Andrea Bargnani was New York’s “sacrificial lamb” last night, according to Carmelo Anthony. When the Knicks walloped intra-city *rival* Brooklyn on Thursday night, Bargnani and Kevin Garnett were involved in a few dust-ups with Bargnani finally getting tossed early in the fourth quarter.
First things first, Bargs — never one to wow fans with his athleticism — drove past KG early in the game to throw down a dunk at the rim that was as surprising as the slow starts for both New York teams this season.
Most of the game passed before the next KG-Bargs incident went down.
Early in the fourth quarter and the Knicks up big, Bargs and KG scuffled after a rebound, with KG throwing Bargs to the ground and Andrea clawing at KG’s shorts. Dual technicals were awarded, and it was obvious the frustration for the Nets was percolating to the surface.
That wasn’t the end of the KG-Bargs battle.
With a more than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and the game already well out of reach for the Nets, Bargnani hit a three-pointer over Garnett and couldn’t help jawing at him as he ran back up the court. Lead official Joey Crawford wasn’t having any of that, and ejected Bargnani after awarding him his second technical foul of the night.
Garnett responded to reporters after the game about the dust up with Bargnani saying, “I don’t understand Italian.”
But Anthony seemed impressed with Bargs when he spoke with the New York Times.
“He held it down for us,” Carmelo Anthony said of the normally detached Bargnani. “He played well tonight.”
“He was the sacrificial lamb tonight,” Anthony said of Bargnani’s ejection. “But it might have been worth it.”
‘Melo has his own history with KG, but Bargnani’s new found toughness in the face of one of the NBA’s bigger bullies (especially with foreigners and rookies), was a microcosm for a dominating win over the disastrous Nets. Bargnani was 7-for-13 on the night for 16 points, and through 17 games with the Knicks this season, he’s sporting a career-high 18.3 PER.
The Knicks snapped a nine-game losing streak with the victory, and stand at 4-13 on the year. With their second consecutive loss, the Nets fell to 5-14. But fans shouldn’t despair too much; Deron Williams is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday against the Celtics.
What do you think?
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