Written by William Lee
After the Christmas Day beat down the Knicks received at the hands of the Thunder, the Knicks start a home and home against the Raptors Friday night. Toronto has been playing a lot better lately, they are 5-3 since the Rudy Gay trade, with two of the losses coming from the defending Western Conference Champion Spurs. Toronto come into Friday night the Atlantic Division leader, with New York only three games back of the Division crown, which will automatically give the team no less than fourth seed in the playoffs.
The Knicks were again without their leading scorer Carmelo Anthony due to a left sprained ankle. Andrea Bargnani got out to a hot start, scoring ten points in the first quarter against his former team, that made him a No. 1 overall draft pick in 2006. The first quarter was a display of extremely sloppy basketball, with neither team taking care of the basketball. Toronto had seven turnovers, New York was even worse, with eight. Though the Knicks were able to overcome all the turnovers in the first quarter by playing great defense, forcing the Raptors to shoot 35.3% from the field, leading 25-18 after one period.
There was more ugly basketball in the second quarter, with both teams shooting no more than 40% from the field. J.R. Smith was the lone Knick making any shots in the quarter. Smith hit all four attempts, three of which were threes, for a total of 11 point. The Raptors took the lead, after a Terrance Ross three, leading 37-36 with 3:17 remaining in the first half. The Knicks would answer, ending the second quarter on a 13- 3 run, to take a 49-40 lead.
Jay and Marc are joined by Jim Cavan from Knicksblogger and We’ll Always Have Linsanity. The show starts off with Marc providing a list of ten positive things. You can probably guess what we talk about after that, Mike Woodsons coaching decisions, Kidd and JRs extended slumps, the benching of anyone that can hit a three, the overall futility of pretty much everyone.
Download Episode 198
OK so were we in the twilight zone tonight or on Tuesday night? THIS is the Knicks team everyone wants to see. Intense D, ball movement on offense and everyone getting involved. You know, the opposite of last game.
If I had to guess I’d say that Tuesday was the anomaly and tonight is going to be the norm, which by the way if you want to bet on NY Knicks you can do NBA betting (click here) at Top Bet. The Knicks still have 4 players out, but you can start to get a feel of how this team is going to look a month from now. Camby looked better than he has all season with 16 solid minutes, 6 boards and a number of blocked shots. If he’s going to be able to do that for 15-18 minutes on a nightly basic I’m fine with that and also fine with Kurt Thomas buried on the bench only to be used as insurance.
Amare was aggressive and was showing off the post moves he learned this summer. He got blocked about 17 times, but put a few in and drew a few fouls. The crazy part is he didn’t make me constantly scream at the TV about his defense. If he can play that level of defense every night (acceptable but not great) then this is going to be a dangerous team come playoff time.
Brewer his a few shots but he’s going to have to have a string of solid games for me not to cringe every time he shoots the ball. He’s the leading candidate to get buried on the bench if Shumpert resembles an NBA player when he comes back from injury. Continue reading
Jim Cavan from Knickerblogger.net joins us today. We talk about the Knicks last three games, if the Knicks can keep this pace up, what day to day really means, a few trade scenarios involving the Knicks, Toronto and the Lakers, Shumperts hair, Feltons shooting and much much more. Download Episode 161