Monday, December 24, 2012

Knickerbockers! (13-12)

So picture the scene....the Twolves have managed to circumvent all the security systems, cracked the safe, stolen the loot and are heading towards the getaway car.....great job....well planned out, no-one got hurt and totally untraceable.....suddenely a huge spotlight bathes the entire team in light and they freeze in terror......from the shadows a huge figure appears wearing a Knicks uniform and sporting a natty little moustache, in his fist you can just make out the writhing bodies of Mike Callahan, Sean Corbin and Marat Korgut...he towers above the Wolves players.

"Not so fast!" he booms, " I think you have something that belongs to me!!?"

Okay...so that's a bit over-dramatic...but Carmelo Anthony, unfortunately, rescued this game for the Knicks when it looked as though Minnesota might just escape from New York with a unexpected victory.
As this was a tea-time tip off it meant that viewers from Scotland, such as myself, could kick back and enjoy a LIVE game at a respectable hour. I enjoyed, very much, what I saw right through until half time....after that things started to get a little tense...and the MSG crowd found their voices....that's when bad things usually happen for opposing teams.

But....let's rewind to the beginning and talk a little about what struck me during each period.

First Q:  Nikola Pekovic is having his evil way with the Knicks bigs and has strong armed his way to 9pts and 7 boards ( he's also 5/6 from the line). Alexey Shved looks slightly uneasy to begin with but shows that he has the mettle to deal with the Knicks on this court...he does not look phased in the least. The Knicks are missing lots of shots and are failing with their usual modus operandi, the three ball, where they are 1/7. The Wolves are shooting quite well from three point range. Kirilenko is working Anthony. You guess that this will equate itself as the night wears on. 29-22 Wolves.

Second Q:  The Wolves' guards continue to take the game to NY. We get our first look at Derrick Williams who quickly does his travelling two-step...very clumsy looking tonight. Ricky Rubio gets at JR Smith, which Smith does not like one little bit.....Ricky just flashes him a smile....Steimsma then rejects Smith shortly afterwards compounding things. First worrying sign is when Carmelo Anthony assaults Andrei Kirilenko in the post, elbows flailing everywhere, and rather unsurprisingly gets the call. Adelman is apoplectic. The Wolves go further away from the Knicks towards the end of the half on a Ridnour corner three...all is good. 55-46 Wolves (26-24)

Third Q: Pek continues his good work in abusing Chandler some more and then goes to his baby hook...which he air balls by a good two feet....too far out big guy!!!!! The beginning to the second half is poor form both sides. It's about the midway point when the Knicks defense suddenly makes an appearance. Dante Cunningham having a very productive and efficient night, hitting his open shots. Shved looks very confident and seems to be totally in control...this prompts Jim Petersen to call him a "genius"....hmmmmm. Only downer..Kirilenko in foul trouble doing a lot of sitting. The Knicks rally in this quarter and close the gap. 73-71 Wolves (18-25)

Final Q: It's brought to our attention that the Wolves have 14 turn overs as we head into the final 12 mins, also, after going 6/11 from long range in the first half they have failed to connect on a three in the entire second half...what did I say about the law of averages? Anyway as we launch into the game the Twolves continue to play tough. Ricky Rubio gets JR Smith all hot and bothered ( and T'd up), Dante Cunningham gets a double double on a big put back slam, Steimsma blocks Carmelo, Shved continues to find seams, Luke hits a circus shot, The Knicks players start to lose their discipline, Carmelo goes to 5 fouls!!!.....this is going to be okay....isn't it?.....we are going to get out of here with the spoils.

TURNING POINT - Wolves up 86 -82......JJ Barea slides around a Pek screen which broadsides Raymond Felton perfectly fairly. Felton knowing he is beaten and not wanting Barea to penetrate grabs a hold of his arm and spins him in mid air...two of the officials don't see it as there are big bodies in the way...one of them...as you can see here....has a perfect view of proceedings, as do we, most of the crowd and our TV announcers who howl in derision when he does NOT whistle for a foul. Blatant foul, no question. NYK go up the other end and Anthony drains an open three...Jim Pete put it best "Oh oh!" he muttered as Melo pulled the trigger. Next possession....Pek gets mugged in the low post....Anthony posts up Kirilenko and makes a three point play 86-88 Knicks...the tide turns.

TIME OUT Minnesota and Rick Adelman is seen to comment "That's fuckin' shit!"... as he strides angrily onto the hardwood.....I for one, won't argue with him.

It was all Carmelo Anthony from the line after that...except for one minor Shved flurry at the death.

Bad taste...big players get calls....doesn't mean we should like it.