Written by William Lee
Wednesday night was a battle of ineptitude on offense, with Detroit literally being the worst offensive team in the league, being ranked at the bottom for all offensive statistical categories. New York don’t fare any better, being the second worst in points per game at 88.5 points per game.
It was a strange and ugly game to start. It being a battle between Jason Smith, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both of whom went perfect from the field, scoring 11 points in the first quarters. Both received little help from their teammates, with each team struggling 42.9% from the field. Caldwell-Pope got a little more help than Smith though with Detroit leading 25-20 after the first quarter.
Knicks who were already extremely short-handed with the injuries to Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon, as well as J.R. Smith serving an suspension (Jason Smith getting the start), the only backup point guard Pablo Prigioni turned his ankle early in the second quarter. The second quarter for Wednesday night was just as disastrous as Tuesday night’s third quarter, going 33.3% from the field, and turning the ball over four times. But unlike Tuesday night, it wasn’t Carmelo Anthony hogging the ball, in fact Anthony only took six shots in the first half. The only reason the Knicks were even somewhat still in the game at the half 49-37, was because Josh Smith and Andre Drummond missed plenty of point blank shots, combining for 2-18 in the first half.
It took until the 8:47 mark in the third quarter for Carmelo Anthony to finally make his first basket in the game. Although Anthony got more aggressive in the period, he continued to struggle going only 3/10 from the field in the quarter, finishing the game 5/21 for a grand total of 13 points. The Pistons struggled in the third quarter as well, but Jonas Jerebko hit back to back threes to give Detroit a 75-57 lead late in the quarter.
The game looked out of reach midway through the fourth quarter, but New York didn’t give up and went on a 26-10 outburst powered mainly by Tim Hardaway Jr., who knocked down four-threes, and totaling for 14 points in the final period. Hardaway Jr. final three with 7.3 seconds remaining in the game gave the Knicks a slim chance to complete their comeback.
Caldwell-Pope was intentionally fouled, who played a great game, and in large part was the reason Detroit had their early lead, scoring 20 points in the game, would miss both free throws, giving New York life. Iman Shumpert was smartly fouled to prevent a three point attempt, so he would have to make the first free throw, and miss the second intentionally to create a chance for a put back. Which was exactly what he did, unfortunately New York couldn’t grab the offensive rebound, and Jennings iced the game at the free throw line. New York gave Detroit their first victory in the early 2014-2015 season with a 98-95 defeat Wednesday night.