Knicks 95, Bucks 93

Much as I’m enjoying the Knicks’ improbable push for the no.8 spot (aided in no small part by the Heat losing D-Wade), in the event New York actually sneaks in, I’m starting the petition right here to give referee Courtney Kirkland a partial playoff share (at least as big as Jerome James’) after he whistled Andrew Bogut for breathing on Channing Frye with 8 tenths of a second remaining last night at MSG. For the free-falling Bucks, losers of 7 straight, 11 in a row on the road, there might be some consolation in their odds improving a tad in the Greg Oden/Kevin Durant sweepstakes, but Milwaukee didn’t play like a team tanking it on Friday.

David Lee left the game after landing on Bogut’s foot in the third quarter. His status is unknown (by me, anyway), though New York is lucky they didn’t lose Jamal Crawford (above) to a broken hip after yet another big-shot-celebration initiated by that most highly paid Knicks City Dancer, Nate Robinson.

After the T-Wolves stood pat at the trade deadline, would anyone blame Kevin Garnett (29 points and 19 boards in last night’s 116-104 loss to Phoenix) for showing his frustration with the organization? The following is culled from Saturday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press and Rick Alonzo.

Garnett wrapped up a two-minute interview after Friday morning’s shootaround by saying, “Thank God for opt-outs.”

The term opt-outs was a reference to opt-out clauses in some NBA player contracts. Garnett has one, and he can exercise it following the 2007-08 season, leaving the final year of his deal worth $24 million on the table to become a free agent.

Garnett made the comment after a question about whether the passing of the trade deadline might lift a cloud that had been hanging over the team.

Garnett said he didn’t know, and then he dropped his opt-outs comment on reporters as a parting shot as he turned and walked away.

A few minutes later, Garnett emerged from the locker room and was asked if he wanted to clarify his comment about opt-outs.

“I didn’t say that,” Garnett said over his shoulder as he exited down a corridor. “I said ‘opts.’ I said ‘outs.’ “

Garnett’s word games aside, it was interesting nonetheless.

The interview began with Garnett hinting he was disappointed the Wolves’ front office didn’t make a trade to improve the team.

“We’re trying to get better, right?” Garnett said. “It is what it is.”