The Shirley Temples come to Philly

Come on, you’re a Knicks fan. You know it can always get worse.

If a buzzer beater from Giannis Antetokounmpo engenders a kind of bruised, grudging respect then TJ Mc-Frickin-Connell nailing a turnaround jumper in the face of your so-called franchise player to ice a miserable Wednesday night means we’ve all been doing something terribly wrong with our lives. All in a game where the Knicks were doubled in free throw attempts, coughed up multiple seemingly insurmountable leads and combined to shoot a “hide your kids” 4-22 from three. It’s getting harder and harder to tell where rock bottom is.

And I wasn’t going to talk about Derrick Rose’s absence on Monday, I really wasn’t. Bizarre as it was, this came one week on the heels of the apocalyptic Odell Beckham Jr. “Boatastrophe” story and I didn’t have the patience to launch into the hot-take stratosphere for what amounted to one loss in a regular season of 82 games. But when your starting point guard apologizes for letting his teammates down and then announces he’s ready for his 5 year/$150 million contract, you expect a bit more of a stirring performance. Sure, Rose looked pretty good from the box score with 25 points on efficient shooting, but he was a team-worst -21 on the night and let Gerald Henderson blow up his ankles on a critical last minute defensive possession.

Melo too had a pretty decent scoring night in a New York loss (a theme that’s starting to become a little too familiar as the Knicks have now dropped 9 of their past 10). His ball-stopping is starting to grate just a teeny bit more every night, but no one other than Rose could really get it going tonight. His third quarter spark helped create a little separation after the Sixers had made a huge run to close out the first half and the fact remains that this just isn’t a roster with any natural passers. When McConnell knocked down the game winner and Melo turned to sigh “Fuck, man” into the camera… you gotta feel bad for the guy.

With embarrassing home losses to the Pelicans and Magic in the rearview and a tough four game stretch coming up against of some of the East’s second tier playoff teams, it seems almost fair to start looking towards the future. As miserable as the Knicks have been in the last three weeks, this is still a roster with considerably more assets than in years passed that may actually have the chance to be sellers before the trade deadline (more on that this weekend!). It’s not nearly enough to wipe the taste of this game away but, airball aside, hopefully some of these recent losses will let the Knicks wake up and begin THE PROCESS of embracing their future with big #6.

A couple of quick hitters:

  • Someone needs to trade for Nerlens Noel. The guy moves at an uncommon pace for a big man and had a couple of highlight level steals quick-attacking into the Knicks’ passing lanes and blowing up their plays before they had even started. He hit a couple of midrange jumpers as well, but honestly paired with a better pick and roll partner than TJ Mc-Frickin-Connell, he has the speed and explosion to become a nasty Deandre Jordan style finisher. The Sixers are willing to listen on Noel everybody!
  • Apparently the Wells Fargo arena pipes in Joel “The Process” Embiid every time the big man lets loose. Noah and Porzingis actually did a fairly good job defending the rim so this goober spent the entire night pump-faking from three until he finally banked in one down the clutch to put Philly right back into it.
  • I Cannot WAIT to watch this team when Ben Simmons is ready to suit up.

Until next time, keep your chin up.

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