Knicks @ Celtics – 3-12-14 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

New York matched their longest winning streak all season, collecting their fifth straight win Wednesday night defeating Boston 116-92.

An extremely thin frontline, got thinner Wednesday night, as Tyson Chandler did not play due to personal reasons for a second consecutive game, and Amare Stoudemire sat out to recover, who has been playing tremendous basketball both on offense and defense. Without Chandler and Stoudemire, Cole Aldrich stepped into the starting lineup. To the Knicks credit, every player stepped up to the challenge, especially Aldrich and Earl Clark, who saw meaningful minutes due the decimated frontcourt. Aldrich collected a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, along with three blocks for a +19 +/-. While Earl Clark didn’t have an impressive stat line, his impact overall was felt, stepping into the rotation, giving excellent back up minutes (particularly in the second quarter when Anthony was resting), proven with the best +/- of anyone, +22.

The Knicks scored 68 points in the first half, which were the most points scored in a half by New York. New York put on a three-point shooting clinic in the first half, connecting on 9-of-10 from beyond the arc. Both Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. connected on three-threes. Anthony started off strong, as per usual, with 13 points in the first quarter. J.R Smith got off to a hot start as well, scoring nine of his 13 points in the first quarter, helping build a 36-24 advantage by the end of the first quarter.

Tim Hardaway Jr. provided a huge lift off the bench, scoring 12 of his 22 points in the second quarter. New York was unconscious on offense Wednesday night, scoring at a 60.5% clip in the first half, leading 68-48 at the half. The Celtics defense looked like they were imitating the Knicks’ defense, constantly switching out bigs onto New York’s perimeter players, which forced mismatches in favor of the offense. This is scenario that played out for most of the first half, if the double didn’t come, Anthony easily scored on crossover dribble pull ups, and if the double came, the ball swung around the perimeter for a wide open three. New York handed out 15 assists on Continue reading

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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.

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

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 13

Seriously, is this the same team I wrote about last week?  Four games, four blowout losses.  The closest game was a 10 point loss to the Pacers.  There were also Knick Effects in 3 out of 4 of these games (highest or 2nd highest scoring game of the season for an opposing player).  This might be my hardest week to rank yet as pretty much the entire roster has played way below expectations. Lets give this a try:
       
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Chandler, Tyson Tyson still does not look like himself but he had a decent week.  He even got involved on offense in a couple of games.  You know what kind of week it’s been when having a fairly decent couple of games gets you the #1 spot.  Bonus for calling out Woodson on his defensive scheme. 7
2 Anthony, Carmelo Melo has done a great job at getting to the line and is still rebounding at a good clip, even having a 20 rebound game.  Shooting 4-23 though….I’d like to see less iso and hero ball and more distribution, but considering pretty much the whole roster has been shooting poorly I can see where the lack of confidence in teammates is coming from. 1
3 Udrih, Beno Why is Beno this high?  Because he was smart enough to reqest a trade.  That kind of intelligent thinking is worthy of a high spot. 11
4 Jeremy Tyler Jeremy Tyler went 3-4, 2-3 and 3-3 in consecutive games.  Shooting numbers the likes of which the rest of the roster couldn’t achieve even in the wettest of dreams. 15
5 Stoudemire, Amar’e Amare had a good game before rolling an ankle that will keep him out 2-3 weeks.  At least it wasn’t his knee.   Continue reading

2013/14 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 9

Two wins and only 1 loss since last weeks power rankings.  So what if the two wins were by the smallest of margins and also to the two worst teams in the league.  It’s Christmas week and I’m trying to stay positive.  I probably won’t stay positive past #2 or 3 on this list but I’ll try my best.
       
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Chandler, Tyson Oh how we missed the defense and rebounding and the yelling after dunks.  Would love to see Chandler get more involved in the offense, but after seeing what this team looked like without Tyson there is no denying him the #1 spot this week.  Especially since he didn’t get reinjured after Woodson tried to murder him in the Bucks game by keeping him in for 37 minutes, the last 10 or so of which he was clearly hobbling. 3
2 Anthony, Carmelo Carmelo Anthony hit the 50% mark twice this week!  That’s borderline efficient!  With pretty much everyone on the roster without a last name of Hardaway shooting like it’s the 8th round of a beer pong rec league I can almost understand all the iso.  Of couse he does that when he has shooters around him too so I won’t totally justify the ball hoggery. 1
3 Hardaway Jr., Tim THJ is going on week 3 as the best SG on this team.  Lets keep rolling with Shump and JR though because that strategy makes much more sense than developing a player who already leads all rookies in 3p%, which happens to be a glaring weakness on this team. 2
4 Udrih, Beno I’m already having a ton of trouble with this list.  I guess Beno gets it for his really great game against the Bucks (offensively anyway, he did let Brandon Knight score approx. 357 points), and some decent play against the magic.  He did completely stink against Memphis, but so did pretty much everyone. 11
5 Murry, Toure’ Why is Toure’ Murry so high?  He’s the only player from this point forward that didn’t completely suck in at least 1 game this week and/or get/is injured.  Plus that sick behind the back pass to Hardaway had to bump him up a few spots. Continue reading

Knicks vs Wizards – 12-16-13 – Game Recap

Written by William Lee

John Wall dominated the first half, scoring in double figures in the first quarter alone. John Wall is one of the quickest point guards in the league, and he displayed it Monday night. Wall attacked in the open court, scoring either for himself or getting his teammates involved for 16 first half fast break points. John Wall had 19 points and 5 assist by halftime, and got plenty of help from Martell Webster, as he dropped four threes to compliment Wall penetrating attack into the paint. Martell Webster would fall a couple points of reaching his career high in points, finishing the game with 30 points.

The Knicks could not stop the Wizards, allowing 55.6% field goal, and getting scorched from beyond the arc, for seven three point shots in the first half. The Wizards kept the Knicks in the game, by turning the ball over frequently, with ten turnovers alone just in the second quarter. The extra possessions were much needed for New York, as the Knicks shoot a dismal 31.9% from the field, and was not able to collect much offensive rebounds off so many misses, only collecting five from 32 misses. Continue reading