Congratulations Dallas!!! Why am I congratulating Dallas? They are the first team to actually beat the spread against the Knicks (I am assuming the Knicks are now favored by 20 points every night). They are also the first team to actually put up a real fight against the Knicks. This game was close most of the way especially through the first three quarters. I was actually getting scared especially midway through the 2nd quarter when the Knicks could not hit a 3 and the Mavs pulled up by 9. The Knicks ended up pulling away in the end thanks to tough D, JR Smith and, of course, new and improved Super Melo. Here are my thoughts:
- I have to hand it to Dallas they did a wonderful job defending the Knicks uncontested free throws. The Knicks missed 12 tonight including 4 in a row by Melo and 4 in a row by Felton.
- Last season it was especially frustrating to see how hard the Knicks had to work for every basket. It has been nice to have real point guards this season. It has also been nice to watch how hard their opponents’ have had to work for each basket.
- If you told me ahead of time Knicks would miss 12 free throws, Felton would shoot 3-11 and Melo would be in foul trouble all night I would have assumed this would be a loss.
- High props to JR for stepping up when Melo went out with foul trouble and to Melo for playing hard even when in foul trouble.
- Statistically the Knicks defense was the worst when JR was on the floor last season. I haven’t checked the official statistics but I cannot imagine that trend has continued this season as JR has looked pretty darn good so far on defense.
- I loved the fact that near the end of the 4th when the Knicks needed to score Melo was extremely aggressive about taking it to the basket.
- At one point when the Knicks were up by 12 in the 4th, JR took one of his patented terribly inefficient shots – and missed. I think it was Frazier who basically said let’s excuse that stupid shot because he has played so well tonight. Continue reading