Game Previews/ Recaps

Recap: Knicks 94 Timberwolves 91

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Sl8ZL

Okay *clears throat:* In a world where bad shooting and lead changes are not excepted in the first three quarters of a basketball game. One man, one desire for lead changes; scoring in down-to-the-wire basketball games; fans hailing the eminence of this scoring deity by chanting the three letters M, V, and P and the rest being history. Carmelo Anthony stars in: “Crunch Time.” In theaters tonight. This little made-up movie trailer guy monologue summarizes what Carmelo Anthony exactly did in the 4th quarter. But first: With a Loveless, (and I don’t mean loveless as in being lonely, I mean without Kevin Love. Sheesh) Timberwolves team that’s whiter than white bread (Timberwolves-being-white jokes commence!), the Knicks still had a difficult time trying to get past the pack of Wolves. The Knicks looked cluttered in the first quarter. In a quarter where Alexey Shved was indeed Shveding if you will, you’re not going anywhere. The Knicks ended up losing that quarter, 29-22 because of slow defense. Same thing in the second quarter. Even Shved was turning into J.R Smith on one possession. It was all kinds of WTF and crazy. When the Knicks switch their assignments, I would gag. The Knicks did improve in the second, but were still outplayed by two points, trailing 55-46 at halftime. But the Knicks limited the Wolves to 18 points in both second half frames. When Carmelo Anthony hit a three to propel the Knicks into a 88-86 lead in the fourth, that was the only the Knicks second lead change. Then, Melo exploded in the final minutes of the fourth. Like their game against the Bulls, the Knicks played some crummy basketball, except, tonight they won and had couple of lead changes unlike having no lead changes against Chicago. It certainly is a recent Knicksian trend. Here are some notes:  More

Recap: Bulls 110 Knicks 106

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Bill Cosby on drugs

Let’s see…where should I start? Picture yourself walking down the street one night. You slip on a few banana peels because you had a bad day and your vision is really bad because it’s really dark out. One of the banana peels you slipped on was located on a crosswalk. So, you slip on it, and Dick Dastardly and Muttley from Wacky Races run you over from out of nowhere. It was that kind of night. The Knicks didn’t grab the Bulls by the horns by any means, the horns went up their asses. This was probably the biggest basketball mindfuck yet. I really haven’t seen a game so outlandish in my life. Special shit-covered confetti was released from the rafters because thank god that game finally ended after an elongated period of yet another valiant Knicks comeback effort, except, it didn’t succeed in the end, but it almost did. Even without Derrick Rose, the Bulls still put the smackdown on the Knicks for a second time this season (and also those pesky RockLins). The first quarter was filled with grogginess. The Bulls went on an early 14-2 run in the first, until Carmelo Anthony broke the run by hitting a three with 5:39 to play in the quarter after missing 10 of their first 11 shot attempts. The “Good” J.R Smith hit a buzzer beater shot that was SO J.R, leaving the Knicks trailing 30-23 at the end of the first. Some progress was made in the beginning of the second quarter, but then the Bulls went on a 12-2 run to end the second. The Knicks trailed 54-39 at half. Then, the third quarter was basically just a reiteration of the previous two quarters in that the Knicks performance was sloppier than a food fight. However, that reoccurring valiant comeback gene did happen in the 4th quarter, but fell short. The 4th quarter was filled with loads of fun and rage, including a whopping 45 Knick points, a mini-brawl, technical fouls and insulting of the refs. The Knicks didn’t lead the game once, but the fact that they got within 4 playing such chippy, sloppy, shitty basketball is amazing. Whitey Duvall would of dropped dead from singing so much if he saw all of the technicals. Here are some more notes and technicals:  More

Next Day Recap: Knicks 100 Nets 86

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I seen the lights go down on Broadwa— *record needle halts* wait, THAT’S WAY TOO MAINSTREAM. WHERE’S MY NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL? Oh yeah, that’s right. I don’t even know any of their songs or lyrics *goes on YouTube and looks up their most popular song  (wait, what?).* I STILL DON’T KNOW ANY OF THEIR SONGS OR LYRICS. TOO UNDERGROUND *brain fries.* Billy Joel is too cool for the Brooklyn Nets err…I mean hipsters. Mhm, yeah. So, according to Jay-Z, “the city was under new management when the Nets beat the Knicks at the Barclays Center in the inaugural Knicks-Nets showdown. Well, I have some news for you, Mr. Shawn Carter: Cool story, bro. You don’t have to tell it again because you are the absolute worst troll ever. Maybe it was the NetsDaily guy aka Satan controlling your account. I highly doubt it, but still. Maybe you were in a conference room with jolly ole Mikhail and the NetsDaily guy at the same time while sipping shots of Russian Standard (they hate Ciroc) proclaiming that “THE KNICKS ARE FUCKED” watching all seven of your concerts at the Barclays Center before the season started on a movie projector screen that was recently built in the conference room.

