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.

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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 vs Cavs – 1-30-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

“In 1970, Cleveland’s newspaper, The Plain Dealer, held a contest to name the city’s new basketball club. Contest winner Jerry Tomko wrote that the Cavaliers “represent a group of daring, fearless men, whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds.” via NBA.com. It is probably safe to say Mr. Tomko would be disappointed in this season’s 16-29 Cleveland Cavaliers team. Probably even disappointed, in hearing new rumors that surfaced this week that team captain “Kyrie Irving has been telling people privately he wants out,” according to ESPN insider Chad Ford.

The Cavaliers sure looked like a group of people that surrendered, easily and with little resistance at that, in Thursday night’s 117-86 defeat at the hands of a suddenly hot New York Knicks team. New York was leading by double figures within four minutes of tip off. Cleveland would be down by as many as 29 points in the second quarter, and as many as 31 points in the second half. The Cavaliers showed little fight, barely even denting the Knicks’ lead, even though New York went cold in the second half of the second quarter, going without a field goal for over five minutes. New York led 60-36 at half time, even with the mini draught.

Carmelo Anthony erupted in the first quarter for 18 points, looked like he was on pace for another historical night. Any thoughts of another magical 62 point game performance were quickly squashed, as Mike Woodson wisely rested his superstar in an early blowout game to start the second quarter. Anthony finished the game with a very effective 29 points in 30 minutes of play. Continue reading

Knicks vs Celtics – 1-28-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

After finally earning a win in matinée games Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers, New York looked to avenge a 114-73 matinée loss to the Boston Celtics from early December. With the Knicks down 0-2 in the season series so far, New York jumped out to an early lead, and never looked back, winning 114-88.

Reverse layup, slam dunk, Iman Shumpert got to the rim early, New York got into the paint easily, getting layups, dunks, just about whatever they wanted. Tyson Chandler put back, Pablo Prigioni reverse layup, Chandler alley opp, these are all the scores of the first few possessions that began the game. You get the picture, the Celtics could not defend the Knicks, and when they finally stopped the bleeding from the inside, New York would drop a three on them for good measure. New York finished the first quarter with 14 points in the paint, along with four threes to help double up on Boston 31-15 when it was all said and done in the period.

The closest the Celtics ever got back into the game, was within fourteen points, when they went on an 11-0 mid-way through the second quarter. With the score 45-31, Tim Hardaway Jr. would knock down two timely threes, and Boston never threatened again. Hardaway Jr would finish the game with 16 points off the bench. The bench contributed greatly to Tuesday night’s victory with 63 bench points. Reigning Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith contributed 17 points and 5 assist off the bench as well. Jeremy Tyler recorded 17 points as well, a majority of the time during garbage minutes, when the game was already out of hand, but nonetheless, a positive. Continue reading

Knicks Vs. Bobcats – 1-25-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

January 24, 2014 Carmelo Anthony set a career high and franchise record with 62 points in Madison Square Garden.

In a post-game interview with MSG’s Tina Cervasio, it was revealed that Anthony and the Knicks as a whole were inspired in the locker room before the game by a motivational video about greatness by a Mohammad Ali speech. Anthony said “My energy level went up, my focus level went times ten” after watching the video. It showed early, as Anthony drove to the lane throwing down a thunderous one handed dunk to score his 18th point of the game in the first quarter alone. This tied for most points scored in a quarter by any player so far this season. He would set a record this season for most points scored in a quarter on a step back jump shot to give him 20 points to end the first quarter, and also gave New York a 30-21 advantage at the end of the period.

Carmelo Anthony continued his rampage on the Charlotte Bobcats in the second quarter, scoring 17 points for a total of 37 points in the first half. The 37 first half points would mark the most point scored by a player in the NBA this season in any half played. Even with Anthony almost matching the total point output Charlotte was putting up, the Bobcats for most of the first half was always within striking distance, always within single digits deficit for the most part. It wasn’t until Continue reading

Knicks @ Bobcats – 1-14-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee 
Carmelo Anthony last comment in a post-game interview with MSG Tina Cervasio “We got another game tomorrow, Shit”  after an overtime victory over Phoenix Monday night pretty much foreshadowed   Tuesday night’s game. After narrowly escaping a gritty game with the Suns, the Knicks just looked tired on the second game of a back to back, flying to Charlotte right after Monday’s game, getting in at 3 A.M. New York was content with launching long range jumpers, and was just going through the motions for most of the game.
 Charlotte went on a 19-5 run to end the first half, holding a 55-46 lead at intermission.  Al Jefferson dominated New York with his post game, setting the tone early with 11 first quarter points. Jefferson made his presence felt throughout the game, finishing with the game with 35 points and 8 rebounds, helping the Bobcats snap the Knicks’ five game winning streak.
New York got as close as a four point deficit, going on a 12-7 bridging from the end of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth quarter. All the points were scored by either Carmelo Anthony or Amare Stoudemire during the run. It was interesting to see that Carmelo Anthony had to play 38:25 minutes, continuing to shoulder the scoring load, as well as waste his energy bringing up the ball. Continue reading