On Thursday night, at the Rose Garden in Portland, OR, the Knicks (38-25) were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers (30-34) 105-90. Box Score
If you missed this game, you missed one NBA game of little note or significance, that few of the participants or observers will remember except to note that they recalled being kind of tired.
Raymond Felton made his return to Portland and they hated him, pretty much throughout the game, even as he did little to hurt them in any way, finishing with 11 points, three assists and one sad face.
Chris Copeland got the start, and a little run, finishing with nine points, but Mike Woodson still seems oddly hesitant to give him much more than that.
The same can be said for Pablo Prigioni, who really looked pretty good all things considered in his 15 minutes of action, putting up five boards, five assists and four steals in his limited duty, but again it wasn’t enough apparently to merit more sustained action.
J.R. Smith had the type of game you might expect him to have in such a setting, piling up 33 points on 21 gleefully uninhibited shots, but it was not enough to earn the victory..
Damian Lillard finished with 26 points and 11 assists to make it even more confusing why they seemed so mad at Felton. Shouldn’t we be the ones who are upset?
I don’t want to be lazy here, which is a rare stance for me since I truly love to be lazy, but there just isn’t a whole lot to say about a game like this. As it turns out the Knicks are not that good when playing without Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony, which was something many of us probably knew.
Sure, we could still sort of wonder what exactly it is that keeps poor Prigs and Cope stuck firmly in the doghouse, or note that it was perhaps mildly encouraging to watch Marcus Camby snag down ten boards.
To my mind, the Knicks played hard, which was nice. There were moments when they even played mildly well. But they didn’t win, as you probably expected.
In other words, this game didn’t change anyone’s mind. If you were ready to just put your head in the toilet and flush all the pain away, this game did nothing to convince you to not do that (Though you shouldn’t, because it’s gross). Or if you’re the type who was just happy to wait and see if this team can get healthy before deciding if you hate them, you’re likely still inclined to wait this bum stretch out and hope for the best, a plan that I think is still at least defensible.
It’s sort of interesting that this game became so much about Felton, a guy I’ve been writing and thinking a good amount about in recent weeks. Big Felts engendered an awful lot of good will during his first stint in New York, where he played so well and fit the city like a glove. But over the course of another night in which an opposing point guard just beat us like a drum, boy, it’s getting awfully tough to consider his “bulldog” reputation in any other light but the cruelly ironic.
This Knicks’ season that once started out so fun and exciting is slowly deteriorating into something approaching drudgery. It’s like watching old Home Improvement episodes, where I guess it’s not bad exactly, hell, it’s even fairly popular, but I just hate it.
Look, it’s late, it’s been an ugly week, and maybe we’ll get to Sunday against the Clippers and Tyson and Melo will be back roaming the court with a renewed spirit and verve, and the Knicks will resort to an early season form that now feels almost like a dream.
And I hope so, because this is just no fun right now. No fun at all.