The Fun Never Stops with These Knicks

With Felton and Anthony out, J.R. Smith delivers another buzzer beater

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The twist ending everybody saw coming.

    To the best of our knowledge, there's never been a buddy cop movie where the cops in question moonlight as guards on a New York basketball team. 

    That seems like a major oversight from Hollywood, since there would be a chance to combine "Hoosiers" and "48 Hrs." in one entertaining package that you could call "Pick & Roll" as long as you named the characters Pick and Roll. If they do ever make that movie, they could do worse than use Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith as the template for the characters. 

    In Kidd, you've got the grizzled old veteran who has seen it all a million times and only looks like he's lost something off of his fastball. And Smith is is the wild card who is capable of both saving hostages and detonating a bomb in the middle of town all in a single afternoon. 

    Formulaic? Sure, but it's also plenty entertaining. 

    We learned that in Phoenix on Wednesday night as Kidd and Smith moved from supporting players to the marquee with Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton both sidelined by injury. With the missing bodies and a second road game in as many days, it stank of a loss to a bad team caused by circumstances somewhat beyond the Knicks' control. 

    That's where Pick and Roll, er, Kidd and Smith come in. Kidd filled up the stat sheet -- 23 points, eight assists, six rebounds, a pass deflection that led to a turnover with one second to play -- in 31 minutes that were a reminder that age can sometimes be nothing but a number and Smith decided on the hero card with his second buzzer beater of the month to give the Knicks a 99-97 win.

    Smith took the inbounds pass from Kidd, turned and fired while fading away as time expired and the ball splashed down for a win just as it did on an almost identical play against the Bobcats. It was a tough shot (though not as tough as the one he hit to tie the game) but Smith made it look terribly easy.

    He makes most things look terribly easy. He spends timeouts spinning a ball while Mike Woodson talks because he knows that he's shooting it eventually and knocking Phoenix guard Goran Dragic out of the game with a fairly cheap little shot is just the kind of thing that happens in the big leagues.  

    You can see Kidd getting comically exasperated at such things while the two men are on a stakeout, but, in the end, it probably works better as a basketball reality show than as a big-budget summer blockbuster. The realities are that Felton might miss four-to-six weeks with his finger injury and that Anthony's probably going to require more maintenance days over the course of the season, which makes this buddy act as essential to the Knicks' hopes of success this season as anything else. 

    Hollywood will have to wait, although they might be okay with that as long as this story keeps getting better and better. The improbable, unpredictable and thoroughly entertaining Knicks season marched on Wednesday night and everything's still setting up for an ending that is going to leave you with tears. 

    Will they be tears of joy or agony? That part of the script hasn't been written, but the ride is going to be a blast either way. 

     

    Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.