New York Knicks at Miami Heat – 12/6/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks at Miami Heat
Game 21: December 6, 2016
Knicks 114, Heat 103

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

4 in a row down in South Beach:

The Knicks took their talents to South Beach to take on the injury riddled Miami Heat, where they beat the Heat at the American Airlines Center, 114-103. After a sluggish first half that saw the Knicks trailing by 1, they came out of the locker room ready to take care of business against Miami. Carmelo Anthony finished this one with a game high 35 points, and he absolutely caught fire in the third quarter. Kristaps Porzingis had his third straight poor shooting game, but had 14 points and 12 boards. Joakim Noah had a double-double, and Kyle O’Quinn continued to impress with 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Derrick Rose had to leave the game early due to back spasms, which could be an issue, since the Knicks play again tomorrow night. Hassan Whiteside finished the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Goran Dragic paced the Heat with 29 points.

Takeaways from this game:

Knicks show grit.

Continue reading

New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves – 12/2/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Game 19: December 2, 2016
Knicks 118, Timberwolves 114

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Welcome to the Kyle O’Quinn show starring Kyle O’Quinn

An apology might be in order.

It was the Timberwolves turn to be the road team as they traveled to New York on the second leg of a home and home. The Knicks squandered a 16 point lead, but once again held on to defeat the Wolves and sweep the season series, 118-114. Carmelo Anthony paced the Knicks with 29 points on 9-20 shooting, along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Kristaps Porzingis had a rough game with 11 points on only 2-12 shooting, but those two weren’t the stars of tonight’s game. That title belongs to none other than Kyle O’Quinn. KO was a beast, plain and simple, he had a season high 20 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, and was a +16. He was the emotional leader on both ends of the court, where his heart and hustle lead the way. Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points on only 5-18 shooting after his 47 point performance Wednesday night. Zack LaVine led Minnesota with 23 points.

Takeaways from this game:

Continue reading

New York Knicks vs Oklahoma City Thunder – 11/28/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Oklahoma City Thunder
Game 17: November 28, 2016
Thunder 112, Knicks 103

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Yeah, that Westbrook guy is pretty good.

Mr. Triple Double came into the Garden tonight and lived up to that name, and then some.

Russell Westbrook had a triple double 3 minutes into the third quarter and finished with 27 points, 18 rebounds, and 14 assists, which are numbers even the best NBA 2K players would have trouble getting (I would know, I’m a beast at 2K). A disappointing loss to say the least, as the Knicks saw their home winning streak come to an end at 6. Derrick Rose had his highest scoring game of the season with 30 points to lead the Knicks. Kristaps Porzingis had 21 points, and Carmelo Anthony had one of his worst games this season with 18 points on 4-19 shooting.

Takeaways from this game:

Westbrook.

If this guy doesn’t win the MVP it’s a joke. If you take away Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Continue reading

New York Knicks vs Charlotte Hornets – 11/25/16 – Game Recap

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:

Interior Defense:

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.

Clutch Gene:

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.

Joakim Noah:

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.

New York Knicks vs Portland Trailblazers – 11/22/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Portland Trailblazers
Game 14: November 22, 2016
Knicks 107, Trailblazers 103

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Well that was pretty damn fun.

In a highly competitive game against Portland, the New York Knicks came out victorious, 107-103 in a thriller at the Garden. This was the most enjoyable game of the season in my opinion, with Kristaps Porzingis leading the way with 31 points, which is his second 30+ point game of the season. Derrick Rose looked like his old self with 18 points and a bunch of highlight plays.

Brandon Jennings had his third 10+ assist game off the bench, and we finally had the Mindaugus Kuzminskas breakout game! Kuz had a modest 10 points in 21 minutes, but hit a clutch 3 pointer late in the fourth quarter. Damian Lillard led Portland with 22 points, and CJ McCollum had 16 points on 17 shots.

Takeaways from this game:

The Knicks can actually be fun.

