Knicks 102, Kings 97

Though Sacramento’s Shareef Adbur-Rahim, Kevin Martin and New York’s Stephon Marbury were the big scorers in today’s matinee at MSG, the game ultimately came down to the big shots Jamal Crawford made in the final minute, and the three-point attempt the Tru Warier bricked at the end.

The consistently inconsistent Crawford, removed from the starting lineup in favor of Quentin Richardson, was the subject of Mike Dougherty’s postgame notes in his Journal News blog.

I can™t even guess how many times I™ve been confronted by some frustrated member of the Knicks faithful who™s begging to know why Jamal Crawford always gets the last shot.

Crawford estimates he™s now delivered a total of eight game-winners in the final seconds over the last three seasons here. (ED NOTE : 7, actually)

Crawford looked a little rattled after being put back on the bench prior to the game. He was 1 for 8 heading into the fourth quarter. What the heck was he even doing in the game down the stretch?

œYou™ve gotta also credit Isiah for noticing that Jamal is the kind of player who™s going to be able to do that, Eddy Curry said. œA lot of times, a coach would™ve benched Jamal a long time before that point in the game. But he stays with him and Jamal™s proven time and time again that he can hit big shots that win the game for you.

Basketbawful’s Statbuster surveys the WNBA’s dwindling commercial prospects and proposes the floundering league take the low road.

Occasionally a player makes a half-hearted attempt to emerge from the asexual WNBA yawnfest, but it never goes anywhere partly because former president Val Ackerman has staunchly stood against using sex to sell an unsellable league. Winners of Playboy’s sexiest WNBA player contest have all balked when offered to pose, or later posed for an Australian magazine no one’s heard of. Hell, Sue Bird offered to let a Seattle radio station spank her. But that’s the extent of it.

The WNBA has shown little interest in making the “sexual awareness” jump that both women’s tennis and the LPGA (the friggin’ LPGA!) have successfully made years ago. Seriously, if I’m seeing more upper thigh at a Utah Jazz game than a WNBA game, something is horribly wrong. I’m not calling for a gimmicky fix like spandex uniforms (aka basketball-kinis), but for now can we at least put a restriction on the length and bagginess of the uniforms? And then we work our way up to the WNBA swimsuit calendar, or the spread in Maxim?

Though I’ve got no numbers to back it up, I strongly suspect tonight’s game between the women from UConn and North Carolina garnered more viewers than most WNBA telecasts. Not much was done to sex up the presentation. Though I have no doubt Statbuster’s recommendations would attract the odd casual viewer, I don’t think the WNBA’s difficulties in reaching a niche audience are entirely different from those of Major League Soccer. Even if you get past the competition for eyeballs (there’s no shortage of more established events to choose from), the casual fan would like to put the teams, players, etc. into some sort of context. Which is tough to accomplish when it would probably take an arena roof collapse for a WNBA game to become the top story on “SportsCenter”.