Relitigating the 1994 NBA Finals: Game 3 — A Dream Deferred

As Abe Beame's extremely retrospective series on the 1994 NBA Finals continues, he rewatches a game ending with a startling collapse.
By    April 8, 2020

Getting pissed about decades-old NBA games since way before quarantines and shelter in place orders. Please support Passion of the Weiss by subscribing to our Patreon.

Abe Beame would eviscerate Bill de Blasio in a game of Twenty One.

In 1994, Rudy Tomjanovich had an impossible problem that had flummoxed the league for years: what the fuck was he supposed to do about Charles Barkley? There had never and would never be another player like Barkley (Until 2019, of course). He was small (6’4) and rotund, but incredibly explosive, an outlier in what many considered realistic human dimensions in the NBA, and he rode his unorthodox style to superstardom. He was too quick for what was considered a conventional power forward in 1994, and too strong to be held down by a conventional small forward. The common answer to this problem was a double. But on the Suns, Barkley had been surrounded by a pair of scorers in Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle who could torch you if you overcommitted. So for a coach trying to come up with a coherent defensive plan, the options were lacking considerably. 

In the first two games of the Western Conference Semifinals, the Suns edged the Rockets by narrow margins and took a commanding 2-0 lead. But as the series went on, something funny happened. Starter Otis Thorpe’s minutes went down slightly, as guards Sam Cassell and Mario Elie’s minutes went up off the bench. Tomjanovich extended his once small, tight rotations to big white sweet shooting weirdos like Matt Bullock and Chris Jent. The thinking allegedly goes that Horry was an oversized 3. By switching him onto Barkley at 4, he’d be able to at least keep up with him and not be totally overpowered with a six inch advantage, and would allow the rest of the rotation to stay home on the perimeter. 

But what Rudy actually discovered was in trying to find a defensive answer for Barkley, he unlocked an offensive answer that would frustrate and ultimately finish off the Suns two years in a row en route to two championships. Horry had a stroke, and as such, he became one of the earliest iterations of the stretch four, and the fulcrum that paved the way for one of the first truly realized small ball lineups. 

Many believe this is how the three point/small ball revolution was introduced. It would ultimately be formally set in place as religion by ideological fanatics like Mike D’Antoni, Stan Van Gundy, Steve Kerr and Daryl Morey. But in many ways the original pioneer, the explorer who stumbled onto this continent when he was just looking for a shortcut on the spice route, was Rudy T. He got there not by dogma, but pragmatism. He was still giving plenty of minutes to more traditional 4s, the likes of Thorpe and Carl Herrera. But as it turns out, surrounding an all time talent/absolute nightmare for defenses like Hakeem Olajuwon with a cavalcade of athletic, dynamic shooters is a pretty dynamite recipe for success.   

This yet again made the Knicks the middle stepchild of history. Victims of an innovation that was still generations away. Imagine being the victim of the first ape that picked up that femur in the film 2001 after he or she realized that you could get your fucking head bashed in with it. That was the Knicks, getting their fucking heads bashed in by evolution. In retrospect, it seems inevitable. But at the time it was wildly unlikely.

Up to this point, Hakeem’s career had been marked by frustration and Houston’s failure to capitalize on his incredible skillset. The mid-80s drug suspensions and Ralph Sampson’s bum knee lead to the dissolution of what should’ve been a young dynasty in the West and lead to a late ’80s rebuild. But in the early ’90s, the Rockets began assembling their core. Otis Thorpe had already come aboard in ’88, providing Hakeem the front court muscle/garbage man he needed (in this season, he averaged 14/10). They got Vernon Maxwell, a ferocious, undersized but ultra-competitive shooting guard in a trade from the Larry Brown-led Spurs in 89, where he was joined by their eventual championship point guard and traitorous piece of shit Kenny Smith in 1990. They drafted Robert Horry in 1992, traded for Elie and completed the core by drafting Cassell, who was a rookie this season under Maxwell’s wing.

