New York Knicks at Golden State Warriors
Game 26: December 12, 2016
Warriors 103, Knicks 90
It definitely could have been worse.
So the Knicks took on the juggernaut that is the Golden State Warriors tonight in Oakland on the fourth game of a five game western swing, and came up short, 103-90. Considering the firepower that the Warriors possess with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, a thirteen point loss feels ok, especially with Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose watching in street clothes. The unlikely leader in scoring tonight was former Warrior Justin Holiday, who finished the game with 15 points. Ron Baker scored 13 off the bench on 6-7 shooting, and Brandon Jennings, who started for Rose, had 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Klay Thompson led Golden State with 25 points, and Steph Curry finished with 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. Kevin Durant had 15 points, 14 boards, and 8 assists.
Takeaways from this game:
Draymond is the worst possible matchup for KP.
If you missed this game and are wondering why I didn’t bring up Kristaps Porzingis’ stat line from tonight, it’s because there isn’t much of a stat line to bring up. KP ended this one with 8 points on 4-13 shooting and 5 rebounds, thanks in part to the defense played by Draymond Green. Green, who is incredibly physical and deceivingly quick, had Porzingis in trouble all night long on both ends. Draymond is too quick and too strong for our friend Kristaps, and in the three games the Knicks have played against Golden State since KP got drafted, he’s had a really hard time with Draymond. KP isn’t strong or fast enough to deal with Green, and that was evident tonight in Oakland.
Walking wounded, or not so wounded:
The Knicks went into tonight without 40% of their starting lineup as both Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony sat out tonight due to various injuries. Rose has been dealing with a bad back, but more surprising was Anthony, who was dealing with a sore right shoulder. This shoulder injury seemed to come out of nowhere, did anyone else think it was convenient that he got hurt right before the Warrior game? I could be wrong, but he didn’t seem hurt enough to go 3-15 from the floor the other night. Maybe my judgement is off because of his poor play, but would it surprise anyone? All I know is, if the Knicks had both of these guys on the floor tonight, they could’ve stolen this game, considering how Green, Curry, and Durant shot a combined 12-44 tonight.
Ron Baker shot 6-7 from the floor tonight for 13 points. I know he hasn’t proved to be a rotation NBA guard, but it’s fun watching this guy play well. I watched a lot of Wichita State when he was playing there, so this is pretty cool seeing him play well for New York.
The Knicks finish up this road trip from Hell on Saturday against the Nuggets in Denver. Seeing the Knicks compete against the elite of the NBA while missing key players has me feeling optimistic, and the Knicks should take care of business in Denver and end the road trip 3-2. If both Rose and Anthony play, this should be a good win to conclude the trip. 14-12.