Channing Frye was hellbent on attacking the rim and going through Alonzo Mourning. With the Knicks already in the process of being humiliated by Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, Frye took a moment in the third quarter of a demoralizing 107-94 loss last night to salvage an ounce of team pride.
But Frye's attempt to poster-ize one of the league's most ferocious defenders resulted in the rookie's one-handed dunk being devoured by Mourning. It was an incredible sight, one that was replayed over and over on the giant scoreboard, much to the delight of Shaquille O'Neal.
"He's a shot-blocker," Frye said. "Would you rather have me just try to lay it up? You can't be afraid of anyone."
Give Frye credit for not backing down, which is something you can't say about a lot of his teammates. Larry Brown, back in South Florida for the first time since Detroit won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals last June, was thoroughly disgusted by his team's defensive breakdowns.
In a game that saw Brown slapped with his first technical foul, the head coach was frustrated that the Knicks took quick shots that led to countless fast breaks. Although the final score was respectable, Miami led 65-39 at intermission and extended its advantage to 29 late in the third quarter. Just imagine how ugly things could have been if O'Neal had played.
"At the beginning of the game they just got to the front of the rim with nobody helping," Brown said after the Knicks fell to 4-9. "That was a pretty good indicator of how it went.
"Most of our shots came off of one pass. When you can't guard anybody, you can't shoot off the first pass."
Just as the Knicks failed to contain Kobe Bryant out West, they had similar problems trying to slow Wade, whose quickness and nose for the basket were too much for Trevor Ariza or anyone else Brown threw at him to handle.
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