But perhaps their most important move was an addition by subtraction, firing Don Chaney in 1992 and replacing him with his assistant Rudy Tomjanovich. The team immediately began to thrive under Rudy. They won a division title in 1993, losing a pretty epic seven game series to the Sonics in the second round, then in 1994 they were the two seed in the West and ended their postseason at 15-8 with a ring. 

It’s telling that much of the Rockets squad that ended up composing a championship core were refuse, players traded away by other teams who lacked the imagination required to find a use for them or drafted low because other teams failed to recognize their then unconventional value. Tomjanovich cobbled together their complementary skill sets and put out a championship squad a full decade and a half ahead of its time. This was dismissed as a fluke or fad with all the credit given to Hakeem, with the occasional exception for hyperbole speaking to Tomajnovich’s “Heart of a Champion” or whatever back of the cereal box shit pundits would use to explain something they were watching but couldn’t fully comprehend. But this was a full team triumph of design.

It’s easy to look back now and view the 1994 Finals as a victory for progress. The Knicks lost because Rudy’s plan was better. That Hakeem was better than Patrick. That the Rockets were the better composition. But what’s incredible watching the series is how well matched the Knicks and Rockets were, a contrast that went beyond aesthetic and landed somewhere closer to philosophy. An early form of pace and space versus the sweat and elbows old school hard knocks style with two generational superstars facing off at center. It went seven games, and was, without much real competition, the best NBA Finals of the 90s and one of the best of all time. It just so happens that, as usual, we were simply on the wrong side of history.

1:40: At this point obligatory mention of how much I love and miss “Roundball Rock”.

2:43: Costas went overboard with the bronzer.

3:43: Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and I are working on a novel about a Nigerian freak basketball prodigy whose idyllic life is uprooted and transported to the cultural wasteland that was Houston in the 80s and how that freak adjusts to his new home and complex identity. 

4:27: For anyone who thought I was nuts for giving Ewing the edge over Hakeem in the first two matchups, here are Hakeem’s 4th quarter offensive stats thus far: Game 1- 0/4, 5 points, Game 2- 1/4, 4 points. 

5:06: ♫ These are our heroes ♫

5:36: Marvelous looks like he’s wearing one of those Lego hair helmets you can pop on a lego person’s yellow cylindrical head.

5:59: This was the Summer of the World Cup in Atlanta in 1994. That was fucking awesome. Anyone remember Striker, the World Cup mascot pup? Baggio floating the penalty kick vs. Brazil? If the world doesn’t die I hope we get one more domestic World Cup in my lifetime. 

6:15: Up to this point in the playoffs, Knicks were 9-1 at home, Rockets 4-3 on the road. Promising!

9:35: God, we loved Patrick so much.

10:57: Here’s my top 3 Hanna Storm Apatow style insult comedy digs that came to mind the second I saw her sideline fit: 

  1. Hannah Storm looks like a Shamrock Shake.
  2. Hannah Storm looks like the Riddler.
  3. Hannah Storm looks like Irish Hillary Clinton.

Thank you! Goodnight!

11:58: Jess Kersey is one of the refs tonight. Hadn’t heard his name for a while but he was a random namecheck from my NBA childhood so here is an extremely bizarre, brief, “highlight” reel of the late great doing basically nothing over the score from what I have to imagine is Beaches  or The Prince of Tides or something. 

12:29: Wow. Marvelous just mentioned this crazy “What If” moment I either never knew or completely forgot about. In February of 1994, the Rockets literally completed a deal with the Pistons that would’ve sent Sean Elliot from Detroit to Houston for Robert Horry and Matt Bullard. Horry and Bullard even met with the Pistons coaches and attended a game, but the trade was nullified because Elliot had a kidney condition that eventually required a transplant surgery. This begs so many questions. Do the Rockets even make the Finals in 1994 without Horry? Do they beat the Knicks? What is Elliot’s career trajectory? Does he end up on the Spurs? Do they beat the Knicks in 1999? Did this fucking bullshit no trade cost New York 2 chips????!!!!!!