Yes, you read that correctly. This was the best game so far this year, without a doubt. Kristaps proved that he should be the focal point of the offense, again. The plays he makes are absolutely astounding, but we all know that. 31 points and 9 rebounds for the 7’3 Latvian that just looked so easy for him. KP was rolling, the ball was moving, and the defense picked up throughout the game. The team was clicking on all cylinders tonight on both ends of the floor. It took a little while for them to figure out how to defend the Blazers, but the Knicks held them to 45 points in the second half, which is a good number.

Home game Brandon Jennings is different than away game Brandon Jennings:

This dude loves the Garden. Every home game the Knicks play, you can just see the joy that Brandon Jennings plays with, and the passion comes out in his game. The only issue with that is that I have to be afraid that he might pick up a technical foul every time down the court, but if he’s going to dish out 11 assists every home game, I’m cool with that. With Derrick Rose in foul trouble, Jennings stepped in perfectly, with highlight reel passes to Justin Holiday and Kuzminskas, and his continued solid play. The Knicks haven’t had a solid point guard in years, so it’s really weird that they have two now.

Down the stretch brilliance:

Carmelo Anthony had an off night tonight, there’s no other way to say it. In the past few seasons, if Melo didn’t have it going in the fourth quarter, they would lose most of the time.

This year, they have a 7’3 unicorn and a former MVP going to battle with him, and both of those guys stepped up. Rose and KP were big time in the fourth quarter and took over the game. Rose was getting the paint at will, and KP was hitting shot after shot. This team has the chance to be special if they keep playing like this, even with Carmelo having a rough night.

The Knicks protected home court once again and increased their home win streak to five games. Two straight playoff teams have been defeated at the garden this week, and another solid team is coming to town on Friday. The Charlotte Hornets may not have as much firepower as the blazers do, but Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum can both fill it up, and Walker may finally make an all-star team this year with his excellent play this season. If the Knicks want to continue this home win streak, they’re going to need to move the ball and play defense like they did in the second half of tonight’s game. Let’s hope for another entertaining win, and let’s watch the orange and blue eclipse the .500 mark. 7-7.

New York Knicks vs Detroit Pistons – 11/16/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Detroit Pistons
Game 11: November 16, 2016
Knicks 105, Pistons 102

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Kristaps Porzingis show.

The Knicks took on the Detroit Pistons tonight for the second time this season, and evened up the series at 1-1. The story of tonight’s game was Kristaps Porzingis, who led the Knicks with a career high 35 points, along with 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Carmelo Anthony had 22 points, and Derrick Rose had 15 points, with a few clutch baskets in the fourth quarter. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with 21 points, and missed a potential game tying three pointer at the end of regulation. Long Island native Tobias Harris finished with 19 points and 10 boards.

Takeaways from this game:

Kristaps Kristaps Kristaps:

I don’t want this to become a lovefest for Porzingis, but boy was he special tonight. Porzingis had his career high of 35 points, which is great in itself, but the array in which he scores is incredible. Whether it’s threes, post ups, fade-away jumpers, or that thunderous alley-oop, he had the garden crowd on their feet all night. He only took 22 shots to get to those 35 points, so the efficiency is there, and we are watching him become a star in front of our very eyes.

Props to KO and the bench:

His numbers won’t jump off the page, but Kyle O’Quinn had a really nice game tonight off the bench. He finished with 6 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, and 3 blocks, and this may have been the best defense we have seen him play. Besides, KO, the entire bench played great as well.

Brandon Jennings had 7 assists, Justin Holiday had 9 points and 5 assists, and even Maurice N’Dour had an extremely active 9 minutes.

Joakim Noah:

Joakim responded to the benching positively, as he came out of the gates hot. The Knicks ran pick and roll with Rose and Noah the first play of the game, and continued to use it throughout the game. 7 points and 15 boards for the 72 million dollar man in this one, and these are the type of nights that make him worth that cash.

