Even though the Knicks have struggled in recent years the “buzzer beater” shot has actually been good to them. There was David Lee’s last second miraculous tip in win against Charlotte. Nate Robinson’s buzzer beater versus the Sixers was another memorable Garden moment. Then you had the heroics of Jamal Crawford who made a living taking last seconds shots, the two most exciting coming against the Nuggets and Rockets. Who could forget J-Lin, who nearly got me evicted from my apartment for all the hysteria his buzzer beater shot against the Raptors created. There was most recently, J.R. Smith’s historic buzzer beaters on the road against the Bobcats and the Phoenix Suns!
However, those feel good moments did nothing to soften last night’s excruciating 106-105 buzzer beater loss to the lowly Sacramento Kings. A loss that saw a short-handed Knick team battle all the way back from 27 point deficit only to have James Johnson, a player who was 0-11 from 3-pt distance this season, hit the game winner. To make matters worse, Johnson was 0 for his last 17 from three, a streak that dated back to the 2011-12 season. So as the Kings celebrated their 10th win of the season, Knicks fans across the nation all simultaneously either sat or stood in disbelief. Hands on heads, mouths left wide open frozen by the emptiness and helplessness immediately felt after such a gut wrenching loss!
A loss, all the more frustrating when you consider the Knicks were a buzzer beater shot away from completing their greatest comeback win in franchise history.
Its insane that a 40yr old man can still react to a loss in that matter, but it is universally agreed among fans that nothing will keep you tossing and turning in bed more than the “buzzer beater” loss. That last second field goal, that extra innings walk off homerun or that one-punch knockout loss! Fans like to believe that the players care as much as they do, but these type losses are the exception, you hope the players have turned the page as they board the plane to the next destination.
In the case of New York, the next destination is Tuesday, January 1st at the Garden against the Portland Trailblazers. At 21-9, leading the Atlantic Division by 5.5 games, its imperative the Knicks get back on the winning track. The best way to get the bitter taste of defeat out their mouth is to win and the fact that the Knicks could be returning two all-star players to the squad, in Carmelo Anthony and Amare’ Stoudemire should only make the pain of the James Johnson dagger even more of a distance memory.
Regardless of the paralyzing numbness Knicks fans experienced at the conclusion of the Sacramento game, it can’t overshadow the incredible season the Knicks are in the midst of. A season that has seen them reclaim their place among the elite teams and for you revenge seekers; a season that will have the Kings visiting the Garden February 2nd.
Charles R. Trimble III @ TrimsFCN – Knickswag Contributor