New York Knicks at Minnesota Timberwolves
Game 18: November 30, 2016
Knicks 106, Wolves 104
Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn
Why do you do this to me Carmelo? Why?
After I had been talking and tweeting about how Carmelo Anthony needed to stop shooting and Porzingis should take the last shot, Anthony came out and hit the game winning jumper to defeat the Timberwolves in Minnesota. The Knicks held on after blowing a 17 point fourth quarter lead to win 106-104. Kristaps Porzingis led New York with 29 points on 11/20 shooting, but he wasn’t the story of tonight’s game. Karl-Anthony Towns, taken three picks ahead of KP in the 2015 draft, had a career high 47 points on 22 shots, along with 18 rebounds. Whoever the Knicks threw at him defensively, whether it was Kyle O’Quinn, KP, or Marshall Plumlee, it didn’t matter. Dude was in an unstoppable zone tonight, and man was that fun to watch.
Takeaways from this game:
The Knicks were without Joakim Noah, who sat out the game with an ankle sprain, and Courtney Lee had an early exit as well due to injury. New York had to turn to guys like Sasha Vujacic, Marshall Plumlee, Brandon Jennings, and Mindaugus Kuzminskas, who each stepped up in the minutes they played. Jennings had 12 points and 7 assists, Kuz scored a career high 14 points, Plumlee played 20 energized minutes, and Sasha hit a few key jumpers early in the 4th.
Excellent job by these guys to hold the lead for the Knicks as they overcame injuries and ineffective play by key starters. Nice to see the guys that don’t play much be ready to step in if their name gets called.
KAT on the attack:
Another game, another young stud taking it to the Knicks, this time in the form of Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns was unstoppable tonight, going for a career high 47 points on 15-22 shooting.
Everything he does is so smooth, and he has such a complete offensive game. Post moves, mid-range jumpers, three pointers, he can do it all from anywhere on the court. Oh, and he also went 17-20 from the free throw line. This guy is going to be a multiple time all-star, and maybe a league MVP, and we saw exactly what kind of offensive force he can be. I can’t wait to see he and Porzingis go at each other for the next 15+ years.
The Knicks were firing on all cylinders right out of the gate and jumped out to an early lead in this game. The only problem is, they quickly squandered the lead and lost it by the end of the quarter. Defense has been the key to the Knicks success all season, and their defense gave it all away. The Knicks defense has to play up to their offense if they expect to be a playoff team.
They need all five guys in the starting lineup to play hard on defense, namely Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony, who have been known to give less than 100% on defense, to put it nicely.
The Knicks will see these same Timberwolves again on Friday in New York for the second leg of a home and home. New York got only their second road win of the season, and it felt like an eternity since they last won away from MSG. The Knicks look to go over .500 once again on Friday night, as they try and sweep the season series against the Wolves. Hopefully, somebody on this team will be able to guard Towns, and for the love of Bernard King can Carmelo shoot 50% from the field? Please? 9-9.