After The Brawl: Jazz to Face What is Left of The Knicks Team
By the time the New York Knicks take the court Monday night against the Utah Jazz, they likely will know what the fallout is from one of the ugliest moments in the franchise’s storied history.
New York (9-17) lost to Denver 123-100 on Saturday, but the result was overshadowed by a wild brawl resulting in the ejection of 10 players.
The brawl began with 1:15 to play when Knicks rookie Mardy Collins committed a hard foul with a horse-collar tackle on the Nuggets’ J.R. Smith as he broke in for another basket. Collins was dropped
by a punch from league-leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, while New York’s Nate Robinson and Smith went tumbling into the front row of the stands during their skirmish.
After Anthony’s punch connected with Collins, New York’s Jared Jeffries tried to get after the Denver star, but was tackled before anymore punches could be thrown.
Channing Frye, David Lee, Collins, Robinson and Jeffries were the Knicks ejected. Denver’s Marcus Camby, Andre Miller, Eduardo Najera, Smith and Anthony were also kicked out.
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said he told Anthony he never should have been in the game at the time.
“I just said to him, ‘You know, you’re up 20, you’re up 19 with a minute and half to go, you and (Marcus) Camby really shouldn’t be in the game right now,”’ Thomas said. “We had surrendered, those guys shouldn’t even be in the game at that point in time.”
At least one of the Knicks said the team felt disrespected.
“The score period, and the guys that they had in,” Robinson said after the game when asked why the meltdown occurred.
On Sunday, league spokesman Tim Frank said there is no timetable for a decision on penalties, but the NBA’s policy generally has been to rule on suspensions before teams take the court for their next game.
The brawl overshadowed Stephon Marbury’s finest game of 2006-07. The embattled point guard had a season-high 31 points on 13 of 24 shooting from the field. More importantly, he was not ejected, but he is averaging a career-low 11.5 points per game this season.
Northwest Division-leading Utah (18-6) is averaging 102.8 points per game, but has been held to an average of just 86 points in losing four straight meetings with New York.
The Jazz opened a season-high five-game road trip Sunday with a 104-94 win over the Pacers, ending a seven-game losing streak against Indiana dating back to December 2002.
Carlos Boozer had 18 points to lead five players in double-figures, and added 11 rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko – the only Utah starter who failed to reach 10 points – had six rebounds, six assists and six blocks in 30 minutes.
The Jazz posted their best defensive performance of the season, limiting the Pacers to 36.5 percent shooting from the field.
“We helped each other,” Boozer said of Utah’s defense. “We made (the Pacers) take jump shots. Anytime you have the whole team aware on defense, you’re going to do a good job.”
Boozer has 18 double-doubles this season, tying him with Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett and Orlando’s Dwight Howard for the league lead.
A foot injury prevented him from facing the Knicks last season. Still, Boozer is averaging 14.0 points and 9.4 rebounds in nine career games against New York.
By: Marc Young – theSpread.com – Email Us
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