Even those of us who dislike every aspect of the New York Knicks—from the team’s overrated star to its absurd owner—have winced a little bit this year as the team has stumbled from one embarrassing loss to another. A couple of nights ago, the Washington Wizards managed to beat them by a single point after the Knicks’ coach, Mike Woodson—who seems out of his depth even in the shallow waters of the NBA’s pathetic Eastern Conference—failed to call a timeout on the game’s final possession. But, apparently unimpressed with Woodson’s boneheadedness, Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani did him one better a couple of days later, making one of the stupidest plays I have ever seen in a professional basketball game. (Bill Simmons, the ESPN writer and television personality, called it "the dumbest shot in eons.") The Knicks were playing the Milwaukee Bucks, the league’s worst team, but were nevertheless in overtime, thanks in part to another shot-heavy, impact-light Carmelo Anthony performance. Anthony, typically, missed a jump shot with the Knicks up two and under 15 seconds to go, and here is what happened next:
For those who do not know the rules of basketball: The Knicks could either have run out the clock or waited for the Bucks to foul, giving them a couple of free throws. Instead, Bargnani put up a shot, predictably missed, and allowed the Bucks to send the game to double overtime (where, I must confess, the Knicks actually won). After the game, Woodson stated, simply, "I don't know if he thought we were down. This is a game of inches and obviously he had something else going through his mind at the time." Obviously. (A colleague also points out that the sports cliché about a game of inches makes no sense in this context).
Anyway, congrats to the Knicks. They are now 8-17.