New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks
Game 31: December 28, 2016
Hawks 102, Knicks 98 (OT)
My brother called that lane violation:
The Knicks began a 3 game road trip in Atlanta against the Hawks tonight and came up short, 102-98 in overtime. Carmelo Anthony was ejected in the second quarter after an altercation with Thabo Sefolosha and received a flagrant 2 foul. In his absence, Derrick Rose scored 26 points on a poor 9/28 from the field, and Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points and 8 rebounds, but missed a key free throw with 3 seconds left in overtime. Joakim Noah had another solid game with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Dennis Schröder led the Hawks with 25 points and 5 assists.
Dwight Howard finished the game with 16 points and 22 rebounds, the most rebounds a Knick opponent has had in a game this season.
Takeaways from this game:
Carmelo, come one bro
For the second time this season, Carmelo Anthony was ejected from a game in the first half.
Carmelo was battling down low for a rebound with Thabo Sefolosha, and came up and hit him in the face. After review, the officials threw Melo out after assessing a flagrant 2 foul. This can’t happen, especially on the games where Derrick Rose and Kristaps Porzingis have off nights. Jeff Hornacek has to hold him accountable for what he does, but he won’t. Melo is the face of the team, and he can’t act like a punk when there’s a little bit of contact for a rebound.
After more than a few rants about Joakim Noah, he is finally starting to live up to that contract.
Even in the loss, Joakim was excellent tonight, finishing this one with 14 points and 16 rebounds, not to mention the tough defense he brought all night. This was the Joakim Noah that the Knicks thought they were signing in the off-season, and one that I’m sure every Knick fan was excited to see. He even made all of his free throws tonight, including two down the stretch. If Joakim can bring numbers close to these every game and do Joakim-things like he did in Chicago, he’ll be worth the money.
You have to win this one if you think your team can go anywhere. If the Knicks consider themselves a top four team in the east, you need to go into Atlanta and stomp them. The Hawks are a struggling team who have lost a lot of games recently, and should’ve been easy pickings for the Knicks. Carmelo getting himself thrown out doesn’t help matters, but I think you see what I’m getting at.
The Knicks are heading to New Orleans after this one, and have to deal with one of the best players in the world in Anthony Davis, who can win a game on his own. After that, it’s off to Houston against the Rockets and another superstar in James Harden, so those are going to be two difficult games on the road. When there’s a winnable game in front of you, you have to take advantage of it. Knicks at Pelicans, Friday from the Big Easy, 8 PM. Knicks need to get back on track, and do it fast. 16-15.