Preseason Recap: Bobcats 85, Knicks 83

Since it’s Friday night and I’m sure all of y’all have far better, funner, more exciting-er things to do than stay up late waiting for some preseason grades for a dull, annoying defeat, especially since for the bulk of the evening it looked for all intents and purposes like the ‘Bockers were going to cruise to a giddily silly, easy preseason victory over a BobHorCatNets team that was without Big Al Jefferson.

We’ll try to keep the nervous biting of our fingernails down to bloody, culicle-strewn nubs to the minimum and repeat our fave October mantra—Knicku My?h? Preseasonenge Ky?—whilst we take a gander at some of the things we saw.

Guh. After a rollicking first half, in which they built the lead up to 19 points, they went Ice Station Zebra cold in the third, notching 12 points, missing what seemed like 1,642.6 shots in a row (4-22 total. Math doesn’t seem to exactly square up there. Gotta git one o’ them baskeball nerds to ‘spain what the margin of error is on my tabulations) in total, once of which was JR’s last-second, air guitar-inspiring heave.



They kept the advantage in the high single digits throughout the bulk of the final stanza, but then Kemba Walker—you know, another point guard who is swift of foot—started getting awfully toasty, and Son of Wood insisted on putting the starting five back in the game, even though said starters were possibly the least impressive quintet out of the multiple, Rubik’s Cube like variations the (thank God he shaved) Goateed One had at his disposal. So you lost the Snoopy Bowl, Mike. Rex Ryan’s gonna come over to your house and scream at you real loud for that.

And of course, the Knicks insisted on force-feeding the ball into Melo’s eager mitts, even on a night where nothing was falling, and they just kept ISO-ing and stagnantly jab-stepping away until the North Carolinians pulled ahead. On the last possession, I dunno, maybe they’re saving all the good plays for when these things count, but a down screen to clear out the ball for Anthony at the three point line so he can massage the rock for a few seconds before launching a contested 15 footer lacks imagination/creativity/proof activity in any of the four lobes of the cerebral hemisphere.

Then again, perhaps he didn’t want to risk yet another soporific, Canadian, double overtime affair. In that case, good job, Coach.

Knicku Myoho Preseasonenge Kyo…

Of course, it wasn’t an entirely derp-tastic, grating evening. Let’s start with the things that are good, shall we?.

BALL MOVEMENT: In the first half, he ball movement that we’ve all grown so fond of decided to show up for the fancy-shmancy new MSG unveiling. The second possession of the game featured a super-pretty Melo-Felton screen hand off followed immediately by a second one between Felt and Chander, freeing up the latter for a wide open anger-fueled TysonSmash. Of course, when the two PG-unit, this time featuring the all-Furriner stylings of Prigs and Udrih took the floor…kaboom! Pick and rolls at the top of the key, kickout passes to the weakside, spacing! Happiness! Rainbow-colored unicorns bearing comely maidens of virtue true holding plates of double fudge brownies with macadamia nuts n’ stuff! Three straight wide open treys splashing joyously through the net. Hm. Might be something worth considering…nah, fergit it. Chicks don’t dig smallball, mang.

RELATION TO CAA AND/OR THE SMITH FAMILY: Hard to say. You would think that a massive, uber-powerful corporate entity would be into sharing the wealth…actually, strike that. I’m sure they’re operating with a Rand-ian lust for self-improvement, even at the expense of the greater good. CAA agents probably hog the ball like Mofos.

DOES IT SURVIVE THE FINAL CUTDOWN: Sad to say, but CAA disapproves. Therefore, no more ball movement.

Knicku Myoho Preseasonenge Kyo…


DEFENSE: Defense? Yes, really. Defense. Granted, those cats from down south aren’t exactly the SSoL Suns, firepower-wise. But still, as a whole, they seemed a step or two quicker in reacting and rotating, especially closing out on shooters at the three point line. Our Italian friend too, did a much better job at helping at the rim, doing a nice job snuffing out a couple of Walker’s drives. Martin was active and springy and shout-y in his first live action, which is certainly nice for those of us who equally feared that Cole Aldrich and Bargs would be the sole backup pivots and Tyson getting pressed into 35 or more MPG. Heck, even Amar’e had a few solid sequences And yes, I think using the six fouls that he has allotted to him in whatever sub-20 minute restriction he’s working under as “solid,” or at least a productive usage of the resources at hand. Aggressive (or slightly over-aggressive) hackery is better than the glassy-eyed torpor that we’re used to from STAT.

RELATION TO CAA AND/OR THE SMITH FAMILY: To quote JR: “We want to be a defensive ballclub and I think he’s (Chris’s) a great defensive-minded player. He puts a lot of pressure on the ball when he guards it and he just flat-out likes to guard people.” They are a defensive lot, the Smiths.

DOES IT SURVIVE THE FINAL CUTDOWN: Indeed it does. Dee-fense! (clap, clap) Dee-fense! (clap, clap)

Knicku Myoho Preseasonenge Kyo…


JR AND STAT ARE BACK!: Well, that was a pleasant surprise! Our ol’ pals shed their walking boots and German platelets and bandages and cyborg-esque joint braces and actually played pro ball! I certainly didn’t think we’d see either of these two. I get starting the countdown on the suspension clock ASAP for JR, but Amar’e seems to have healed a lot quicker than any of us thought possible, especially after three visits to the surgeon in the last calendar year. Both looked like reasonable facsimiles of their former, healthy selves. STAT ha a couple of his now-trademark spin post ups and Smith’s fadeaway splashed the net more often than not. It’s not surprising that he didn’t have the burst to explode to the net yet, and there were a couple of times that his heave came awful early in the shot clock…but, well, that’s JR Smith.

