Knicks Chaos: Melee breaks out with defeat, fans implore James Dolan to sell the team

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Memphis has rookie-of-the-year favorite Ja Morant, a 500cc record and hope.

The Knicks have a fighting young point guard, Dennis Smith Jr., in the middle of an obvious shop window, an injured rookie, RJ Barrett, and not much to look forward to.

And the Knicks have finally lost their coolness. At the end of this shame from 127 to 106, Elfrid Payton pushed Jae Crowder down 48 seconds as Crowder Julius Randle stole a lazy pass in the back seat.

With his 18-year-old club, Crowder went to the right corner, threw a 3-pointer up and Payton pushed him in the chest. Crowder got up from the floor and followed Payton and a mini dress suit.

Payton and Crowder have been ejected, and Payton is likely to be banned from his act of sore losers.

The fans sang "Sell the team" when owner James Dolan left his place, when melee began and Randle and Marcus Morris also got into the fight. Dolan was seen shouting at security during the chants and specifically relaying them to a vocal teenage fan.

Even before this sick end, the game on Wednesday in the garden was in complete depression when the Morant-led grizzlies rolled to a Knicks defeat.

Morant, who had chosen a place in front of Barrett in June 2, showed in his first game in the garden a look at the future superstar and scored 18 points in 7 of 12 shots with nine assists.

Barrett missed his seventh game in a row with an ankle sprain and had to take at least a week off.

Elfrid Payton is held back after starting a fight in the last few seconds after the Knicks defeated the Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
Elfrid Payton is held back after starting a fight in the final seconds of the Knicks' defeat against the Grizzlies on Wednesday evening.AP

Barrett had put together a decent rookie season, but none that matched a # 3 choice. Post reported after the lottery results that the franchise hoped the smooth Morant would drop to third place.

Morant didn't do it and the Knicks go nowhere, drop to 13-36 and hear boos too late.

In the crucial part of the evening, Morant slipped past Smith and drove deep into the alley.

The trading period ends on February 6th, so Knicks coach Mike Miller has most likely promoted Smith Jr. to the guard post over Frank Ntilikina.

If the Knicks want to trade with Smith, he has to play and logged 13 minutes while Ntilikina has not played a minute.

According to NBA sources, teams have asked about Smith, but the price Knicks is asking has been categorized as too high.

In the third quarter, Morant put the grizzlies on a ride over Payton to 20. The restless fans sang "We Want Frank". The chants rang again as Smith checked into the competition late in the third hour.

The grizzlies led 59-52 at halftime when Morant gained 18 in 14 minutes. He rammed into an alley and finished 4 out of 5 from the field with five assists.

Morant creates a nice chemistry for the passable grizzlies, who won nine out of eleven and four out of 24. It is the first time in 13 months that the Grizzlies were .500.

In the first half, Memphis guard Dylan Brooks actually did more damage when hitting 19 points in 7 out of 10 shots.

After a first third of 32:32, Brooks' wide-open 3-hand gave Memphis a 48:38 lead over 5:40 in the second quarter. He finished at 24.

For the second game in a row, Miller installed the forgotten Smith in the backup point guard role over Ntilikina, who had settled in well as a backup.

Smith has not helped his case or increased his inventory. The previous Dallas 2017 lottery, which was won in trade with Kristaps Porzingis, was ragged and had four sales in 5:44, which was 3 out of 6 strokes. Each turnover was worse than the other. Smith's timing and vision seem distorted by his flood of out-of-bounds flights.

Smith didn't look good on Tuesday in Charlotte when he was first raised above Ntilikina in the pecking order. Miller, who has had nothing negative to say about a player's performance since taking office as head coach on December 7, said of Smith's game in Charlotte:

"Dennis was good. He was professional. He got ready and I think he took advantage of his minutes [Tuesday] Night."

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