On the antepenultimate and penultimate possessions, it was the same old Knicks. With three-plus seconds left, Carmelo Anthony clonked a three off the side of the backboard. On the other end, in the Hornets’ second attempt at an inbounds play, Jeremy Lin went over a screen and both Knicks defenders followed him, leaving Cody Zeller all alone for a layup. So, with just 0.6 seconds left, it was Kristaps Time—only there wasn’t quite enough of it.
Kristaps Porzingis continued to be everything the Knicks could have hoped for, putting up 10 points and 15 boards for his fourth double-double in his last six games. The final play was drawn up for him—something that’s been almost unthinkable as long as Anthony’s been on this team. Porzingis deked forward, pulled back, took the pass and put up a open three:
I stand corrected: all three of the final possessions were classic Knicks. After a review from the NBA’s replay center in Seacaucus, N.J., Porzingis’s shot was waved off—it was no more than 0.1 seconds late, but it was late.
It’s weird that any Knicks fans would have cognitive dissonance from losing games in creative ways, but some are already truthering those tenths of seconds. Take this one, which suggests the Knicks should have had a little more time for their last shot:
Or this, which perhaps shows the backboard lights going on a hair before the clock hit zero.
Conspiracy theories are fun (and in the NBA, never feel comfortably implausible), but never attribute to to malice what can be attributed to the misleading nature of screengrabs and the general fudginess of clock operations. And anyway, call it even after the refs screwed up and handed the Knicks the win on a missed call the previous night. Because whining isn’t the Kristaps Way.