer and Joakim Noah singing "I Got You Babe" at last night's Super Bowl halftime show.

Super Sunday Ramble

Happy Monday, everybody.  Yesterday was a big one, what with the Knicks game, the Puppy Bowl and the end of the Black Eyed Peas’ careers all in one day.  We have plenty to recap, so let’s dive in with both feet.

First and foremost, congratulations to the Packers on a great and well-deserved victory last night.  Congrats also to my friend Jim who answered the question, “Who has sex during the Super Bowl?” by copulating with a girl who was not a steady girlfriend during a Super Sunday party…for the second time in four years.  Girls are not exactly going through Jim’s bedroom like Grand Central Station, but for some reason he’s irresistible during the Big Game.  Plus, the girl left her two friends in the living room with about a dozen people they didn’t know, as we all asked questions like, “Where do you think they went?” and “Boy, haven’t they been gone an awful long time?”  He reemerged to one of the great slow claps of all time.

Tawdry tales behind us, obviously my favorite Super Bowl moment was Chrysler’s Detroit infomercial.  Apparently Chrysler wanted to remind us how good they are at spending money on something other than quality cars!  Also, whose idea was it to promote the city of Detroit by using the song from the movie that made Detroit look like war-torn Bosnia?

Oh, but this is a Knicks blog…

My first thought after Friday night’s loss – after I got my fist out of the wall – was of Amar’e Stoudemire’s reaction just after the buzzer sounded.  It was one of those angry fist pumps where he was lucky he didn’t catch a Sixer upside the head, and to me it meant one of two things: either he was going to dominate Philly on Sunday, or he was going to dominate the ball, put his head down and hamstring the offense.  We’ve seen him go both ways this year, but yesterday he responded with ridiculous efficiency on the curl and the pick ‘n’ pop, hard work on the offensive glass and a dash of insane shot-making.

Yesterday was a referendum on a season in which the Knicks have appeared strangely unmotivated for some red-letter days.  It’s a little trite to say that all we’re looking for is some energy, but it had to be reassuring for all of us when the Knicks actually showed up in the first quarter and jumped out to a nice lead.  Still, this was one of those games that felt like we stole something; when you hit 11 threes, and Amar’e goes 17-21, it’s possible that the game should have been a little closer.  Then again, if Felton, Douglas and Gallinari had paid attention during entry pass lessons, they could have won by more…

You have these kinds of thoughts as a fan of this team.  They shot the lights out and that won’t always happen…but if they’d just play smarter they could’ve won by 20…

These Knicks have proven two things only: they’re better than they’ve been in a decade, and we still can’t trust them.

As for the players themselves, we learned a little more about a few of them.  Some thoughts on individual efforts if you missed yesterday’s game:

  • Ray Felton settled less off the dribble and the stat line showed it with 13 assists.  Nice to see his shot selection finally improve.
  • Mike D’Antoni must think that when Bill Walker isn’t shooting it well, he isn’t doing enough other things to keep himself on the floor.  I can’t disagree.
  • Someone needs to tell Douglas and Felton that when they grab an offensive rebound, they don’t have to throw it back over the heads at the basket and waste a new shot clock.
  • Timmy Mozgov did a much better job deciding when to challenge shots and when to stand tall and stay in position for a rebound.  The key for him is not so much making the right decision as being decisive in the first place; he’s a good enough athlete to make the best of whatever he decides, but he can’t get caught “of two minds,” as the proper English say.
  • Danilo Gallinari’s ended his free throw streak, and you won’t believe this, but he then missed the next one as well.  I know, I know, that never happens.
  • As stated above, this team needs entry pass lessons ASAP.  It isn’t just about the post player not stepping out to the ball – which Amar’e tends to do as he’s rushing to get into his move – it’s about not wasting possessions by turning it over on low-leverage passes.  The Knicks had at least five turnovers yesterday on passes that, if completed, wouldn’t have made a basket any more likely than before.  Risk-reward, guys!
  • Wilson Chandler looks like he has his bags packed and one foot out the door.  At least so he won’t be able to spread our secrets around the league – he’s completely forgotten our offense.

It’s that last bit that makes this team so hard to analyze going forward.  We haven’t paid too much attention to the Carmelo situation – you have the hard news sites for the blow-by-blow updates – but we’re at the point now, with a deal apparently on the table, where we can’t look into the future without planning for life with and without Anthony.  So take today to bask in the glory of a Knick win and the end of the Black Eyed Peas, and we’ll whip up a batch of Melo cookies for tomorrow before the Knicks hit it strong on Wednesday.

Back tomorrow, unless the sky falls today.

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