CAROLINA CRISIS: THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU By Michael...
Welcome to Kalifornia
Both the L.A Clippers and Lakers ran roughshod over the Knicks 116 and 113 respectively. Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on one thing, after all they are the reigning 2-time NBA Champions.
But Randy Foye, Byron Davis and Blake Griffin, say it ain’t so? Yes, the terrific and terrifying rookie Griffin is an All-star and shoe in for Rookie of the Year honors, but if the Knicks are going to turn the corner, the Clippers have no business winning that game at the Garden.
What makes matters worse is the Clippers went the Cleveland after playing in New York to play the Cavaliers who were riding a 26 game losing streak.
That streak would have been close to 40 games (36 to be exact) had they not beat the Knicks in overtime after the Knicks’ overly emotional week (Celtics, Heat) that drained them.
But, the Cavs’ last win was against the Knicks until they beat the Clippers who had just beaten the Knicks. That picture is cloudy, murky and blurry.
The need for size is apparent but it became very evident when the Clippers jumping jack center, Andre Jordan went on a dunk-a-thon early on.
Griffin who was a slayer against the Knicks with 44 points when the Knicks won there early in the season was held relatively in check with 21 points and not a lot of highlight material.
When the Knicks have to contend with a 7-foot athletic center and if they have 6-10 and above power forwards ala the Lakers, trouble is spelled for them like this: D-O-O-M! Timofey Mozgov is coming along at the center spot.
But, he’s a 7-1 athletic rookie project that isn’t getting calls going his way very much. He’s a keeper, but he needs time to develop.
Against the Lakers Knicks coach, Mike D’Antoni admitted, “We’re not playing real smart; we’re not hitting shots, obviously. We can’t shoot 41 percent and turn the ball over 18-19 times and beat these (Lakers) guys.”
What was also daunting is that whenever there was a loose ball or a key rebound to be had, the Lakers (with their superior height) always seemed to grab them.
The team however rebounded, pun intended against the lowly cross the water rival, the New Jersey Nets 105-95. That game was played at the Prudential (the Rock) Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Stoudemire who had 24 points and 10 rebounds against the Lakers missed the game with turf toe. Wilson Chandler stepped up big in this game with 21 points.
Laker coach Hall-of-Famer Phil Jackson, a former Knick champion as a player on the possibility of this being his very last game in the Garden as a coach in action.
“I’m not very nostalgic like that.” Jackson forces a wry smile. Perhaps retirement really isn’t in the offing?
KNICKS KNOTES double-ten mark as a Knicks in 62 games after recording only nine 20-point efforts in his previous 91 games.: The Garden sold out for the 24th time in 26 games. The team fell to 6-7 in the first of back to back games. They’ve dropped eight straight games to the Lakers, last winning on February 13, 2007. Ray Felton added 20 points in the loss. The 20 point mark however was his 19th Mozgov had a game high 11 rebounds against the Lakers.