It was a great Sunday for sports and for television watching. Maybe the best non-NFL-playoffs television Sunday of 2008, at least so far.
The day kicked off (at least at my house) with the Hornets and the Pistons on ABC. Chris Paul dished out 6 assists in the first 6 minutes of the game even though he was spinning around the court on a bum wheel. The Hornets seemed to be playing down hill until Jason Maxiell of the Pistons had that devastating block of a Tyson Chandler dunk attempt. From that point on the crowd in the Palace and their team on the floor were different. That block changed the game for the Pistons. And, they took over from there. At this point, it seems the Pistons are beating one of the West's top teams each week.
That potential NBA Finals matchup was followed by a scintillating tilt between the Lakers and the Rockets, which was running parallel to the Big 12 tournament title game between Kansas and Texas. Which itself was coming on with Georgia versus Arkansas and Wisconsin versus a surprisingly game Illinois team. And, all of these programs segued directly in the NCAA Tournament Selection show on CBS, which in turn was only building towards the Simpsons on FOX, the Black Magic documentary on ESPN and the John Adams two-parter on HBO.
What a Sunday for Television! Great Pro Ball. Great College Ball. The onset of the Madness, the Simpsons and then a full-fledged new movie starring three great actors in Paul Giammati, Tom Wilkinson and Laura Linney (who the Better Half does not care for). But right smack in the middle of all of this at 6 pm, is the Knicks game. And they're playing the Hawks. In Atlanta. Ouch. If the rest of the day's television lineup was like the lineup of the 1927 Yankees then the Knicks game was like an aging Joe Dugan at third base. He was right there in the middle of things but he didn't have much pop left in that bat and he wasn't coming close to batting .300. He was a soft spot in the murderers' row and not really someone you were going to watch or remember. And the same could be said for the Knicks game.
In their first contest since it was revealed that Curry was done for the season the Knicks were handed their seventh loss in eight games by the Hawks, who moved into a tie for the last playoff spot in the East. All you really need to know is that Joe Johnson was the best player on the floor and that a close game was opened up in the fourth quarter by the team that needed the result more. And, that team wasn't the Knicks.
As Zach Randolph admitted after the final whistle, "they just dominated the game."