New York Knicks vs Charlotte Hornets
Game 15: November 25, 2016
Knicks 113, Hornets 111 OT
Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn
A block party at MSG.
The Knicks won an overtime thriller at the Garden on Friday night in the first leg of a home and home with the Charlotte Hornets, 113-111. Carmelo Anthony iced the game with a turnaround jumper with 3.1 seconds to go, and had an impressive stat line to say the least. 35 points, a season high 14 rebounds, and 5 assists for the Knicks star forward. Kristaps Porzingis, who was in foul trouble for most of the game, ended up with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 impressive blocks. Derrick Rose 16 points and 5 assists, and blocked Kemba Walker in the final seconds of overtime for the win. Walker had 17 points and 3 assists, and Nicolas Batum led the team with 18 points.
Takeaways from this game:
Even though there are still a lot easy baskets in the lane, the interior defense in the second half was much improved. The highlight plays were obvious, with KP and Melo coming up with impressive blocked shots, as well as Rose with the game clincher. Blocked shots could be a strength for this team, with good shot blockers like KP, Joakim Noah, and Kyle O’Quinn all good-to-great interior defenders. The blocks lead to easy opportunities in transition and mismatches on the other end.
What I feel is the biggest takeaway from this game is that the Knicks can go a number of different ways at the end of close games. The Knicks have the big three of Anthony, Porzingis, and Rose, who can all step up and take the final shot of a game. Rose and Anthony took turns in the fourth quarter and overtime, and KP hit a huge three pointer with about 40 seconds to go in OT. Iso-Melo may have ended this one, but it’s not the only option like it has been in the past. A refreshing change.
It’s beginning to be a problem that the Knicks spent all this money on a center who doesn’t play in the fourth quarter or overtime. 72 million dollars for 18 minutes? And to not even do much in those 18 minutes? 6 points and 8 rebounds are good numbers if you’re a role player, not if you’re expected to produce at a near max contract level like Noah is. This is a problem that is only going to get worse. Guys like KO and Willy Hernangomez are out-producing Noah on both ends, and they make far less money. The Knicks just need more from him, plain and simple.
The Knicks have to quickly regroup after this emotional come from behind win at MSG, because they play the same team in Charlotte tomorrow night. They look to get their fourth win in a row, and start to accumulate some wins on the road. Home court has been protected, and it’s time to conquer some other arenas. 8-7.