13:04: Sloppy play thus far. Feels like everyone is tight and charged up in the Garden. 

13:24: No one ever talks about Oak. Would’ve loved to see him as a weird mixture of a wrecking ball/finesse stretch 4 in the modern NBA.

13:47: Fucking skinny Horry. He looks like the kid in Elementary school who sounds out words silently while he’s reading by himself in a corner. 

14:30: Knicks caught sleeping on D like it’s the 21st century. 

14:54: Tragic that Starks was the difference in this series. When he was good, we won. When he was bad, we lost (Actually, except this bullshit game). Chips shouldn’t rest on the shoulders of undrafted shooting guards from Tulsa. 

16:55: The Knicks lazy pull up game so far reminds me of my approach to dating in college. My nickname in college was actually: “Lazy pull up game”.

17:24: Rudy Tomjanovich looks like a post Slim Fast pic of WWF wrestler Undertaker’s manager Paul Bearer.

17:55: Pregame interview clip with Vernon Maxwell who sounds like he’s recovering from a serious head injury.

18:10: Patrick Ewing is like water.

18:31: Marvelous just recounted an anecdote referring to a team meeting the Rockets had specifically to address Maxwell going into this series, pleading him to stay under control, which is the exact same meeting my wife and I have any time she takes the kids out of town for a weekend.

18:46: Feel like Hakeem in his prime definitely could not bench his weight. 

19:29: Now, I don’t want to get off on a rant here, babe, but this entire series of posts is more or less dedicated to the arbitrary and stupid nature of “RINGS” culture and this is why. Patrick was the engine that powered the Knicks through a brutal East, into the Finals against a great Rockets team they came as close to beating without actually beating. He was the guy that was showing up, and playing incredibly every night. When they lost by these slim margins it wasn’t for his lack of effort or production. And yet he’s somehow diminished in history’s eyes because the team didn’t show up for him a few times in this incredibly tight series. It’s fucking idiotic. 

19:50: The first sports video game I ever really loved was Live 95, an EA Sports product that was light years away from a product recognizable to the modern sports gamer. The graphics were shitty and the players were tiny and rectangular and could occasionally get away with decking opposing players. Vernon Maxwell looks like he stepped out of the game Purple Rose of Cairo style.

20:02: Derek Harper should absolutely have a single hoop earring. 

24:25: I know the Knicks are eventually going to lose this game by four so every dumb bucket is like getting knifed in the fucking ribs.

24:55: A proper celebrity row: Spike Lee wearing the actual fit Jackie Robinson wore his first game on the Brooklyn Dodgers in 47, John McEnroe wearing a full suit and a Knicks hat he got for free when he opened a savings account at Citi Bank, DONALD TRUMP WEARING THE STUPID FUCKING RED TIE AND MAYBE 15 ROWS BACK FROM COURTSIDE, Itzhak Perlman who apparently once qualified as a celebrity before our brains were collectively microwaved by the internet, the God John Thompson, sans towel, Darryl Hannah and JFK Jr. which was a thing (?) and Jack Nicholson for some reason.

25:46: I feel like there’s an earth in the Multiverse where Charles Smith was the greatest basketball player who ever lived.   

26:23: Marvelous just said “Kenny Smith has been quiet”, which is the final time anyone on Earth will ever say that..

33:30: Ahmad Rashad just did a weird hallway intro in front of a hockey goal discussing the Rangers, who were also in the Finals this year and would eventually win. Really twisted the knife as he discussed the epic Rangers drought of 54 years and burned Marvelous for being there when they won in 1940. Depressing on so many levels. 

36:00: Greg Anthony feels like Pablo.

36:29: Tragic lack of Hubert Davis in this series.

