Written by William Lee
New York spoiled Cleveland big night for Big Z, Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ retirement ceremony, winning 107-97 Saturday night.
New York devastated Cleveland inside early and often, scoring easily in the paint, finishing with 12 points in the paint in the first quarter. Amare Stoudemire continued his strong performance since inserted into the lineup, scoring 8 of his 17 points in the first quarter. Stoudemire got his second double-double all season with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
While Carmelo Anthony who normally starts off strong, was not his typical self, seen visibly suffering from a cold, keeping as much article of clothing on himself as possible, and draping his head in a towel during pre-game warm ups. Anthony would start off cold, missing his first six attempts from the field. With New York’s star player struggling, their defense kept them in the game, holding Cleveland scoreless for nearly the final three and a half minutes of the first quarter. The Knicks went on an 8-2 run during this stretch, before allowing Jarret Jack to score in the winding seconds in the period. New York led 23-19 after one period of play. Continue reading
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
Written by William Lee
The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped out to an 18 point lead on the New York Knicks, and it looked like it was déjà vu for the Knickerbockers. It looked like it was going to be another no effort beat down that occurred in the Sunday matinee against the Atlantic Division leading Boston Celtics, where we saw the Knicks down by as many as 45 points, with the final score Celtics 114 Knicks 73. Instead the Knicks were able to fight and claw their way back into the game, at least in the first half…the second half would be a different story.
The Knicks lead early 5-4, and then Cavaliers went on a 14-0 run mid-way through the first quarter, leading to their largest lead in the first half of 18 points. With 4:22 left in the first quarter the Knicks went over the foul limit, the Knicks could not play defense without fouling in the first quarter, finishing the period with 10 personal fouls. Every starter except for Carmelo Anthony was in foul trouble by the end of the quarter with two fouls each. The Cavaliers attempted 16 free throws in the first quarter, converting 12 of them from the charity stripe. Not only did the Cavaliers get to the line at will, they also scored at will, finishing 52.9% from the field in the first quarter. Conversely the Knicks were held to 34.8%, the Knicks settled for way too many outside jumps, attempting ten three point shots just in the opening quarter. Although the Knicks would convert on consecutive threes during a 10-2 to close the gap to 10, with the Cavaliers leading 29-19. The Cavaliers lead 31-19 after the first quarter, behind the efforts of Uncle Drew aka Kyrie Irving, who had 9 points and 3 assist in the quarter. Continue reading
I was going to take a look around the league at the halfway mark. Then I figured since the trade deadline was so close I’d wait because that would change everything. Little did I know I could have written 95% of it and added a little blurb about JJ Redick afterwards since he was by far the biggest name that got moved. Anyway here’s how each team is looking with about 25 games left in the season.
Miami Heat – Miami was only a few games ahead of the pack for the first half of the season. Now it looks like they are going to run away with the #1 seed as everyone expected. It helps that LeBron had a ridiculous streak of 6 straight games of scoring over 30 points while shooting over 60%. That streak ended with him scoring 39 points but only shooting 58%. What a slacker. Ray Allen and Udonis Haslem haven’t even been playing well so this team has the potential to get even better down the stretch. They get outrebounded often but at 39-14 and 5 ½ games ahead of Indiana I don’t think that’s a huge concern.
Indiana Pacers – Paul George stepped up in Danny Granger’s absence. Granger came back a game ago to further improve the 2nd place Pacers. The only concern is their max contract center, Roy Hibbert, who is averaging 10 and 8. Their last four wins have come at an average of 27 points a game which is impressive since they are one of the lowest scoring teams in the NBA.
New York Knicks – It looks like the Knicks trolled their fans with fast, crisp ball movement, excellent 3-point shooting, unselfish play, lockdown defense and an 18-5 start. The last 33 games they are 17 and 16 since, can’t defend any guard in the league, play iso-ball and forgot how to shoot. Continue reading