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 Knicks did a great job of defending the Pelicans in the first quarter, forcing them to shoot 23.8%, going 5/21 from the field. Kenyon Martin set the tone from the tip, he did a good job of harassing Anthony Davis on the first two Pelicans’ possession, poking the ball from Davis, causing the Pelicans to start off with two turnovers. A couple possessions later Anthony Davis made a strong move to the rim, attempting to dunk the ball, but Andrea Bargnani was there to contest it without fouling. Bargnani had an amazing defensive effort in the first quarter, blocking three shots in the period, highlighted by a block on Jason Smith which led to a fast break alley opp to Carmelo Anthony. Anthony Davis left at 1:33 remaining in the first quarter, with the Knicks leading 18-16, and never returned. The New Orleans sophomore stud suffered a non-displaced fracture on his left hand. His season averages coming into tonight’s match up with the Knicks was 19.6 points 10.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game. This was another golden opportunity for the Knicks to take advantage of, to finally stop their losing streak.
With the Pelicans’ superstar sidelined, the bench came out swinging in the second quarter with Tyreke Evans and Ryan Anderson both scoring ten points in the quarter. This kept the Pelicans in the game with the Knicks in the first half, with the Knicks leading 49-44 going into intermission. The Knicks were sharing the ball and had great ball movement, with 13 assist on 18 made field goals at the half. Raymond Felton led the way for the Knicks at the half with 10 points and 5 assist. Continue reading
“Its only the preseason” is the claim that many will make regarding the perfect shift Iman Shumpert put in during the Knicks opening preseason game versus Boston on Wednesday night. For those of us who have been watching Knicks basketball for years, it was confirmation of what we have been whispering for over a year. Iman Shumpert is ready to take the next step into stardom in the NBA.
Shump was flawless from the field, going 7-7 including 3 from behind the arc. The most encouraging improvement is his shot selection. There were many times early in the game when a younger Shumpert would have forced a shot or had one of those pointless drives into the paint. On Wednesday night, Shumpert drove and created, making plays happen for his teammates. How many years has it been since the Knicks has possessed a player with a solid combination speed and scoring ability?