36:35: The next NBA book I need to read is a recounting of the bizarre “Mustache Moment” in the league in the 90s.

38:07: Just found out Mario Elie was the 160th pick in the NBA draft in 1985, which means there were once at least 7 ROUNDS IN THE NBA DRAFT.

38:42: Gorgeous hook from Mase. Not a baby hook, a real, capital “C” HOOK.

39:23: Mase just airballed an assist to Pat who was under the rim, gathered and jammed, which was not only worth two points but also serves as a perfect metaphor for this entire series. 

39:55: One of the sponsors for the game tonight is new Ice brewed Ice Draft Budweiser. Partially because my brain is numb with boredom and partially because even though I didn’t drink much in high school, when I did I drank mostly Becks or Bud Ice deuces (I think because that was the only deuces on offer at the weird little off the strip bodega that accepted my badly chalked I.D.) it suddenly struck me what a strange concept “Ice” brewing is so I did 5 minutes of Google research.

“The style is created by cooling beer to below freezing temperatures until it literally crystallizes, at which point some crystals (i.e., a portion of the water volume) are extracted, and the remaining liquid is thus slightly higher in ABV while purporting to boast a crisper, more refreshing taste than standard drafts.”

Wow! I gotta say I was expecting to find it was just meaningless marketing department word salad but that’s actually pretty cool. What the mavens at Bud probably didn’t account for was I would be imbibing most of my Bud Ice’s from a Bodega reach in fridge that I suspect was shut off every night at close to save on electricity then plugged back in every morning so I think I lost most of that crystalline Ice brewed flavor to almost nuclear levels of habitual beer skunking. What were we talking about again?

40:20: If you wanna good laugh skip to this time mark and watch the middle school girls slumber party Twister match levels of jockeying Pat and Hakeem were engaging in basically every possession throughout this entire series in the post.

40:51: I’m not a linguist and I have no idea if it’s ok for me to make this joke but I’m pretty sure Chadwick Boseman based his T’Challa accent on Hakeem Olajuwon in the NBA Finals in 1994. 

40:51: Also I’ve come to acknowledge a begrudging respect for Hakeem now that I could never grant to Jordan but I remember when I was a kid I would absolutely roast other kids in my school for wearing Hakeem’s Spaldings which were abjectly gross and I viewed as evidence of mine as well as Patrick Ewing’s superiority over dickriding little kids in New York who actually went to low budget department stores like Ames and Jamesway to support this asshole in Houston who stole my joy. What I realized later is Olajuwon actually was attempting to do something beautiful and magnanimous by creating a line of affordable sneakers endorsed by a cool successful athlete that would prevent classicist price gouging and the shoe related crime that was prevalent amongst young people at the time. It’s a move I always respected Stephon Marbury for making a decade later (Of course I had a pair of Starburys). And I now see most of the kids in my elementary school who rocked Olajuwon’s probably couldn’t afford much else. Basically the point is I was a narrow minded monster when I was 10 years old. 

41:03: And of course on cue, in this pre-taped interview NBC is running Olajuwon is full of effusive praise for Ewing and his stellar post defense.

41:28: There was generally a certain flavor of gentlemanly competition in this series absent from the Knicks Bulls, Knicks Pacers and Knicks Heat blood feud/death pact rivalries we saw throughout the 90s. 

43:18: The worst thing for my personal mental health in deciding to relitigate this series is I had succeeded in completely wiping Carl Herrera from my mind and now he’ll probably be the last thing I see in my brain palace before I die.

 44:40: I swear I wrote that intro before I started watching this game but it is so apropos that the story of the game thus far is the Rockets absolutely sniping us Full Metal Jacket style. 

44:51: Kenny Smith looks like someone Mitch would’ve punked in Paid in Full and come to think of it the real Rich Porter probably did punk his bitch ass at some point. 

