Bully Ball

Is it possible that Anthony Davis looks at the Kings’ roster right now and just retires from the sport of basketball?

Sunday’s night looked an awful lot like the Pelicans’ entire season with the Sacramento big man going for 36 and 12 while his entire team burned down to cinders around him. There’s been a big deal made about the Knicks blowing yet another gigantic second half lead, but it’s also fair to point out how awful all of the non-Demarcus Cousins Kings were for huge swathes of this game. It’s a welcome sight as a fan when the opposing team is missing bunny after bunny right at the rim. Kosta Koufos should’ve been carried out of MSG on a stretcher for his shooting performance even BEFORE Hernangomez did this to him.

It would be nice, though, to see the Knicks begin to build on their extraordinary home dominance so far by actually blowing out bad teams in the Garden. Instead, the ‘Bockers stumbled out of the gate in a huge way, relying on the awful early shooting of Sacramento to keep the game close, and then surrendered an excellent halftime lead with shoddy play in the third quarter. The Kings hit 3s on three straight possessions (2 of those by Cousins) while the Knicks were doing things like dribbling the ball off their feet out of bounds. They were able to right the ship when it mattered, and it never really felt like they were going to lose the game, but this isn’t going to be a “superteam” until they can really start to lock up the easy wins.

Speaking of superteams Derrick Rose was fantastic in this game, taking advantage of the Kings playing big to get into the lane for acrobatic finishes and kick outs. He and Melo both finished with 20 points on the night, in the second outing where Porzingis shot poorly, but it was encouraging both to see him score efficiently in a win and to play well alongside Brandon Jennings. Hornacek has liked going to this two point guard lineup, often going super-small with the two of them and KP at center, but Sunday the two New York guards took turns obliterating Sacramento with Jennings knocking down some straight disrespectful pull-ups (and this).

All of this is to say that the Knicks beat another subpar team at home and Matt Barnes was overwhelmed by the MSG chanting to the point where he allegedly choked out a woman at Avenue nightclub after the game. New York never had an answer for Cousins, even though Kyle O’Quinn played well, but they didn’t really need it due to the terrible play from Sacramento’s role players and subs. While the Tuesday tilt with Miami isn’t the most exciting game on paper, it should be a very interesting challenge for these Knicks. Play well at home and beat the bad teams on the road and you that is the mark of a playoff team my friend.

Until then.

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