As I sat in the very last row of an almost full Madison Square Garden last night a few things came to mind:
There is a buzz in the Garden that I haven’t felt since I was at Game 6 of the 1999 Eastern Conference Finals. It’s kind of amazing.
Something is wrong with Amar’e Stoudemire. With the notable exception of his and-one dunk, he in not getting the same lift that he was getting even last year. When they signed him for $20 million per year, I don’t think they were hoping for a 6’11” jump shooter. Too often he is blowing dunks and getting his shot blocked.
Deron Williams was a man on a mission last night. Linsanity caught him by surprise the first time and he wanted to make sure everyone remembered who the best PG in the metro area is. Point made. I like Jeremy Lin, but he can’t hang defensively with the Deron Williamses, Derrick Roses and Russell Westbrooks of this league (not that many can). Everyone talks about how he’s big, 6’3″ and 200 pounds. I am that size, and let me tell you, it isn’t as big as it sounds. The Knicks REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY missed Iman Shumpert last night. He could have provided some more defensive pressure on the perimeter. Though one has to wonder how D’Antoni is going to find time for Shump, Lin, Fields, JR Smith, Billy Walker AND Boom Dizzle. They are all good enough to merit minutes in this league.
The refs were absolutely atrocious last night. Tyson Chandler got called for his third foul for getting shoved by Kris Humphries. Though, they did get it right when they gave Tyson a T for trying to get through the entire Nets roster to get at Humphries.
Speaking of the former Mr. Kardashian, we are booing him for the wrong reasons. I don’t care who he was briefly married to, he’s just the kind of player that if he is on the other team you hate him. He’s phyiscal. He’s annoying. He’s actually a pretty decent ball player. He might not grab as many offensive rebounds if someone on the Knicks bothered to box him out, but what are you going to do?
Baron Davis looks thin! I am encouraged. He did seem to think he was playing for the Globetrotters in the 2nd quarter but I think he’s going to be a factor for this team.
All in all, despite the fact that they lost to one of the worst teams in the league, I am not all that discouraged. They introduced 3 new pieces to what they were working with in the last 2 days. It’s going to take some feeling out. Melo will shake off the rust. The Knicks all of a sudden have the problem of trying to figure out how to find minutes for all of their talent. Thanks to my boss, I am going to the game on Wednesday too, so hopefully I will have a few thoughts from Section 119 on Thursday.