Well, that feels like a gip, doesn't it? I mean, losses. We have to deal with losses now? What gives?
With that out of the way, there's this thing we do in sports, where we preface asserting that something is a moral victory by saying that there's no such thing as moral victories. The Giants, you may recall, have used a pair of moral victories in the past five seasons as catalysts for Super Bowl runs, while both times asserting that they did not believe in moral victories, but then acknowledging that they gained a lot of confidence and momentum from non-victories that weren't actual victories, but didn't qualify as moral victories either, because they don't believe in those. If all that makes sense.
So naturally, last night was definitely not a moral victory for the Knicks, except that I kind of thought that it was, sort of.
Which isn't to say that the Knicks had to "prove" that they could hang with the Grizzlies, but aside from the third quarter when things really got away from them, I just liked the general edge they played with. Given the task Carmelo was handed, banging against Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol all evening, I liked the way he generally battled. Sure, he got a little flummoxed by the refs, particularly during the third quarter when the Knicks as a team spent WAY too much time chirping at the officials -- albeit deservedly -- but I still came away impressed by the effort, despite it not being one of his finer games.
Similarly, I just liked the way the team played in the fourth quarter, making something of a game of it, against a big, physical opponent, when in the second of a back-to-back they could have been forgiven with folding the tents a bit.
All of which isn't to make excuses for the loss, or the numerous things there were to dislike or dissect, even if that is the type of thing typically said at the tail end of a long list of excuses.