Archive for February 3rd, 2010

Wednesday night in New York the Knicks hosted the Washington Wizards. Below are raw, totally unedited game notes taken live from Madison Square Garden as the action happened.

PREGAME

No Caron Butler tonight for the Washington Wizards.

Wizards starters: Randy Foye and DeShawn Stevenson at guard, Mike Miller and Antawn Jamison at forward, and Brendan Haywood at center.

Knicks starters: Chris Duhon and Wilson Chandler at guard, Danilo Gallinari and Jared Jeffries at forward, and David Lee at center.

FIRST QUARTER

David Lee is off to a red-hot start, scoring buckets in a hurry, and not forcing it. He’s 5-for-5, 10 points.

with 4:10 to go in first quarter, Wizards 12, Knicks 11

Antawn Jamison still plays with his right shoulder bandaged up. Teammate Mike Miller wears a t-shirt with the left sleeve in tact, right sleeve gone.

Nate Robinson is doing his thing and wasting lots of time with the ball, something that drives coach Mike D’Antoni nuts.

At 1:41, little tiny Earl Boykins  came in for the Wizards. Some lucky fan should get to win him after the game.

Larry Hughes is in the game. He’s on the Knicks, in case you forgot. And he just swooped at the rim, attacking the paint from the side, flipping in a nice shot.

The Knicks City Dancers, also known as my future wives, are dancing to one of the most eternal dance songs ever, “It Takes Two” by Rob Base.

End of first quarter: Knicks 22, Wizards 22. Lee had 10 points, three rebounds. Robinson scored five off the bench. For the Wizards, Brendan Haywood had six points, six rebounds. And Nick Young scored six off the bench.

SECOND QUARTER

The crazy hops of Nasty Nate do come in handy sometimes. Al Harrington missed a wide open three-pointer from atop the key, and Robinson’s hustle kept it alive for New York. And a few plays later he busts down the middle for an uncontested layup, tying the game at 26 with 9:10 left in the quarter.

Ashlee Simpson (with black-dyed hair) and rock star Pete Wentz are sitting courtside. Wenz is the bass player of Fall Out Boy, who earlier today confirmed that the band has broken up.

At 6:30, Andray Blatche had the ball inside, was swarmed with defenders, shot anyway, but put it in. Next play, he caught the ball on the baseline, and with a defender in his face forced a tough shot that hit the side of the backboard.

Nate Robinson vs Earl Boykins reminds me of those fan baby-races that used to take place during timeouts in past seasons.

HALFTIME: Wizards 45, Knicks 41. Nick Young had 12 off the bench. Blatche had eight off the bench. Miller scored seven. For the Knicks, Lee had 10 with five rebounds and three assists. Robinson off the bench scored nine with three assists.

THIRD QUARTER

Robinson still on court for the Knicks, with Chris Duhon, who at this point barely looks like he’s ever played basketball, on the bench.

Brendan Haywood is tossing in some awkward-looking, running, fadeaway jump-hook type shots in the paint, putting the Wizards up 53-47.

David Lee continues to show he can hit open or semi-contested baseline jumpers. Which is good. Forgive me for that bold declaration, but I stand by it.

Robinson and Lee continue to lead the way for New York, who lead by four with 3 minutes left in the quarter.

At the 2:24 timeout, the Knicks City Dancers returned, shaking it to “Hey Mickey.” Bless their souls.

With a minute left, Blatche showed he’s more nimble than players at his size should be, taking his man off the dribble and attacking the rim for a short runner.

End of third quarter: Knicks 72, Wizards 65.

FOURTH QUARTER

It’s Boykins against Robinson again. If you combine them, they add up to Tayshaun Prince.

The Wizards have life, but the Knicks continue to go on little mini-runs to keep their lead up around eight or 10. A Robinson layup makes it 84-74 Knicks with 8:16 left.

Even against the lowly Wizards, Knicks fans get up and make loud noise in this building, especially in the fourth.

I don’t like several of Jamison’s shot choices in this game. He has just nine points and five rebounds. Partial credit goes to the defense of Jared Jeffries.

At 5:26 Robinson made a great defensive play, saving a layup by stripping Randy Foye right at the rim on a fast break. A Knicks bucket then made it 90-79 around 5:00.

Gallinari sticks a three from the left elbow despite his feet not being completely set, giving him 12 points.

Foye and Jamison sure take a lot of contested shots.

The Knicks go nuts. The Wizards fall flat.  At 2:39 a Lee bucket puts the knicks up 97-81. It’s a wrap. During the timeout, fans flock to the exits, rushing home to read InsideHoops.com.