46:36: Starks was fucking fearless. Not many people know this but while running downhill in transition he actually grew four inches and gained thirty pounds of muscle until he scored or got fouled then immediately reverted back to normal.

48:32: The Garden is so charged right now even though we’re down 10. Damn I miss this shit. 

49:52: ROCKETS ARE FALLING APART CANT HANDLE THE PRESSURE IN THE GARDEN CERTAINLY THIS CAN ONLY RESULT IN A TIDY SERIES VICTORY AND RESULTING CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!

50:19: Tragically timed travel by Mase.

51:21: It’s stunning how much fun this Knicks squad was in transition and how achingly boring they were in half court. Like where is that fast twitch excitement and imagination in the sets? Has to be Riley’s fault, no? 

51:39: JFC, Hakeem just hit a fucking circus shot near the stripe over Oakley who was playing flawless defense. What are you supposed to do with this?

53:30: This game is devolving into chaos. 

56:30: Wow. You have to go to this time stamp and see the end of half block Ewing just put on Olajuwon. I’m pretty sure all the windows at the 7th Avenue Sbarro including the sneeze guards just shattered. 

57:05: Lmaooooooo a full thirty seconds later Patrick just eye fucked the shit out of an NBC camera following him into the locker room. He’s still mad Hakeem tried to put that weak shit up on him.

57:38: We’re back from commercial break and the first thing Costas is talking about is the Ewing block at the end of the half. I guess we’re officially treating this like Lincoln swapping out Mcclellan for Burnside. 

58:16: Costas just introduced Greg Gumbel as the newest member of the NBC sports team, defecting from CBS. Costas asks him why people still are confusing him with his brother Bryant and I was really hoping Greg would immediately respond, “Racism Bob!” Didn’t happen.

1:00:12: Dikembe Mutumbo is the halftime show guest. My Dad went to Georgetown so I grew up as a Hoya fan, other than Zo I loved every player from Georgetown my entire childhood (Shout to the God Victor Page). This season was the year the Nuggets pulled their incredible upset over the Sonics which is seared into my brain and I still have the Mutombo jersey I bought immediately afterwards and wore to school on a regular basis for years after this season. If I was the commissioner for a day and could make a single move to change the landscape of the league it would be restoring the best of 5 structure to the first round.

1:00:18: Holy shit. Did you know Mutombo had 31 blocks in that 5 game series???!

1:00:35: To anyone with a better grasp on NBA history than I have, I would love to know what the historical precedence or legacy for Mutombo is. I feel like he had an extremely unique game, very active around the rim on offense, devastating rim protector obviously, very unskilled? All sweat and elbows? I feel like maybe an extremely poor man’s Bill Russell or an extremely rich man’s Theo Ratliff? Anyone who makes it this far and has an idea, let’s get something going in the comments. 

1:00:50: I’m not crying you’re crying.

1:03:37: They got Dikembe doing series analysis, TNT left so much money on the table not bringing this guy into the studio for the pure comedy. 

1:04:05: Dikembe is discussing the fraternity of Hoya big men. I gotta say, I don’t watch or give a fuck about college ball anymore but when it was in its heyday it was great. People point to the high school to NBA trend and the one and done thing, and that all definitely matters, but the destruction of the conferences did the most damage for me. I grew up in the Big East and went to school in the ACC and the geography, those rivalries, that history is the thing I miss more than anything else.

1:05:50: So in interview, Costas just announced Mutombo was getting married the week this interview took place. I decided to look it up to see if the marriage stuck and found this on Wikipedia: “In 1994 Mutombo was to marry Michelle Roberts, a medical student, but the wedding was canceled when Roberts refused to sign a prenuptial agreement the day before the wedding.” Without question, this is Dikembe Mutombo’s most impressive career stat. 

