Knicks vs. Mavs – 2-24-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

The New York Knicks late game rally falls short against the Dallas Mavericks. The Knicks fall victim to a Dirk Nowitzki buzzer beater, that rimmed in and out, and unfortunately for the Knicks… back in.

The buzzer beater gave Dallas a 110-108 victory, which held of an incredible comeback by New York. With timely three-point shooting and great defense the Knicks clawed themselves back into the game.  Even if it wasn’t timely, the Knicks insisted on shooting themselves back into the game with threes. In an incredible one minute sequence that showed New York stubbornness to shot the three, New York shot five three-point field goals, grabbing five offensive rebound, forcing up another three with every miss, until Carmelo Anthony  finally knocked down a three to cut the deficit to 100-103 with 2:43 remaining.

On the next Knicks’ possession Tim Hardaway Jr. would launch and misfire a three, he was 2/8 Monday night from downtown. Jose Calderon on the ensuing possession would knock down his fifth three-pointer of the game, giving him 20 points in the game, and it giving Dallas a 106-100 lead with a little under two minutes to play in the game. Anthony would launch and misfire a three on the ensuing Knicks’ possession. Brandan Wright then broke free for a layup, giving Dallas a 108-100 lead with 1:37 remaining in the game. Continue reading

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Knicks @ Hawks – 2-22-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

The New York Knicks came into Saturday night with a chance to gain a full game on the eight seed Atlanta Hawks. The task would be even more difficult than a typical back to back game, because the Knicks played extended minutes against the Orlando Magic the night before, with the game going into double overtime. Five players played over 40 minutes Friday night, with Carmelo Anthony going over the 50 minute mark.

Even though Anthony played extended minutes he was still able to have an effective shooting night, scoring 35 points, including four threes. Yet again though it would be another wasted well-played game from Carmelo Anthony as the Knicks fall to the Hawks 107-98. It was also a wasted night for Tyson Chandler who was a man possessed on the glass, collecting 23 rebounds. As great as this performance was, it should be noted that Atlanta is the fourth worst rebounding team in the league with 40.7 per game.

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Knicks @ Magic – 2-21-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

New York falls 4.5 games behind the eighth seeded Atlanta Hawks Friday night in the Eastern Conference Standings.

The Knicks lost to the third worst team in the league, the Orlando Magic 129-121 in double overtime. Victor Oladipo had a magical night, he was one rebound shy of collecting his second triple double in his rookie campaign, collecting 30 points 9 rebounds and 14 assists. He was the driving force behind the Magic’s victory, getting two and-one finishes under two minute mark in the second overtime. Oladipo was able to get into the lane all night with his dribble penetration, which led him to finishing around the rim, or pass the ball out to a wide open teammate.

New York yet again…wasted another spectacular night by Carmelo Anthony, who finished the game with 44 points 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Anthony at one point made nine field goals in a row, including a three-point shot where he made a spin move to elude Tobias Harris and stepped back. Anthony battled Harris all night long, as much points as Anthony had, it was Harris who got the last laugh, when Harris pushed Anthony out of bounds with 22.2 seconds remaining in regulation. No push off foul was called, but the Magic would miss their opportunity to win the game in regulation after a timeout.

Both teams missed opportunities to win the game in regulation and the first overtime. The Magic missed plenty of layups around the rim, and the Knicks shots rimmed in and out on several occasions. One of the bigger missed opportunities for the Knicks was when Tyson Chandler broke free to do a reverse ally-opp dunk. Unfortunately Chandler turning around placed his head right under the rim, where it bounced off the top of his head, and right back out of the net. After a brief referee gathering, they called it an offensive goaltending interference. At that point the game was tied at 113 with 1:07 remaining in the first overtime. There were no more scores afterwards, so that dunk, if not for the unfortunate placement of his body, could have given New York the game winning field goal.

The game would go to a second overtime, as Nikola Vucevic missed another potential game winning layup, after he had already missed one in regulation. Vucevic though still had a great game scoring 14 points and collecting 15 rebounds before he fouled out in the second overtime. Continue reading

Knicks @ Pelicans – 1-19-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

Wednesday night was February 19, 2014 eve of the NBA trade deadline.

The good news the New York Knicks won against the New Orleans Pelicans 98-91 behind a 42 point night from Carmelo Anthony. The bad news…Iman Shumpert, arguably the only tradable asset the Knicks have, and is willing to part with, reinjured his surgically repaired left knee. Shumpert needed the assistance of his teammates to help him off the floor, suffering a sprain left knee when he was making a move towards the rim.

