Written by William Lee
Top five highest pace Phoenix Suns spearheaded by their two headed point guard monster that is Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe scorched the Knicks early. The duo combined to score a dozen of the first 15 points, in an early 15-4 run capped off by a Bledsoe steal and dunk that brought down boos from the matinee Madison Square Garden crowd. Bledsoe finished the game with a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
From this point on New York mounted a monster comeback, going on a 23-10 run bridging the gap from mid first quarter to early second to take the lead 27-25. Jose Calderon kept New York in the game, bailing the Knicks out of poor possessions going nowhere by beating the shot clock a couple of times. Calderon scored eight of his 21 points in the first quarter, doing most of his damage from beyond the arc, making five three-pointers in the game. It was the play of the bench that propelled New York into the lead with yet another lackluster start by the starters. Jason Smith did most of the hard lifting, coming off the bench to score seven points in five minutes of play in the first quarter.
After the slow start from the Knicks’ starters, Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. redeemed themselves in the second quarter, scoring a combined 15 points in the period. Anthony collected his only his second double-double of the season with 25 points and 11 rebounds. The teams went back and forth, exchanging leads five times, and being tied up eight times.
Dallas came out of the gate scorching, all five starters for the Mavericks scored on by their fifth attempt of the game. Dallas scored on their first six attempts before finally missing from the field, which drew sarcastic cheers from Madison Square Garden. Dallas personified team basketball in the first quarter, collecting six assist on their first six field goals. Dallas ended the first quarter with 14 made field goals, of which ten of them were assisted on.
With the hot start from Dallas, Derek Fisher needed to take an early timeout four minutes into the game, by then the Mavericks had already gotten ahead 19-7. The lackluster play by the Knick’s starters continued, the deficit grew by as much as 19 points. This caused Fisher to make wholesale substitutions at the 5:20 mark to send a message to his players that this type of effort will not be tolerated.
Fisher after the game had this to say about the lackluster start. “The start was not the right way to start a professional basketball game. Those guys in there to start the game, was a disappointment to their teammates more than anything. Guys who start the game have to mentally and physically be ready to play, and they couldn’t put that out there, we got another five guys in there, they started playing hard and playing with some energy and got us back into the game. We were behind the eight ball from the jump.”
The message seemed to have gotten across to the team momentarily, in a blink of an eye with how fast New York was down by such a large deficit, New York rocketed back just as fast. The Knicks made a sizable comeback, going on a 21-10 run since the wholesale substitution to get within four points 36-32 with 10:20 remaining in the second quarter.
New York got off to a hot start Friday night converting on eight of their first ten attempts, getting a double digit lead midway through the first quarter 18-8. After reports from Chris Broussard of ESPN claiming that there is a poor relationship between Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr., it was nice to see that Anthony and Hardaway Jr. passed the ball to each other, not freezing each other out on the offensive end. It was also good to see Anthony picking Hardaway Jr. up from the floor after an offensive foul committed by Hardaway Jr. late in closing seconds of the first quarter. Hopefully there isn’t any lingering animosity towards each other, and this might sound stupid but studies show that “winning teams touch more” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Knicks lead 26-19 after one quarter, cooling off a bit after the hot start. Tyler Zeller kept Boston in the game early, going a perfect 3/3 from the field in the first quarter.
After starting off 0/3 from the field Hardaway Jr. got it going in the second quarter, scoring ten of his 16 total points in the period. The second quarter got ugly with both team going ice cold from the field, there was no points scored by either team for a three minute stretch in the quarter. Things got uglier for New York when Iman Shumpert tried to be a pest, and pop the ball away from Zeller, but ended up dislocating his left shoulder instead, going straight to the locker room visibly in pain. This was a huge blow for New York whom was already without J.R. Smith due to a heel injury.
A couple of careless passes to start the second half by Celtics’ point guard and leader Rajon Rando got the Knicks to stretch their lead out. The turnovers were contagious, as Boston turned the ball over six times in the quarter. Zeller again kept the Celtics in the game scoring eight points in the quarter on 4/6 shooting. Zeller finished the game with 19 points and a couple of blocks.
Jason Smith heated up in the third quarter, bailing out New York several times as the Celtics started to apply a lot of defensive pressure to the ball handlers. Smith alleviated that pressure, getting to the open spots, scoring on all four of his attempts, scoring eight of his total 12 points in the quarter.
Marcus Thornton sparked a comeback, bridging from gap late in the third quarter to the start of the fourth. Thornton scored eight points in a 12-4 run that got the Celtics within one possession 75-73, capping off the run on a three-pointer to start off the fourth quarter, New York responded by going on an 11-0 run to lead by 86-73 with 8:42remaining in the game. Jeff Green got mean, almost single handedly getting Boston back into the game, scoring half of his game high 28 points in the fourth quarter. Green scored eight straight points on a 10-4 run that got Boston within six points 96-90 with just under two minutes remaining in the game.
