I mean, generally you watch the games and come away with a clear idea of what you just witnessed, right? As the buzzer sounded at the end of the second overtime and the Knicks congratulated each other on a 107-101 victory over the Bucks and patrons packed up their belongings, many folks just sat there, myself included, probably all thinking something similar.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT JUST HAPPENED OUT THERE.
Everything was happening tonight, but pretty much none of it made sense. This will be the theme for this recap. Let's begin.
Among several eye-popping stats rose two special players, Knicks guard J.R. Smith and Bucks guard Brandon Knight. Smith took...wait for it...17 THREES TONIGHT. 17. THE BUCKS AS A TEAM TOOK 22. JR SMITH TOOK 17. I honestly don't even know what to type now, so I'll let the J.R. do it for me.
Lol 17 threes tho! Had to say damn my self!— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 19, 2013
But trust me give me that chance again I'll shoot it again!— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 19, 2013
Okay well that is great. And in case you're curious, he made five of those 17 attempts, because shooters gotta shoot or whatever.
Knight had a career high 36 points on 13-25 shooting and 6-12 from three. As has been the case with Knight though, he slid to the other side of his talent range, committing eight turnovers and taking ill-advised shots towards the end of the game that made the career high scoring night lose most of its shine. It's beating an old drum, but halves like Knight had in the second continue to prevent him from blossoming into at least an average starting point guard.
Part of the problem is obviously the turnover numbers, but the swell of questionable decisions Knight forces himself into when he feels like he needs to keep making plays on his own is equally problematic. Knight can play very well when he picks his spots and uses his physical gifts to take advantage of matchups, but when he loses focus, whether it be an emotional disconnect or trying to go too fast for his own good, he can melt down pretty quickly. Sidenote: getting pickpocketed in the backcourt by Metta World Peace probably shouldn't happen once, let alone twice in a three minute span.
Speaking of people getting emotional, Giannis Antetokounmpo was especially feisty in his first career start. After receiving two early fouls that were at least partially attributed to nerves, Antetokounmpo came back and played with a lot of aggression and attitude. This caught the attention of one Carmelo Anthony, who did not hesitate to give young Giannis a piece of his mind whenever he could. Giannis, who I'm quite convinced is just about half as wide as Carmelo didn't back down either, throwing a hurricane of arms, legs, and wet/dry rake-sized hands at Carmelo furiously. This led to quite a few tussles, but nothing more. Giannis did, however, address his increased in emotion after the game here.
[Note: This is the part in the recap where I'd talk about Andrea Bargnani's decision to hoist up a three when holding it for the sake of clock-killing was the better option, but our friend and show-runner of the Knicks SB Nation Posting and Toasting Seth Rosenthal does a hell of a lot better job than I could. It is arguably the funniest thing I have read all year. You can read that here].
Some other random highlights included Khris Middleton and John Henson (popping in a steady 20/14 line) playing 51 and 50 minutes respectively, Tyson Chandler playing 36 minutes and cramping up late and not being taken out of the game as if he hadn't just returned from a leg injury that kept him out for a long stretch, a fan getting a t-shirt cannoned right into his groin, and the game lasting three hours. However, none of those could top the headlining ridiculousness of this game. I've even given it time to simmer and I still have no idea what happened. What a night of basketball.
Let's close with one more J.R. Smith tweet, shall we? It wouldn't feel right if I didn't.
We lose an I take 1 shit y'all mad we win I take 23 shots y'all mad! Lol #OHWELL— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 19, 2013