The Knicks were reeling this week after an epic, team-wide collapse in the final ten seconds of their game against the Wizards on Monday, when everybody, including coach Mike Woodson, acted as if it were the first basketball game in which they had ever participated. Luckily, the next opponent on their schedule were the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the worst record in the league, and the game would mark the return of Knicks’ defensive lynchpin Tyson Chandler from a broken leg. If the Knicks couldn’t win here, they were probably just going to call off the rest of the season.
The Knicks did just barely beat the Bucks last night, after two overtimes. But it would have only taken one overtime — still incredibly unimpressive — had the Knicks’ Andrea Bargnani not been responsible for the team’s latest unfathomable mental error.
With the Knicks up two points at the end of the first overtime, Chandler grabbed a clutch offensive rebound and passed the ball out to Bargnani with fifteen seconds left on the clock. All Bargnani had to do was hold on to the ball. With time quickly expiring, the Bucks would have had to foul, and the game would have essentially been over. This is grade-school-level basketball strategy.
Instead, Bargnani took a shot and missed, handing the ball back to the Bucks, who tied the Knicks at the buzzer on the next play, sending the game into double overtime.
“What is he doing, folks? Why would he shoot the ball?” MSG color commentator Walt Frazier wailed. “Whhhyyyy?” The Knicks bench felt similarly. That guy on the far left had to literally stuff his shrieks of pain back inside his face.
Tune in next game to see Metta World Peace try to wear the ball like a hat, probably.