With the momentum shifting towards Boston’s favor, New York got trapped under their own basket with 2.9 left on the shot clock. Green foolishly fouled Anthony on a jump shot, halting all momentum when Anthony knocked down both free throws. Anthony scored 22 points, but also chipped in on defense, blocking three shots, and stealing the ball once.
Green on the ensuing possession made up for the foolish foul by quickly getting up the court and finishing in the lane with a monster jam. Boston double teamed Anthony on the next possession, leading to a turnover as Larkin traveled as he made his move to the rim. Boston caught a break as Larkin was wide open. Boston would again catch another break seconds later, as the referee made an unfavorable call towards New York, when it looked like Anthony got a clean steal, but was called for the foul instead when Green made his move. Green though would split the pair of free throws, New York led 98-93 with 52.8 seconds left in the game.
Boston couldn’t muster up enough offense to complete the comeback, and New York finally snapped their ten game losing streak, defeating the Celtics 101-95.
Written by William Lee
Sunday night New York took on one of the best teams in the league, the Portland Trailblazers. Portland is tied for the second least amount of losses so far this season, with only four defeats. The Knicks so far only have four victories to date…
New York kept up with Portland in the first half, going into intermission down only one possession 53-50. Not a minute into the second half Derek Fisher needed to take a quick timeout with Portland jumping out to a 58-50 lead on a Robin Lopez layup, and Damian Lillard three-pointer.
Coming out of the timeout the Knicks were a lot sharper, going on a 13-5 run to knot the game up at 63 apiece. New York moved the ball well during this stretch, collecting an assist on four of the five made field goals. Carmelo Anthony got Jose Calderon involved, setting him up on consecutive plays. Then Anthony hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game up. Anthony finished the game with a double-double 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Portland started to get away from New York, but Jason Smith stepped up big off the bench, connecting on all three of his shot attempts, keeping the Knicks in the game. The bench was huge for New York Sunday night, the second unit scored 39 points in the game. The Smiths, J.R. Smith and Jason Smith combined for 28 points off the bench.
Written by William Lee
On the heels of being on the wrong side of the record book, now currently holding the worst start through 20 games (4-16) in franchise history, New York fought a team that was just as desperate as them for a win. The Charlotte Hornets are currently on a ten game losing streak, something that the Hornets could not have envisioned when they added free agent Lance Stephenson this summer to a top defensive squad last season. Instead the Hornets have taken a step backwards, and are now currently in the bottom third in points allowed by opponents, allowing 101.2 points per game.
Carmelo Anthony tried his best to right the ship, playing the whole first quarter. As per usual Anthony has his typical good start to the game, scoring nine points in the opening period. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for his teammates, as the rest of the team shot as cold as the New York winter night 31%.
Bismack Biyombo got inside for easy back to back dunks, giving Charlotte a double digit lead late in the closing minutes of the first quarter 29-18. The Hornets did all their damage inside, outrebounding New York 14 to 6 in the first quarter. Charlotte scored 16 points in the paint, and had nine second chance points. And if the Hornets didn’t score inside, they got fouled attacking the paint, going to the charity stripe nine times in the opening quarter.
With Anthony needing a rest for half of the second quarter, his teammates continued to struggle shooting, only converting on a third of their field goal attempts. The Hornets made another run in the midway through the third quarter, going on a 13-4 run, the Hornets‘ would lead by as many as 21 in the period.
Two questionable calls went against New York late in the game, sending the Knicks to their worst start through 20 games in franchise history. First questionable call was a travel called on Carmelo Anthony, who took a hop step through the lane that would have been the go-ahead layup, and then a minute later an 8 second violation was called when it was not clear if New York ever even had possession of the ball at any point, it was more of a scrum for the loose ball. With these events unfolding the way it did, it paved the way for a Kyrie Irving finger roll layup for a game high and season high 37 points, getting Cleveland past New York 90-87 Thursday night.
Who would have thunk it? A month ago when New York ruined Cleveland’s opening night, that the Knicks would only win three more games by December 04, 2014 when the two teams matched up again. Since that faithful day both teams have gone in completely different directions, albeit the Cavaliers still not meeting expectations.
New York looked a lot livelier Thursday night, whereas on far too many nights player’s efforts have come into questioning. The Knicks showed a lot of effort early on, grabbing four offensive rebounds in the opening two minutes. Iman Shumpert grabbing the fifth offensive rebound collected by New York in as many minutes of play, best exemplified the hustle the Knicks played with Thursday night early on, grabbing the offensive rebound, then chasing down a loose ball after losing control of the ball, passing it to a wide open Carmelo Anthony who reverse dunked the ball. It was a great back and forth game in the first quarter with eight lead changes, and five ties. Cavaliers led 25-24 after the opening period.