Carmelo Anthony dominated the fourth quarter, something that has been an infrequent event this season. Anthony scored 13 straight points for the Knicks in the final period, isolating himself on almost all possessions, getting by his defender with his first step, and pulling up for a mid-range jumper. No matter who the Pelicans threw at Anthony as the defender, no one was able to consistently stop him. Anthony even got his shot off against the outstretched arms of Anthony Davis. Though at times Davis did get the best of Anthony, getting a block and a steal on Anthony when they were isolated one on one. Anthony Davis would finish the game with 14 points 10 rebounds 5 blocks and 2 steals, safe to say there will be many more All Star game appearances by this man.

Though the Knicks would not have won, if not for the performances of J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr., whom were the only other Knicks in double figure scoring. The rest of the starters combined for only 17 points, so their scoring off the both was paramount to New York picking up a win. Tim Hardaway Jr. almost single handed matched that with 16 points off the bench. J.R. Smith in particular was making everything he threw up, including a wild and one circus shot in the first half. Smith did most of his damage in the second quarter, scoring 12 of his 19 points in the period.

New York had as big much as a 13 point lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks would go scoreless in a four minutes stretch, where they watched New Orleans go on an 11-0 run to get within one possession 83-81. The Pelicans would get no closer as Carmelo Anthony closed out the game for the Knicks.

Something curious to note is that Eric Gordon, who was just dominate through three quarters, literally doing anything he wanted against the Knicks pathetic defense, was held out of the fourth quarter until the four minute mark. How dominate was he? Through three quarters he scored 28 points, which included hitting three three-pointers, and got to the line, attempting eight free throws. By the time he came back into the game, he had cooled off, and was scoreless in the fourth. No one can tell me otherwise that New Orleans, who are 23-30 after the loss to New York, were not intentionally tanking, when you have hottest hand sitting on the bench for most of the fourth quarter. Gordon was so cold, he air balled the potential go ahead three with two minutes remaining in the game.

Knicks @ Grizzlies – 2-19-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

The New York Knicks fall short on a comeback from an 18 point first half deficit to the “Grit and Grind” Memphis Grizzlies, losing 98-93 in their first game back from the All Star break.

             In the first half it looked like the New York Knicks were still in vacation mode, getting off to a slow start, just content on jacking up threes. Knicks were a goose egg in the first half on their nine three-point attempts, and shot a dismal 34.1% overall from the field. As great as Carmelo Anthony was in the All Star game, breaking the record for made threes in the mid-season classic exhibition game with eight made threes Sunday night. Anthony like the rest of the Knicks was still in vacation mode as well, missing his first seven attempts from the field. Anthony got semi on track again afterwards, going 8/15 the rest of the way finishing with 22 points on an ineffective 22 attempts.

           On the other end New York made the Memphis Grizzles with the nickname “Grit and Grind” look like they were an offensive juggernaut scoring 50 points, shooting over 50% from the field. The Grizzles were unselfish, sharing the basketball, collecting 14 assist on 21 made field goals in the first half, in which they had every player scoring at least a point. This is the same Memphis team that is the fourth lowest scoring team in the league at 94.7 points per game.

            The Knicks started the second half trailing 52-37, as bad as they had played in the first half, that was how well they played the second half. New York stormed out to a 14-4 run to start to the third quarter to get within one possession four minutes into the second half. New York amped up their defensive intensity, forcing Memphis to shot 35% from the field, even causing a 24 second violation. The rest of the quarter though the Grizzlies were able to keep the Knicks at arm’s length, as Anthony got it to a one possession game again at the end of the third quarter, knocking down a jump shot, making it 66-64.

Knicks vs. Nuggets – 2-7-14 – Game Recap

 
Written by William Lee
 
             Friday night’s game between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks was a very competitive game to start, with both teams going back and forth. New York took an early 8-2 lead behind a hot start from Carmelo Anthony, who made his first six shots. Denver would turn it around with defense, forcing the Knicks into eight turnovers in the first quarter. New York, who is best in the league at minimizing turnovers at 12.8 per game, was out of character Friday night. Iman Shumpert had four turnovers in less than seven minutes by himself! The defense propelled the Nuggets to go on a 12-0 run to get a double digit lead 24-14 with 1:48 left in the game.
            In the second quarter, the script completely flipped, it was the Knicks defense that starting causing havoc, and getting the Nuggets to turnover. Denver had 11 turnovers in the second quarter, 7/8 of the players that played in the quarter all recorded at least one turnover. This helped give New York ten more possessions in the quarter than Denver.
            Pablo Prigioni and Amare Stoudemire were especially effective, when all the starters were resting in the beginning of the second quarter. They got New York back in the game, and when the starters came back in they effectively  ended the quarter well, going on a 13-2 run to end the first half to give the Knicks a 50-44 lead. Prigioni didn’t score a point in the game, but effected the games in other areas, with six assist and four steals. Stoudemire scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds off the bench in 20 minutes of play.
            In the third quarter, everything went well for the Knicks, including the play that gave them a double digit lead. Carmelo Anthony missed badly on a three-point attempt, but Tyson Chandler was fortunate enough to be around the ball, and just lays it back in to give the Knicks a 59-48 lead with 9:04 left in the third quarter. That was the lone offensive rebound in the quarter, but not much was needed, as the Knicks almost made 2/3 of their shot attempts in the period. A blow out was in full effect by the end of the third quarter with the score 83-68, and no Knicks’ starters would be reinserted back into the lineup in the fourth quarter.
            New York had a great team victory, winning 117-90 with six players in double figures scoring. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 31 points in 32 minutes of play. Anthony had plenty of help as the Knicks’ bench scored 60 points in the game. New York’s frontline was impressive against the small Nugget’s frontline, Continue reading

