New York Knicks vs Toronto Raptors – 2/27/17 – Game Recap

New York Knicks vs Toronto Raptors
February 27, 2017
Raptors 92, Knicks 91

Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn

Once Rose got switched on DeRozan, you could see the end result coming.

An old school, defense first, Eastern Conference matchup took place at the world’s most famous arena tonight when the new-look Toronto Raptors came to town. Both teams would be without important players tonight, with Kristaps Porzingis out for the Knicks, and Kyle Lowry out for the Raptors. The Knicks were also without Joakim Noah, who will miss the rest of the season, and Brandon Jennings, who was waived earlier in the day. Chasson Randle replaced Jennings on the roster, and he did not see any action tonight. This was a battle of all-stars as DeMar DeRozan had another game where he could show off just how gifted an offensive player he is. DeRozan finished with 37 points on 25 shots, including the game winner over Derrick Rose with 1.9 left in regulation. Carmelo Anthony had a tough shooting night, but led the Knicks with 24 points on 9/26 shooting.

If you’re somebody who wants the Knicks to tank on the rest of this disappointing season, then this was the perfect game for you to watch. An entertaining, down to the wire game was just what the tank enthusiasts were looking for, just for entertainment value alone. Games like this can almost make the idea of tanking again, bearable.

There were positives all over this one, starting with Lance Thomas, who was once again inserted into the starting lineup to replace the injured Kristaps Porzingis. Lance put up decent numbers, he scored 12 points and pulled down 6 rebounds, but the intangibles he brought to this game were what the Knicks wanted when they resigned him this past summer. Diving for loose balls and solid defense was the key to Lance’s game tonight, and that’s something to watch moving forward. Along with Lance, Courtney Lee continued to prove he was worth the money as well, and he finished with 16 points, 3 three pointers, 5 steals, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Lee also drained a three pointer late in the fourth quarter that gave the Knicks the lead before DeRozan took it back from them. Lee and Thomas were the two best players on the court tonight for New York, and these guys will be important for next years team.

The real problem for the Knicks tonight, and this season, has been a lack of killer instinct. Once again, the Knicks had a 17 point lead over their opponent, and weren’t able to finish the job and leave with a win. The Knicks did everything right on the defensive side of the ball, holding a talented Raptors squad to just 92 points, which is well below their seasons average of 108.5.

They were hustling and sticking with their man, and showed the type of fight we’ve all been looking for all season, and it still wasn’t enough. Credit to Toronto to the moves they made last week, because the acquisitions of PJ Tucker and Serge Ibaka are going to do wonders for their team defense. To see those guys every night and have to deal with them defensively is going to be tough for any Eastern Conference team in the postseason.

Depending on what side you’re on, you left this game with a sigh of relief, or a broken heart.

Knicks and Magic, Wednesday at 7 PM. Talk to you all soon.

By the way, if you like college basketball, seeing Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet defending one another was pretty cool. Those guys were a lot of fun to watch at Wichita State, and they played in a ton of big games. Shoutout to the Wheat Shockers.

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Tweet of the Week

Looks like this will be our last tweet of the week from Steve Novak

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Michael (@delacmi1) scours twitter all week to find our Knicks player Tweet of the Week every Monday morning.

Brewer Close to Returning

It’s been reported that Ronnie Brewer is close to returning, and my in fact return to practice today.  Amar’e is also supposed to return to the starting lineup for Fridays game against the Raptors.  Knicks fans may actually get to see the starting lineup in action before the regular season starts.  Should we be excited that the Knicks starting lineup may be in tact by Friday or depressed that having all of our starters play in the same game is exciting news?

Episode 135: Free Agency

Toronto is messing with the Knicks.  That’s the only explanation for the $20M offer for Landry Fields.  Will Jeremy Lin be gone too?  Will Mike Bibby be our starting PG?  Are the Nets going to be better than the Knicks this season?  Lots to talk about this episode.  Download Episode 135

The Knicks display their lack of desire to lead catch division leader

This is a photo of the Knicks shot selection tonight:

The Knicks had a chance to close the gap on the 76ers tonight, playing the terrible Raptors.  They had a multi-faceted strategy:

  • Turn the ball over every other possession
  • Miss at least 10 layups and/or dunks
  • Miss as many shots as possible
  • Don’t tire yourself out contesting any Raptors driving to the basket
  • J.R. Smith should shoot constantly no matter how contested or how far from the net he is
  • Keep Jorts on the bench even though Jeffries is injured
  • Throw the ball into the stands at least once a quarter
  • Make sure no one is boxed out, someone might accidentally get a rebound if that happens

This strategy did not work.

 

Episode 95: Yikes

Well we followed up the terrible losses to Toronto and Charlotte with a last second win against the Wizards.  We talk about the blackout some more, the Knicks last 3 games, our coach and what’s going on around the league.  Marc also comes up with a list of facts and slogans about the Knicks.  Download Episode 95

Episode 94: From Locked Out to Blacked Out

We’re not in the best of moods today as our cable provider has blacked MSG out.  We do the top 5 bad things we want to happen to Time Warner Cable and James Dolan.  We talk about the Lakers, Kings and Raptors games.  We really expected to have a happy show today but between the blackout and the Raptors game it just wasn’t possible.  Download Episode 94

Eastern Conference Predictions

In Episode 89 we went through our predictions for the Eastern Conference for the upcoming season.  Here are the results:

Jay’s Picks

Playoff Seeds:

1. Chicago Bulls
2. Miami Heat
3. Boston Celtics
4. New York Knicks
5. Orlando Magic
6. Atlanta Hawks
7. Indiana Pacers
8. Philadelphia 76’ers

Continue reading

Episode 54: Playoffs Baby, Playoffs

Well the Knicks are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.  They beat the Toronto Raptors to clinch.  We also got a new entry for the Knicks Effect.  We should rest the starters for the rest of the season so we have fresh legs for the playoffs.  We try to guess the rotation for the playoffs.  What the hell is wrong with Balkman?  We talk about practice and how the Knicks don’t seem to have any.  Download Episode 54