Ball movement and offensive boards:

The Knicks outrebounded the Pistons 52-40, even with Andre Drummond on the other team. They totaled 19 offensive boards, which is the most I’ve ever seen the Knickerbockers grab in a game. Joakim Noah was a huge reason for that, his activity on the glass was a key to the Knicks jumping out to a first half lead.

Other Notes:

The way the Knicks played tonight, it just felt like there was no way they were going to lose, no matter how close Detroit came. Even though it came down to the final shot, I was never in doubt that New York would come away with the win. One thing to be worried about is the Knicks going to Washington tomorrow night to play the Wizards, and KP played a season high 40 minutes. Rose, Melo, and KP all played heavy minutes tonight, and hopefully won’t be too fatigued going into tomorrow’s game. Knicks and Wizards tomorrow night at 7. Great win tonight, 5-6.

New York Knicks vs Dallas Mavericks – 11/14/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Dallas Mavericks
Game 10: November 14, 2016
Knicks 93, Dallas 77

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

See what happens when you play defense?

The Dallas Mavericks came to MSG to take on the Knickerbockers tonight, and the Knicks took it to them. New York defeated Dallas 93-77 backed by Carmelo Anthony’s 24 point, 7 rebound effort, as well as Kristaps Porzingis’ 24 points and 11 rebounds. Dallas was without Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams tonight, and Harrison Barnes paced them with 20 points.

Takeaways from this game:

An Epic Holiday:

For those that understood my Angels and Airwaves reference there, well done. The Holiday that I’m referring to is Justin Holiday, who had his best game as a Knick tonight. Holiday finished the game with 16 points, and he sparked the team with his exceptional on the ball defense. Most notably, he began the second half with the starting lineup, and we didn’t see the 72 million dollar man, Joakim Noah, for the rest of the game, which is a completely different problem.

Holiday is proving to be more than just a throw-in from the Derrick Rose trade with his active play.

Defense!

I guess the Knicks read my last recap when I blasted the team defense. The Knicks held the Mavs to just 77 points tonight, which is far and away the lowest amount they’ve given up this season. I know Dallas was missing some key players, I mean, one of the greatest players of all time was in street clothes on their bench, but to hold an NBA team under 80 points shows an excellent effort. It finally looked like the Knicks cared about playing hard on defense, which was nice to see that as a priority. Courtney Lee and Justin Holiday especially played hard and dug in on the defensive side of the ball.

KP and Melo:

When your two best players both score 20 plus, you’re in good shape. Melo, who couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half, got into a nice groove in the second half, as he scored 20 of his 24 after halftime. Porzingis was scoring a number of ways, and his crossover into a pullup jumper in the first half got me out of my seat. The dude is 7’3, and everything he does is so smooth. Love it when these two click.

Other Notes:

The Knicks have a lot of winnable games coming up this week. They play Detroit at home on Wednesday, and then they play Washington the night after. If the Knicks defend like they did tonight, and the ball moves as freely as it did in the second half, the Knicks should win both of those games. Look for Justin Holiday to be the first guard off the bench after tonight’s performance.

By the way, Maurice N’Dour should never shoot a three ever again, no matter the situation. My God that was ugly.

New York Knicks Vs Toronto Raptors – 11/12/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks Vs Toronto Raptors
Game 9: November 12, 2016
Raptors 118, Knicks 107

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Can SOMEBODY play some defense?

On the second night of a back to back, the Knicks lost another tough game, as they dropped this one to the Toronto Raptors, 118-107. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 31 points, but that wasn’t enough to defeat the Raptors. DeMar DeRozan, the NBA’s leading scorer, paced Toronto with 33 points.

