Melo, I’m happy for you. In no surprise in his first game as a member of the Thunder, Carmelo Anthony looked like a man on a mission. Loose, confident as ever, and determined, Melo ended up finishing with a cool 22 points on 40% shooting from the field. At one point in the game Melo was in a shooting rut, bombing three after three and OKC fans were growing tired of it real quick. Melo finally hits one as the crowd roars and there’s a break in the action, Melo couldn’t help but laugh to himself and sarcastically do his signature “3pts to the dome” celly. Great to see him more relaxed and enjoying the game again, once a Knick always a Knick so Melo, I wish you nothing but the best this season.
Onto the game, which pretty much consisted of Russell Westbrook doing whatever the hell he wanted. Typical brodie behavior nonetheless. Westbrook recorded his 80th triple double of his career, which was highlighted by scoring 21 while shooting 58% from the field. I think it was obvious before but with clarification now, OKC’s new weapons are going to allow for a much more efficient Westbrook. Paul George was hot from three all game long, towards the end I swear he pulled up from about 27 feet out and just absolutely drained it. Tough to guard that.
The Knicks defense did started out strong but was a bit too physical, resulting in a lot of fouls. Then at times, it just flat out stunk. In the third quarter, the Knicks gave up two baseline ally-oops on CONSECUTIVE POSSESSIONS. Its hard for me to do that on 2k and Russ is out here like he’s got a Harlem Globetrotters jersey on. Hey Country Lee, I got brilliant idea, how about you put just a little bit of pressure on the ball after giving up an oop like that. The third quarter was just an ugly mess, I honestly started dozing off as I was watching the game this morning.
Thank god for Porzingis. Not too bad in the season three debut for the 7’ 3” cheat code from Latvia. 31 points and 12 boards, I’ll fucking take that in any loss. Very disappointing first game back from Hardaway Jr. Just seemed like the guy couldn’t get in a rhythm, 8 points in 28 minutes. Not to mention I had Kevin Harlan reminding me all game long about Hardy’s extravagant contract. Ntilikina looked like he had some jitters in that one, 0-2 with two airballs, making my take from the last blog look real good, thanks Franky. Frank got limited minutes from what I’m assuming is a combination of the coaching staff nursing his knee along with having him earn his spot in the starting rotation.
Aside from the 25 nauseating turnovers the Knicks produced, the biggest frustration during the loss was the neglect given to 2016-17 All-Rookie center Willy Hernangomez. The Spaniard was left out of the rotation and didn’t see action until around 3 minutes left in a 20 point blowout. Even Reggie was in shock. It was reported that the decision to leave Hernangomez out of the rotation was for defensive purposes and that O’Quinn and Kanter have been out-performing him during the preseason. Defensive purposes, you gotta be kidding. Steven Adams, not a guy known for his offense really but a great center overall, went 5-5 from the field. Defensive purposes?! Get the fuck out of here with that nonsense. Kanter caught 3 steals, awesome, but the dude cannot play 1 on 1 defense. Hernangomez got more minutes last season because of the fact that he could shut down offensive bigs. His breakout game last season was when he outmatched Dwight Howard in an amazing defensive effort. So there’s gotta be something we’re not seeing in practice, that’s my only explanation for this. And to put the cherry on top, it appears that the Knicks front office was quite surprised about this too. So I’m glad nothing has changed and the coaching staff and management are still far from being on the same page.
A tough way to start the season, looks like it’s going to be another long one. Next game is Saturday night back in the Garden against Detroit, can’t wait.