Written by William Lee
New York hardcore basketball fans, Knicks’ fans and Nets’ fans alike marked down December 2, 2014 on their calendars before the season began. Both going into the season optimistically, unfortunately those expectations were never met. Both teams so far underachieving, needing to combine to produce double digit victories, while combining for a total of 23 losses. Not much of a bragging right for whoever wins really.
To start the game Brook Lopez shot an air ball, but quickly heated up, scoring six points after that misfortune. Lopez led the way for Brooklyn, constantly attacking the paint. Lopez scored of his 19 points of his 23 points by halftime. The Nets had their way in the paint scoring 30 points in the paint by halftime, with 20 points alone just in the first quarter. This theme continued as Brooklyn outmuscled the Knicks, scoring 48 points in the paint, and grabbing 21 offensive rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony shot a couple of air ball threes before finally getting it going late in the first quarter, scoring six straight points for New York before finally taking a rest with a little under two minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Without Anthony there was no other reliable shot creator on the team, and the Nets went on a 6-0 run, giving Brooklyn a double digit lead 27-16. This is especially true with the absence of J.R Smith, who missed the game with the “flu”.
New York clawed back into the game, holding Brooklyn to one field goal in the opening five minutes of the second quarter. The Knicks got into the bonus early in second quarter, but did not take advantage of this, going to the line only one more time before halftime. Even so, New York kept it close, always within arm’s length of tying the game, within one possession several times.
Written by William Lee
Both team’s superstar returned to action Sunday night from injury, Dwyane Wade with a strained left hamstring, and Carmelo Anthony from back spasms.
Both teams were inept on offense in the first quarter, Heat shot 27.3% while the Knicks shot 33.3%. However the Heat got to the line, going a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Miami who are sixth in league in stealing with 8.3 steals per game, took advantage of New York’s sloppy play early on, getting five steals alone in the first quarter. Amare Stoudemire came off the bench and his energy really kept the Knicks in the game, making three straight baskets once inserted. Stoudemire finished the game with a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds. New York only trailed 21-17 after the opening quarter.
James Ennis, a rookie forward from Long Beach State went berserk, personally responsible for a 10-2 run to start the second quarter. Ennis showed off all his offensive skills, first a pull up mid-range jump shot, then a three-pointer, before finally getting free to the rim for a slam dunk. Then he would give a helping hand, setting up Josh McRoberts for a wide open three. Just like that New York saw themselves down 34-21 four minutes into the second quarter.
Written by William Lee
New York was completely overwhelmed by the return of Russell Westbrook to Oklahoma City.
Westbrook first feed his teammates, assisting on the first three made field goals for the Thunders, and then eventually got himself involved with a vicious baseline dunk to give Oklahoma City a 8-5 lead. The dunk was only the start to what ignited a 15-0 run, where the run was bookended by a Westbrook three-pointer that gave the Thunder a 21-5 lead with under five minutes remaining in the opening quarter. Westbrook received a standing ovation when he was substituted out of the game, finishing the first quarter with 14 points, which was more than New York scored as a whole… New York shot a dismal 18.2% from the field, converting on only four field goals.
Even with Westbrook on the bench to start the second quarter, New York could not capitalize…instead Jeremy Lamb went to work on the Knicks. Lamb was personally responsible for a 10-0 to start the second quarter. Lamb scored eight of his 13 points in the run while also handing out an assist to Kendrick Perkins. The deficit for New York grew up to 40-13, where finally with Cole Aldrich’s hustle plays helped give a lifeless Knicks team an 8-0 run.
Written by William Lee
On Thanksgiving Eve, New York for the first time, matched up against their 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year since their major off season trade this past summer. The trade that sent Tyson Chandler reuniting with his old mates, the 2011 NBA Champions Dallas Mavericks, as the Knicks would acquire Jose Calderon, whom just recently returned from injury to stabilize the point guard position in New York.
In a highly motivated game for both Tyson Chandler and Jose Calderon, each went off on their former team. Tyson Chandler went off for a season high in points and rebounds, scoring 17 points, and grabbing 25 rebounds, devastating New York by collecting 10 offensive rebounds. Jose Calderon not to be out done, tied his career high in rebounds with ten rebounds, and scored 21 points, all on three-pointers, knocking down seven from beyond the arc. Samuel Dalembert, who was also in the trade this past summer also had himself a great showing against his former team, collecting a double-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds, along with a couple of steals and blocks.
New York hung in tough Wednesday night despite not having their star player Carmelo Anthony due to issues with back spasm. Without Anthony, New York actually doubled up on Dallas early on in the first quarter, up 20-10 with five minute remaining in the opening quarter after Calderon knocked down his third three of the quarter.