Good Outing: Knicks 113, Pistons 111: “Lucky as hell. I’ll take it.”

How unique was Monday, Feb. 26, in the context of NBA play?

The Pistons were initially going to host the Knicks in Detroit when the first regular-season schedule was released in mid-August.

The In-Season Tournament—which nobody could really predict the impact of—changed a few teams’ plans and forced changes impacting a few games and schedules here and there across the Association.

The Knicks, for one, ended up having five games scheduled against the Boston Celtics instead of the usual four.

The Pistons, for two, saw their balanced regular-season schedule go from an even 41-41 home-away games to a 40-42 instead.

The game moving from Detroit elsewhere, of all possible ones, was played on Feb. 26 (yesterday!). Instead of taking place in Detroit, it happened in New York City, inside Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Knicks.

Still there? Let’s keep it going for a second.

The Knicks (35-23) defeated the Pistons (8-49) on Monday, final score of 113-111, after trailing entering the final three seconds of play.

The officiating crew admitted that they should have called a foul on the last action of the game leading to Josh Hart’s game-winning layup. This happened two weeks after the officiating crew of the game between New York and Houston admitted that they should have not called a foul on the last action of the game leading to the Rockets’ game-winning free throws.

New York stayed put in fourth position in the Eastern Conference standings with Detroit trailing everybody and one game behind second-worst Washington.

We know how Detroit feels. We feel Monty Williams and his comments. The refs robbed them on Monday even more than they did the Knicks a few weeks back when they sent Aaron Holiday to the line.

Remember that in that game against Houston, the Knicks were actually tied with the game about to go to overtime. There was still ball to play then and there (the NBA is expected to announce the final decision on the Knicks protest in the next few days—you already know what the answer will be, though).

Yesterday’s matchup, however, was one led by the Pistons until the ball went through Detroit’s rim in open play one final time courtesy of a Josh Hart layup attempt ending in a bucket and a foul. Hart missed the and-1 freebie but then added another point from the charity stripe following Isaiah Hartenstein’s O-board after Hart’s missed free throw.

I believe in Karma, which doesn’t mean this outcome is fair solely based on that screwup down in Houston. The Knicks filed a protest but they will lose their case, let alone following Monday’s events. The Knicks lost in early February, and the Pistons did yesterday. The Rockets, all things considered at the end of the day, are the lone winners here. As stupid as that sounds.

The headline quote comes from Major Kong, kudos to him for contributing to the Game Thread. It made for a great, short, straight-to-the-point entry to the recap that surely summarizes the feelings of all Knicks fans exiting the first game of a back-to-back set with the second leg coming later today against the New Orleans Pels.

More apt to the whole situation, though, is MrBenks comment from 20 minutes earlier on Monday, same comments section: “We won, but I still feel like I need to take a shower to cleanse myself of this game.“

Perhaps the NBA should take that as a solid piece of advice. It’s not about the Knicks or the Rockets winning yesterday or two weeks ago respectively. It’s about respecting the goddamn game.

Monty Williams was logically irritated after the game. Theatrics or not, he caught everybody’s attention (except for actual media members, who weren’t even in the room when he made his proclamation and arrived after he left the table) with his abdominal statements.

If you don’t pay attention in detail to what’s going on nightly around the Association, the Pistons arrived at MSG following a game ending in defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic just a few hours prior.

This is how it finished.

Was that a basket (it was) or was it a travel (if it wasn’t, it was definitely close)? The team on the losing end, both then and yesterday? The same hapless and demoralized Detroit Pistons.

The NBA seems determined to favor whoever the hell they want, to cook games or simply call them wrongly even though their officials are paid (peanuts, probably, but still) for it, they can foster a thousand online chats and conspiracies… but boy, if there is a thing they certainly can’t do is help themselves to the eye of the broader public. Sheesh…

Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner, said 10 days ago officials are “absolutely held accountable and disciplined for making errors,” per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

“We don’t publicize discipline for officials. We don’t think that will be appropriate,” Silver said. “But their assignments are affected by the quality of their calls.”

We’ll see how that goes for ref James Williams after blatantly admitting he missed the game-defining-and-deciding call. Nothing happened to the Rockets after stealing a game for the Knicks, and you bet nothing will happen following yesterday’s robbery. And that comes from a Knicks fan, one who is happy his team won for the 35th time this season. #thisleague

If you want a proper recap—stats, highlights, and developments included—P&T honcho Russell Richardson cooked a tasty one in his Scenes posted right after Monday’s matchup. Don’t lose any more time and go read it before it’s too late and the ball tips for the game against the Pels.

Go Knicks!

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