The Knicks managed to escape Milwaukee with a 107-101 double overtime victory over the Bucks on Wednesday, but not before an ill-advised Andrea Bargnani three-point attempt left his teammates and both television broadcasting crews flabbergasted.
Let's pick up the action in the first overtime with New York leading 94-92 with 20 seconds remaining. Carmelo Anthony worked on the right wing, briefly milking the clock before launching a turnaround jumper that rimmed off. Tyson Chandler, who just recently returned from a leg injury, gathered the offensive rebound in traffic, quickly shuttling the ball out to the perimeter in an attempt to avoid drawing a foul so that the clock would continue to run.
Unfortunately, Chandler's extra effort play was spoiled by a Bargnani brain fart. Collecting Chandler's pass with no defenders in sight and the shot clock turned off, Bargnani lined up a left-angle three-pointer without hesitation even though New York was leading by two. The shot missed, allowing Milwaukee to grab the defensive rebound, call a timeout, and set up a final offensive possession with 11.3 seconds remaining. The Bucks would score on their ensuing possession, forcing the second overtime period.
Instead of draining time off the clock and eventually stepping to the foul line with a chance to ice the game once Milwaukee was forced to foul, Bargnani made the baffling decision to chuck a triple. The Italian big man, it must be noted, is a career 35.8 percent three-point shooter and he's hitting just 29.3 percent of his threes from downtown this season. To make matters worse, he was just 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) on left-angle threes entering Wednesday's action.
"It was a mistake," Bargnani admitted after the game, according to Newsday. "It was a bad decision."
The stunned response from the Knicks' bench said it all. Here's a looping reaction shot via @SBNation.
Both television broadcasting crews directly questioned Bargnani's decision.
"What is he doing? What is he doing, folks?" MSG color commentator Clyde Frazier wondered aloud. "Why would he shoot the ball? Why?"
MSG play-by-play broadcaster Spero Dedes added: "Andrea Bargnani with a gaffe that he immediately acknowledges, tapping on his chest. The Knicks bench, absolutely stunned. ... With that shot, the Knicks are going to need one more defensive stop, Clyde. They basically had it set up for free throws and a chance to ice the game. And Bargnani, for reasons only known to him, took the three."
The view from the Midwest was the same.
"Oh my gosh," Fox Sports Wisconsin play-by-play broadcaster Jim Paschke said. "He had the game, didn't he? You just hold it."
Color analyst Jon McGlocklin added: "He shouldn't have shot it. That's just not having your head in the game. That's a knucklehead. ... That's a mistake. ... Bargnani, no head in the game on that one, man. Very foolish. Gives the Bucks a chance."
Bargnani finished with 12 points (on 5-for-16 shooting) and 10 rebounds. Anthony led the Knicks with a team-high 29 points (on 9-for-29 shooting), nine rebounds and four assists.
Brandon Knight scored a game-high 36 points (on 13-for-25 shooting) and grabbed nine rebounds to pace the Bucks.
New York improved to 8-17 with the win; Milwaukee dropped to 5-20 with the loss. Knicks broadcast via Deadspin.com