1:06:10 First Costas ripped Marvelous on celebrating his 8th consecutive 43rd birthday, displaying huge Everybody Loves Raymond sitcom energy banter, then as they’re going back and forth, Donald Trump ducks into the frame to say hi to Marvelous. It’s crazy to think that in 100 years, if life still exists on Earth, historians will be able to comb through random 90s pop culture and find our worst president popping up in bits of cultural ephemera like Game 3 of the 1994 NBA Finals.

1:08:05: Tomjanovich has this sheen of sweat on him at all times that makes it look like he has a fridge full of domestic can beers in a fridge in his garage he tears through every night and taps the lid of the can with his fingers ceremonially three times before he cracks each one.

1:09:21: In the first half, saddled with primary defensive responsibility on Hakeem, Ewing had four blocks and no fouls. That is wild shit.

1:10:29: Hakeem dancing.

1:16:00: See above. Rockets pulling away. Knicks came out of the break lackluster. 

1:21:00: Just in the periphery, this may be the whitest dorkiest Garden crowd I’ve ever seen.

1:21:20: Horry kind of looks like this character from the 90s trashy horror movie The Puppetmaster, which is a film I’ve never seen and exclusively interacted with as a distrubing VHS rental box cover that would freak me the fuck out around this age as I perused options at the video store on a typical weekend, which for me is an entire genre of movies that have a weird place in my psyche (The shitty 90s horror movie you’ve never seen but could sketch the creepy VHS cover art from scratch).

1:22:22: This game actually sucks.

1:24:57: Sucks that Starks actually has it going tonight and it’s not going to matter at all. 

1:27:39: Starks was 28 the night of this game. Why is his mustache 14?

1:30:38: One of those games where the Rockets jumped out to an early lead and somehow it set the bar. Basically just trading baskets to get above or back to a 10 point deficit.

1:31:24: Vernon Maxwell just got into a bizarre altercation with a fan who, in the blurry background kind of looked like Goldman Sachs Grimace, then he got hit with a tech. I imagine this guy being solely responsible for the cruise ship bailout because Trump’s sundowning brain picked up a glimmer of this moment and he remembers this douche fondly.

1:34:13: Anthony Bonner check, apparently a crowd favorite?

1:36:47: Wow. Seriously go check this. Bonner just put Horry on a fucking POSTER.

1:37:09: Absolutely crammed on him.

1:41:02: Down to four in the fourth. This is agony. 

1:42:06: Illegal defense is such a fucking stupid concept to begin with.

1:42:55: The Rockets had an actual and bizarre issue with fourth quarters in this series, at least through three games.

1:43:29: MASE IS A WHOLE BUCKET.

1:44:43: If there’s a nerd at home who knows how to look this shit up I’d love to know what the record is for most Illegal Defense calls in a single game because this has to be close.

1:46:00: Fittingly, the Miller Genuine Moment for this night was last year, when Barkley’s Suns took Jordan’s Bulls to 3OT and got the W. 

1:47:46: Cassel took a shot and dropped like someone shot him. What’s weird is Horry is trying to get him off the court by pulling on the waistband of his shorts? Special relationship yall must have there, Bob.

1:48:00: Rockets have gone a stunning 8.5 minutes without a FG, reminiscent of the Knicks late Game 1 futility. I can only assume the Knicks will make them pay in the same fashion and completely alter the course of history. 

1:50:06: It’s a testament to Patrick that we could not only check Hakeem in a fourth quarter with Mase but you can see him bruising Hakeem and wearing him out. Pat spent three quarters tenderizing him. 

1:51:30: Cassel just ended the drought with a completely ludicrous play that shouldn’t have even been considered as a continuation. Completely reckless call that probably swung the game. 

1:52:56: The James Cameron/Schwarzenegger classic True Lies was a sponsor for the game tonight and it made me nostalgic for fantastic Summer blockbusters like that and so fucking depressed that we’re not getting a Summer movie season this year. What the fuck am I going to do on opressively hot days off?  