Takeaways from this game:

This team cannot defend, which should be news to nobody:

I don’t know if I could count how many easy baskets the Raptors scored tonight. Whether it was Kyle Lowry and Norman Powell getting to the rim, or open threes for the Raptors shooters, it was they were warming up. And when the Knicks decided to try and play solid D, they ended up bailing them out with a foul, (See, “Courtney Lee“ who had a tough time guarding DeRozan in the third quarter). The Raptors took 38 free throw attempts, making 33, and shot 47 percent from the field. Watching Raptors players drive past Joakim Noah (who did have a really nice game with 18 rebounds) was so frustrating, and the fouling by basically everyone on the roster was maddening. Clyde always says, “Play defense with you feet, and not your hands.” Maybe they should’ve hired him as the defensive coach.

DeMar DeRozan is a problem:

This dude can fill it up. DeRozan had 33 points tonight, which is actually one point below his average for the season, but the way he scores is so fun to watch. DeRozan barely takes any shots from behind the arc, and is so smooth with his drives to the rim and mid-range jumpers. A true throwback, and fun to watch. It would be more fun if he didn’t play for a team in the same division, but what can you do.

KP’s Dunk:

Not a lot to say about this, only that it was so dope. Love this man.

Other notes:

The story of this game was defense. The Knicks scored 107 points, which is more than enough to win in the NBA. Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis all looked great on the offensive end of the floor, but the team defense is atrocious, and you don’t need me to tell you that. Until that improves, the Knicks are going to lose a lot of games like this. The bright spot in this game is that they really competed against a team that most people would say is better than them, and hung around the whole game. It was about as intense and entertaining as a November game could get. The Knicks get the injury riddled Dallas Mavericks on Monday night at the Garden, led by Harrison Barnes. Let’s hope they learn how to defend before that one. 3-6.

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics – 11/11/16 – Game Recap

New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
Game 8: November 11, 2016
Celtics 115, Knicks 87

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Yeah, that was awful.

After a solid win to get everyone feeling good about this team, the Knicks looked terrible in Boston on Friday night. They got blown out of the gym, 115-87. New York let poor officiating take them out of the game and result in multiple technical fouls, including Carmelo Anthony getting ejected from the game in the second quarter. They never found a groove after Melo’s unceremonious exit, and it was garbage time early in the fourth quarter.

Takeaways from this game:

More Willy, more fun:

There weren’t too many bright spots in this game, but a definite plus was the play of Willy Hernangomez off the bench. In his second straight game with extended minutes, Hernangomez finished with 8 points, 12 rebounds, a block, and 3 assists. His defense was iffy, but he looks more comfortable out there, and in time, will learn how to play defense in the NBA.

A new Knick killer:

Paul Pierce isn’t be a Celtic anymore, so the role of Knicks killer has been filled in by Isaiah Thomas. Thomas had 29 points on 9/17 shooting, and was perfect from the line, 8/8. This guy is amazing, and I love to watch him play against the other 28 teams in the NBA, just not tonight.

Also, the whole, “Marcus Smart plays physical” is code for, “Marcus Smart gets no fouls called on him.” I mean, he was beating the crap out of whoever he was guarding, which leads to…

Refs were trash:

I’m one of those guys who NEVER blames a game on officials because my Dad has been officiating basketball for about 8 years, but this was horrible. Tony Brothers and his crew were just awful tonight, as every call seemed to go the Celtics way. That’s not why the Knicks lost by 28, but the calls took the Knicks out of the game, literally in Carmelo’s case. Even Breen and Clyde were complaining.

Other Notes:

Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Kristaps Porzingis and Brandon Jennings all had off nights tonight, and when that happens it’s going to be a tough one. The Knicks need two of those four guys to have good games every night if they want to have a chance to win, especially when Melo is unavailable. Also, does Sasha need to shoot from 30 feet EVERY time he catches the ball? That’s me nitpicking, but I digress.

Knicks need to have a short memory, as they take on DeMar, “All of a sudden I’m Michael Jordan” DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors tomorrow night in Canada at 7:30. Hey, at least Carmelo will be well rested!

Episode 318: Stats Guy the Third

Marc, Jay, and stats guy talk about the last 4 games, whether it is OK to criticize players, how Fisher is doing as a coach, debate whether we think a change is needed to the starting lineup, and much more

Download Episode 318