RELATION TO CAA AND/OR THE SMITH FAMILY: JR is not, funnily enough, related to JR. Unless…wait. There are TWO JR SMITHs. Good JR and Bad JR. Maybe that’s how he can rock and roll all night and par-tay ev-er-y day! One goes out carousing with the ladies and the other goes to practice on time and stuff. And sometimes the two of them get confused which is which and so that’s why he can look like an all-star one moment and the foulest spawn of Lucifer the next! So yes, JR is related to JR.

DOES IT SURVIVE THE FINAL CUTDOWN: JR Smith has made the roster. Which JR it is remains to be seen.

Knicku Myoho Preseasonenge Kyo…


3,603,600: That’s how many different lineup combinations Woodson has at his disposal, disregarding the fact that certain players can really only play certain positions. The above figure includes a Tyson-Cole-Bargs-Martin-STAT pairing. Oh crap. No one show Woody this recap. He might try that, because size and rebounding or something. I mention this bit of abacus usage because it seems like Son of Wood tried out at least half those permutations tonight.

Once the starters left the game we were treated to a dizzying parade of possibilities. There was the cheesecloth frontcourt, which led to this tweet:

And this one..


They were joined on court by JR and Prigs. It started off kind of badly, two straight turnovers by Bargs and STAT, followed hard upon by some sort of zone, which gifted offensive wunderkind Bismarck Biyombo a wide open dunk. But then, things started to click. Pablo drained a three after pausing for what seemed like eons to contemplate his shoe/make sure he was over the line. I assumed he was composing a romantic ode to his laces but he couldn’t remember what the word is for those plastic thingies on the tips.

Shortly after, they trotted out a super small ball unit, featuring STAT-Metta-JR-Prigs-Tim Jr., with K-Mart and Udrih subbing in for Amar’e and JR. Like wave after wave of unkillable zombies they. Just. Kept. Coming.

Seriously though, this team runs 12-deep. They’ve got the talent and the versatility to play all manner of styles. And the hardest thing is going to be figuring out which one of them to utilize/works best. Injuries probably will make this a moot point, but if Woody wants to keep folks rested, he’s certainly got the Hessians coming in fresh as a summer morn to do it.

They do need nicknames, however. Here are some fine examples for the unhinged, let’s call them, Metta-Kenyon-Earl Jr. Trio.






Feel free to add your own.

RELATION TO CAA AND/OR THE SMITH FAMILY: Vertical integration and corporate synergy are incredibly valuable to long-term market power and stability. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it sounds buzzword-y and plausible, so we’ll say yes.

DOES IT SURVIVE THE FINAL CUTDOWN: CAA’s shadowy senior partners say yay.

And that should cover it. There were some more lovelies, like how awesome Shump is playing and the sensitive mic near the basket that caught Melo bellowing, “TYSON GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE,” when they both went up to snaggle a rebound, and some not so lovelies, like Metta smooshing a pale, oh-so-fragile looking, Children of the Corn-ish kid when diving, Oakley-like, into the stands for a loose ball…




…and the MSG Network’s incessant pimping of the kajillion dollar bridges and scoreboards and possibly NSA-level listening devices they implanted at the faboo new Garden. Seriously, guys. I got it. I’ll come to the games in person if the team’s good, but this perpetual, unceasing selling feels painfully huckster-ish. It’s an arena, not a ShamWOW.

Wednesday night, y’all. The real deal. Your 2013-14 New York Knickerbockers!

Knicku Myoho Preseasonenge Kyo…

Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

6 thoughts to “Preseason Recap: Bobcats 85, Knicks 83”

  1. This may be a little too glass half full, but I have hope for now and for the future with this roster. We have a star in Melo, who’s game should age gracefully since he can also play the 4, that we should be able to reload around at least one more time. And we have young talent to develop/trade for better pieces in Shump, TH2, Murry, Aldrich and Tyler (if we bring him back)- provided that NY becomes the place Murry-Aldrich-Tyler puts it all together. Those guys are really young , and while they may not be stars, developing those guys can make it easier to add quality support around star players in the future. Aside from the pointless addition of Chris Smith, I think I can finally see a plan after years of vagabond like management. Again, my view may be a little too glass half full, but I finally have some kinda hope that I don’t think Dolan will screw up. Can’t wait til Wednesday. Go NYK!!
    SN: I must have the new orange jersey. Smitten I am.

  2. I thought Bargnani looked a bit more active on D and on the boards. Still seems like he waits for the ball to get below the rim to pursue it.

  3. This was funny…..

    The space madness button tweet is pretty priceless…..

    You have to appreciate at least the comedic possibilities of the current Knicks…..

  4. Can we please call the Bargs-STAT defensive team the Bargn Door?

    “Ladies and Gentleman, the Bargn Door is OPEN!”

  5. Once again, you’re in mid-season form, Robert. (These games don’t count, neither do the recaps!)

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