"This feels so good. We should give every player the chance to feel this feeling I'm feeling right now."

Cavaliers 119, Knicks 115

Tonight the Knicks committed 28 fouls, allowed 16 offensive rebounds and double-teamed like they were defending Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.  I would expound on this topic, but I already did about 12 hours ago, two posts down, when I was talking about the game they played last week.  Unlike their previous bouts, this game had the feeling of a relatively solid Knick victory, and after this sucker punch and at this hour I can’t say my long-form essay recapping skills are intact.  Fortunately I scribbled some notes on the back of an amazon.com receipt before I knew the punch was coming.  Wanna relive this game?  Of course you don’t.

Box Score

First Quarter

  • Heard as Landry Fields snatches another easy free throw rebound away from a big man: “God dammit Landry!”  I’ve long wondered if Landry’s frontcourt teammates are irked when he comes flying in to steal an easy rebound after a free throw.  I hope real journalists further investigate this story so that I may blog about it for all of you in the future.
  • Jared Jeffries takes a charge, then grabs an offensive rebound and, at 6’11”, does not even consider shooting.  Not judging either way, but Toney Douglas would’ve immediately thrown the ball back at the basket as if the shot clock did not reset.
  • Jeffries then does exactly what I hoped would happen in my game preview: he stands his ground and simply lets J.J. Hickson miss a layup.
  • Speaking of Hickson, he already has two offensive rebounds over Amar’e and just beat him down the floor for an alley-oop.  Don’t these guys read Buckets Over Broadway?
  • Bull Walker enters, promptly misses an open three and then forgets to box out Manny Harris.  Looking back, not surprised we didn’t see much more of him this evening.
  • Christian Eyenga must’ve changed something, because he’s been hot from three lately after a terrible shooting year.  Let’s keep an eye on that the rest of this game…that we’ve all already watched.  Dammit.
  • Your score is 32-32 on matching 22-10 runs after one quarter, although Baron Davis hit two threes so I actually count that as 32-26 Knicks.  Melo was 5-6 in the quarter.

Second Quarter

  • All-points bulletin: Shawne Williams is officially back on dribbling restriction after a violation of his dribbling parole.  If you see Shawne Williams dribbling, please immediately relieve him of possession.  It won’t be hard.
  • Mike D’Antoni now trotting out a five of Walker, Shawne (tonight, I’m calling him ShaW), Shelden Williams (SheW), J-Double and Fields.  Let me make a suggestion: let’s keep the number of guys who actively don’t want to shoot to a maximum of two on the floor at once.
  • Amar’e mercifully replaces ShaW as the 800-pound Anthony Carter in the room announces himself by throwing in a triple.
  • A Landry three and Amar’e dominance marks an 11-1 run to finally give the Knicks a little cushion.
  • Nice shot of the Allman brothers.  Good to see that band finally getting some pub.
  • Kenny Albert asks Clyde why Jill Martin didn’t include him in the celebrity list, which makes me think that Kenny Albert has never actuallyseen a telecast with Mike Breen, that he would consider that new material.
  • Look at my boy Samardo Samuels bowling over Amar’e!…and missing the open layup.  Work in progress, folks.
  • Fields sluffs off Parker to help on Sessions, and Parker makes him pay with a trey.  Douglas shouldn’t need that help with Sessions, and the Knicks should be forcing the Cavs to make contested shots.  It’s really not any more complicated than this.
  • Landry buries a three in response after TD sucked in all five Cavs with penetration.  That made me feel better.
  • Amar’e and Melo have 19 and 17, respectively, as the Knicks lead 64-58 at the half.

Third Quarter

  • Melo with a quick T for shoving my man Samardo, who acted like he had been shot.  On another day, Melo could’ve actually been tossed for a blow to the head.
  • Samuels retaliates with a dunk after being rejected twice, and scrunches his face together in what I can only assume is his Shelden Williams imitation.
  • Classic Jeffries non-finish and phantom foul call from a ref who couldn’t believe an NBA player would miss that layup without being fouled!  He’s really breaking out all the old standards.  I love it.
  • Great sequence: Melo with an emphatic swat, Toney misses a wide open Fields under the basket but finds Stoudemire for a nifty left-handed finish.
  • The conversation turns to Clyde’s first game back at MSG after joining the Cavaliers, as Kenny idiotically asks, “Now you say that was one of your career highlights, coming back to New York, it was such an emotional day and you put up terrific numbers and you beat the Knicks in overtime?”  Yes, Kenny, that has been the topic of conversation for the past five minutes.
  • 88-85 Knicks after three.  I had thoughts here, but given what’s coming I can’t bring myself to share them.

Fourth Quarter

  • Melo with a sweet feed to SheW, who throws it down as I notice he has both wrists taped, which has to be unique in the league.  Melo follows with an and 1…he has just been unstoppable tonight.
  • Amar’e returns to the game earlier than preferred after Jeffries picks up his fifth foul.
  • Baron Davis leaves Anthony Carter at sea en route to an open layup to cut the Knicks lead to 10.
  • Amar’e is shooting 40% FT when the MSG crowd chants “MVP!”  Which is only about the 18,353rd reason people need to stop doing that.
  • Carter again waves Davis on through, and I’m thrilled to have reached the six-minute timeout so Douglas can check in…only Carter is still out there?!  Is Fields dead?
  • Kenny: “Carter’s done a nice job on Davis defensively.”  We literally just watched Carter get shook twice in a row.
  • D’Antoni now going big with Toney, ShaW, J-Double, Amar’e and Melo…and on the next three possessions they fail to find the defensive mismatch, which is Melo v. Parker.  Inexcusable.  They find him the fourth time, but he settles for a jump shot, and then finally Amar’e connects with Melo on a backdoor alley to leave the fronting Parker adrift.  Meanwhile, Cleveland has tied the game, and Carter checks in for Douglas after a Toney turnover.  Ohhhhhhh boy.
  • Carter dribbles around at the top of the key, then buries a 24-foot two-pointer he had no business taking!  Or as I like to call it, The Felton.
  • Amar’e, who has been money in the bank tonight, buries a pull-up from 12 feet.  Knicks lead 112-100 with under a minute to go.
  • As Knick officials exhume the body of Landry Fields, Anthony Parker buries a triple in the face of Melo, who didn’t want to step out and guard him.  That one’s on the coach, folks.
  • Knicks elect not to foul down one with 28 seconds left…and Baron hits a three!  Carter went under that screen and could’ve sooner gone out to California and paid his respects to the Fields family than challenged that shot.
  • Amar’e hits another late-game three, only this time it might help the Knicks actually win a game!  Sessions heads to the line up one with 7.5 to go and…what’s this?  Landry Fields has taken the court!  The crowd looks like it’s seen a ghost.  A rattled Sessions bricks the first but recovers to make the second to put the Cavs up 2.
  • Aaaaaaannnnnnd a Melo offensive foul to punch us all in the gut.  You could argue Samuels didn’t have his feet set before Melo took off – I won’t, but you could.  Anyway, Harangody ices it at the line and Cleveland takes its 11th straight win over the Knicks.

And the worst part is, they still have to play these guys one more time.

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