Knicks @ Blazers – 2-5-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

Carmelo Anthony was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January, leading the New York Knicks to a 10-6 record for the month, averaging 28.7 points 9 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

Sadly, we can only look back fondly on January and on his historic 62 points night at Madison Square Garden, because February has been dreadful so far. Five days into February and the Knicks have already mounted three losses, losing to the Portland Trailblazers 94-90 Wednesday night.

In the opening minutes, there was a play that was indicative of how the 2013-2014 New York Knicks season has been going so far, and what is wrong with the Knicks all season.  New York misses a shot in the lane, and while the Knicks are back paddling in transition, Nicolas Batum gets straight to the rim for a dunk because no one picks him up. When the offense isn’t clicking, the defense is just not sufficient, there an extreme lack of communication on the defensive end. The dunk gave Portland an early 10-4 advantage, during the play you can see Tyson Chandler yelling at Raymond Felton to pick up in transition, but Felton had no clue Batum was coming his way, and didn’t even have time to turn his head to react. Felton defense has been especially horrid this year, and was showcased in the Bucks’ loss a couple night’s back, when he was beaten on a backdoor cut at a pivotal closing moments of the game.

There were a lot of good things to take away from the game, especially in the first half where it was a very competitive game against a top team in the league. The Blazers only led by one, after the first half, with the score 47-46. Carmelo Anthony was a big reason why, Anthony missed his first shot, then would proceed to make his next six in the first quarter good for 14 points, including a buzzer beating mid-range pull up jumper, making it 26-23 deficit at the end of the quarter. Tyson Chandler was doing a great job of guarding LaMarcus Aldridge, forcing him to take tough shots, the only shot he made in the first half was a tough fade away bank in jump shot. Aldridge was 1/7 in the first half, and finished the game, making only five field goals. Although Aldridge struggled with Chandler’s length guarding him, and the double teams that New York sent, he did get his teammates involved, collecting five assist in the game.

Other than the first quarter, where the Blazers shot 50%, the Knicks played really good defense. Constantly lowing Portland’s field goal percentage in every quarter, Blazers shot 40% in the second quarter, 37.5% in the third quarter and then 23.5% in the fourth quarter. This is especially encouraging to see because Portland has the league’s most potent offense at 107.7 points per game. The Blazers are also number one in most threes made per game at 9.4 three-point field goals made a game. New York was able to hold Portland below their averages in both categories Wednesday night.
Unfortunately the Knicks reverted back in their ways in the third quarter. Even with the Blazers dreadful shooting, the Knicks did not complete defensive possessions with a defensive rebound. The Blazers outhustled the Knicks, getting seven offensive rebounds in the third quarter. The Knicks also could not defend without fouling, sending Portland to the line constantly. Of course this isn’t new, because New York is the fourth most-foul prone team in the league at 22.3 personal fouls per game. New York doesn’t only foul, but commit dumb fouls, fouling jump shooters. J.R Smith fouled Aldridge trying to contest his shot, and then a minute later would foul on a three-point attempt by Dorell Wright. Portland would make New York pay on their transgressions, converted on all ten free throws.

J.R Smith might have committed some low IQ fouls, but he actually did play well. Smith made aggressive moves to the basket, and then would make the right pass when the defense collapse on him because he beat his initial defender. Smith and Amare Stoudemire made a good pairing in pick-and-roll, and pick-and-pop. Four of Smith’s six assist were to Stoudemire, where he threw down a couple of dunks, and knocked down a couple of open jump shots, created by Smith’s dribble penetration to the rim.

In the fourth quarter the Blazers continued to parade to the free throw line, converting 8/13. With 1:11 left in the game, it looked like Portland would walk out of New York with a sure victory, leading by 89-81, but back to back threes by the Knicks got New York within striking distances in a few seconds. With 50 seconds remaining in the game, Portland called a timeout up only one possession 89-87. Aldridge would hit a clutch fade away jumper that would eventually end up being the game winning jumper, as the Blazers hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the victory. It is of note that Anthony laid an egg in the fourth quarter, not scoring a single point in the final period, in a highly competitive game against such a quality opponent.