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Smack / Mar 10, 2013 / 3:17 am

The Knicks Get Terrible News; The NBA’s Most Underrated Big Man

J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith (photo. Rob Hammer)

With New York mourning the 16th anniversary (are we really that old?) of the death of Biggie Smalls yesterday, the Knicks gave the city something to celebrate. But fittingly, on this day, they also announced another injury to a major star, one that might murder the rest of his season … J.R. Smith had 24 points, and Steve Novak added another 20 off the pine in New York’s 29-point dismantling of Utah, a game that was never close after the first quarter. New York’s ball movement was incredible crisp in the first half, and towards the end of the second frame, the Knicks reeled off 15 straight points. If it hadn’t been for Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward (combined 27 off the bench) stealing some of the gel from NBA TV’s Rick Fox‘s head and using it to slick up their wheels, the Knicks really could’ve sat everyone for the entire second half. It was that much of a mismatch. This one was pretty much a schedule loss for the Jazz, but with their lead on the No. 8 spot in the playoffs all gone, and with Kobe Bryant burying teams left and right, it still hurts … Not only were the Knicks playing without Carmelo Anthony, they also missed Amar’e Stoudemire. STAT needs surgery – again – on his right knee and is going to be out for at least six weeks. He had this same surgery on the left knee during the preseason. You have to feel for the guy as he’s quickly entering into that territory where the damage is just so great that there’s no way Amar’e can even regain some semblance of his former dominance. His knees are just that brittle. They might be made of Penny Hardaway. Well, at least the Knicks have insurance on that contract. Oh wait… We don’t want to say we called it, but we kind of did: Syracuse is just not very good, and an early tournament loss is in their future. They played No. 5 Georgetown on Saturday afternoon, and got worked over. Badly. The final score was 61-39 as ‘Cuse shot less than 32 percent as a team and gave up 19 points to Markel Starks. The Hoyas will have the top seed in the Big East Tournament … In Kentucky, No. 11 Florida scored their last point of the night with 7:36 left, going on to lose 61-57. They had one stretch where they turned it over on four of five possessions, and then not 30 seconds later, Patric Young bricked a wide-open bunny. Kentucky had every chance to finish them off, and while they never really did, the Gators were just so bad that it didn’t matter … This’ll definitely help Kentucky’s NCAA resume, but there’s still a good chance they don’t get in the tournament. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what freshman like Archie Goodwin (16 points) do. Will he stay or go pro? At first glance, it’d be easy to say he should stay, try to improve and possibly raise his stock. But with Kentucky bringing in the Monstars next season (their recruiting class), he almost has to leave this summer … Meanwhile, the potential No. 1 pick Ben McLemore had 23 points, but was completely overshadowed by Pierre Jackson‘s night (28 points, six boards, 10 dimes) as No. 4 Kansas got demolished by Baylor, 81-58 … No. 3 Duke also put a hurting on UNC, beating them by 16 behind Mason Plumlee (23 points, 13 rebounds) and Seth Curry (20 points) … And while UNC was getting manhandled, Kendall Marshall showed out in Phoenix. He had a couple of great hustle plays, and even threw a bounce pass in-between Omer Asik‘s legs. Marshall is also somehow already going bald. He’s on pace to shatter Manu Ginobili‘s record for “fastest to develop a Richard Jenkins.” The Suns thrived off his energy in the second quarter, building an 11-point lead. The Lakers can smile, too. The Suns got big nights from Jared Dudley (22 points, seven dimes) and Goran Dragic (18 points) to shock Houston, 107-105. In the loss, James Harden still had 38 points and eight assists, and was so hot towards the end of the game that he probably would’ve pulled it out had there been an extra 40 seconds … … Keep reading to hear about a nasty crossover from Jerryd Bayless …

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