1:53:19: It’s amazing the Knicks weren’t fighting to go up 3-0 in this game. The Rockets had an 11 minutes scoreless drought in Game 1, a 6:30 drought in Game 2 and 10:30 drought tonight. 

1:58:32: Carl Hererra is making me retroactively hate the entire country of Venezuela. 

1:59:37: Derek Harper was playing some fucking hero ball.

2:00:20: Knicks just took their first lead of the entire game with 2:40 to play. What a fucking tragedy.

2:01:01: Another fucking ludicrous continuation on a foul that was clearly on the floor. Outrageous.

2:01:31: Sorry, I’m still sick. Yet another crazy momentum killing continuation call??! Those were by far the two biggest calls of the game, both against the Knicks in the fourth. Wonder who the league liked in this game?

2:03:05: This is like watching an 80s slasher movie only instead of, “How is Michael Myers going to come back from this?” The inevitable horror I can barely watch between my fingers is, “How can the Knicks possibly fuck this up?”

2:03:40: The Ewing baseline jumper was so automatic. There was no way for terrestrial human beings to get to that release point.

2:04:37: Hakeem falls apart in the fourth yet again. 1/4 for 4 points. The mixed looks and I guess some sort of conditioning issue lead to him dissolving over and over again down the stretch. Fascinating to watch and I feel like never discussed when considering his legacy. At least in this series thus far he was not a closer.

2:05:18: Defense completely lost the thread on an easy bucket at the rim. Inexcusable collapse given the circumstance.

2:05:46: DEREK HARPER IS NOT HUMAN.

2:06:06: Story of the game, Hakeem drew the defense in and was ready with a perfectly timed kick out to Cassel at the top of the arc. Crazy he was a rookie. Has to be the best rookie Finals performance since Magic. 

2:09:29: So, with the Knicks down 1 with 23 seconds left on the clock in a pivotal tie breaking game in the NBA Finals, the refs just called a moving pick on Patrick as the Knicks tried to inbound. Literally the key possession of the entire game taken out of the Knicks’ hands. Three enormous, game swinging calls in a quarter. This fucking stinks of Stern influence. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU MAKE THAT CALL??

2:09:32: Riley looks like he just got hit by a cab.

2:09:46: By the way, for all the kids following along at home, moving pick was a call that used to exist. Completely egregious ridiculous whistle. Literally took a ring off Ewing’s fucking finger. 

2:10:55: Cassel hits both from the line, who else? This is so much worse than I remember. The Knicks clawed all the fucking way back, executed incredibly in the second half, played lockdown D, completely knocked the Rockets off their game and lose on a couple truly shitty whistles. Fucking abomination. 

2:13:39: Oy. Gets worse, Starks had a wide open look with three seconds, back rim but gets clobbered by Hakeem, now he’s heading to the line with three shots to tie. 

2:14:07: Holy shit, I didn’t remember this at all. In 1994, if you got fouled shooting a three, you only got two free throws! It was a random game in the middle of the series so I guess it’s fallen by the wayside of history but this was an epic snow job. 

2:14:27: Starks misses the second on purpose, Ewing gets decked, no call. I’m not even mad anymore. This is hilarious.

2:18:11: That was some entirely outlandish shit. I need a drink.

 

Ewing v. Olajuwon Watch: Patrick: 18 points, 13 rebounds, 0 assists, 7 blocks. Hakeem: 21 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 7 blocks. 

We shut down Hakeem in the fourth again, but he really brought it to Patrick tonight, not just by himself at the rack, but his passing killed us (7 Assists for Hakeem-0 for Patrick). I’d wager a majority of his assists were kickouts to wide open shooters from deep and that made all the difference.

Final Thoughts: The Knicks were fucking jobbed. Plain and simple. We ate the Rockets’ lunch in the fourth and a series of agonizing, blatantly terrible calls handed the Rockets the game. We’re the better team. What could possibly go wrong?

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!