“Everybody dance now!” by C&C Music Factory blasts, as the remaining fans cheer and dance in the hope of being shown on the arena’s big screen above centercourt.

FINAL SCORE: Knicks 107, Wizards 85.

Robinson had 23 points (10-of-15), six rebounds and eight assists. Lee had 22 points (10-of-18), 10 rebounds and six assists. Gallinari scored 15 with nine rebounds. Al Harrington added 12. And Larry Hughes, receiving almost 18 minutes, scored 11.

For the Wizards (just 5-of-20 three-pointers), six players scored double-digits, but as for assists, Boykins had six, but no one else had more than two. There just wasn’t much teamwork from Washington.

After the game, Wizards players cleared out of the locker room super-quickly. Only Jamison, Haywood and select few others stuck around for reporters to talk to.

Jamison in particular sounded extremely dejected.

Rough time for the Wiz.

MAIN LESSON OF THIS GAME

As flawed as Robinson’s game often is, he’s probably more useful on the floor than Duhon is right now.

Chauncey Billups to replace Chris Paul on 2010 West NBA All-Star team

Denver Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups has been named by NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace injured West All-Star guard Chris Paul (meniscus injury, left knee) of the New Orleans Hornets in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas. Billups will be making his fifth All-Star appearance.

The NBA All-Star Game will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages worldwide at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo reports:

Paul is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Thursday to repair a meniscus tear and will miss the All-Star Game. NBA commissioner David Stern chose Billups as Paul’s replacement. Billups is averaging 19.4 points and 6.2 assists and has guided the Nuggets to the Western Conference’s second-best record. He averaged 24.2 points in January, including a career-high-tying 37 against Golden State on Jan. 20.

Billups received the news while he was resting up Wednesday afternoon for the Nuggets’ game against the Phoenix Suns.

“I’m definitely excited,” Billups said. “It’s always great to be at the best weekend with the world’s best basketball players.”

InsideHoops.com provides full coverage of NBA All-Star weekend.

Dick McGuire passes away

New York Knickerbockers legend and Basketball Hall-of-Famer Dick McGuire, who helped shape the franchise’s destiny for more than half a century, passed away today on Long Island at the age of 84. He died at Huntington Hospital of natural causes.

McGuire, who had been part of the Knicks for 53 of the franchise’s 64 seasons, served the team as a player, head coach, assistant coach, chief scout, and in his most current position of senior basketball consultant. His jersey No. 15 was retired on Mar. 1, 1992 and hangs from the rafters of Madison Square Garden. In 1993, McGuire was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Dick McGuire was the epitome of what it means to be a Knickerbocker: pride, tradition and  class,” said Donnie Walsh, President, Basketball Operations. “It was an honor to watch him play for our hometown team and I consider myself very lucky to say I worked alongside a man who shaped the National Basketball Association for parts of all eight decades of its existence.”

The Bronx-native, born on Jan. 26, 1926, represented the Knicks in five NBA All-Star Games (1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956) and led the team to three straight NBA Finals appearances (1951, 1952, 1953). He is still third on the franchise’s all-time assists list (2,950).

McGuire is survived by his wife Teri, four grown children: Richard Jr., Leslie, Michael and Scott, and seven grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Chris Paul to have left knee surgery

Chris Paul to have left knee surgery

New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday afternoon for a meniscal repair. Paul will undergo the surgery in Pensacola, Florida by Dr. James Andrews. A timetable for his injury will be determined following the surgery.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Paul will likely miss up to a month and not play in the Feb. 14 All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.”

“Obviously you never want to be in this position to replace a guard like Chris Paul in the middle of the season,” said general manager and head coach Jeff Bower. “We want to continue to take advantage of the talent and skills that Darren and Marcus have shown over the course of this season.”

Del Harris leaving Nets

Dave D’Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger reports:

Del Harris leaving Nets

Take a long look at the silver-haired gent sitting next to Kiki Vandeweghe on the Nets’ bench when the game against the Pistons gets underway: You may never see him on an NBA sideline again.

Del Harris, one of the game’s seminal thinkers, has decided to leave the team before the road trip that opens Wednesday in Toronto, according to a friend of the coach.

Harris, who was brought in to be Vandeweghe’s gray eminence on Dec. 4 after the latter moved into the head coaching position, has several reasons for making his exit now – all of them professional issues – but these should not be disclosed by anyone but Harris himself, his friend said.

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