Alright, that was my Nets mocking vent session. But seriously, though, Jay-Z is hilarious. He needs to stop wearing his Nets hat so tight, yet I digress. Anyways, the Nets arrived at MSG last night to try and get their revenge after Jason Kidd used his three point prowess in crunch time to defeat them back at the Barclays. In the end, the Knicks routed them, leading the hipsters (I had to) to the exits early. The Knicks started out well, outscoring the Nets in the first quarter 26-23. Despite winning the second quarter, only by one point, the Knicks were doubling the left post, leading to a crapload of wide open looks from the right side of the court in the 2nd. The rotations were really terrible. Joe Johnson hit a couple of wide open threes, while Keith Bogans was Mayansing it up. Then the Knicks trumped the Nets to 19 points each in the third and fourth quarter, which contained a 23-7 run from the end of the third going into the fourth, leading to mocking of the “BROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKLYN” chant (needs more O’s, right?) at the end of the game. Oh, and that’s without the PA announcer telling them to chant it. Notes and stuff:  More

Knicks-Nets: What to Watch For

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In less than an hour, the Knicks will be facing off against the Brooklyn Brooklyns Nets in Madison Square Garden. It will be the first time these teams play each other in MSG, so in the words of Terrell Owens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3SdjqNz85M. A couple of things to watch for:

  • The Knicks are coming in a little injured, and by “a little” I mean “battered, beaten and wounded.” Carmelo Anthony will play, after missing the past couple of games with a sprained ankle. (An injury that could have easily been avoided if Dwight Howard wasn’t a moron. Seriously, screw that guy.) Steve Novak is out with the flu, because it’s quite cold outside in New York right now and he forgot to bundle up. Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace are out with plantar fasciitis and oldness, respectfully.
  • Getting more playing time because of these injuries? Chris Copeland and James White, probably. That should be interesting.
  • Having Melo back will certainly help the Knicks, but I’d like to see Woodson keep his minutes down tonight if Melo really looks bothered by that ankle. Or at least not play him the entire second half, like he did the last time these teams played.
  • Raymond Felton has had some horrific games against the Nets this year, mainly because he starts shooting long 2s at an alarming pace and trying to do too much off the dribble. I pray to my Festivus Pole that he settles down, doesn’t do this, and attacks the Nets big men of the pick and roll.
  • I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Knicks lost to the Rockets for the second time two days ago. The Knicks had plenty of issues, mostly on the defensive end. They were horrible yet again in getting back after missed baskets, and they gave up an absurd amount of dribble penetrations and easy baskets at the rim. In fact, this has been a trend for the majority of the season. The transition defense should be better simply because the Nets don’t get out and run (they’re currently last in pace, averaging 90.44 possessions a game) however the half court defense will be a major concern. Speaking of…
  • Joe Johnson has been playing much better recently, averaging 20.8 pts and shooting 49% over his last five games. The Knicks will probably start out with Jason Kidd on him, which is a favorable matchup for the Nets. Johnson has 6 inches on Kidd, and is 8 years younger. Last time these teams met, Johnson took advantage of Kidd in the post during the first half and drew double teams that had the Knicks defense scrambling.
  • As mentioned earlier, the Knicks are thin in the frontcourt tonight. Rebounding will be a big issue, with the Nets having Brook Lopez back, as well as Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries and Andray Blatche. Krazy Eyes Kurt Thomas will likely play some minutes at center, and I will likely throw things during those minutes.

The previous game between these teams was a nail-bitter that the Knicks managed to pull it out due to Melo being engulfed in flames for the majority of the game and Jason Kidd being a 39 year old basketball wizard. However, the Nets were missing Brook Lopez and have him back tonight. Keeping Tyson Chandler out of foul trouble will be important for the Knicks, and having Lopez back will make it much more difficult for Chandler to stay foul-free. This is a game the Knicks can win, and might depending on Melo’s health and Felton’s decision making. Tipoff is a little after 7pm EST. Enjoy!

Follow Dan on the Twitter @thedanstein 

Notes From the Knicks 109-96 Loss to Houston

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Don’t let Chris Copeland’s garbage time buckets fool you, the final score doesn’t indicate how poorly the Knicks played tonight. Houston’s offense dominated the Knicks all night, namely the starting Houston backcourt. Shooting guard James Harden and this guy named Jeremy Lin killed the Knicks all night. JR Smith carried the Knicks offense in the first quarter, but was forced to the bench due to early foul trouble. New York led 31-29 after one quarter, but the Rockets dominated the rest of the game. Houston scored 27 points in each the second and third periods, while the Knicks score 29 points in the two frames combined. The fourth quarter was basically garbage time where Chris Copeland excelled. Because of him, the Knicks lost by 13. Without him, the Knicks lose by 40 probably. This was not a good game for the Knicks. Losing to Jeremy Lin sucks, the Knicks are 0-2 against him now, but we have to remember it is one game. However, the Knicks defensive struggles are real. Coming into the game, New York rated out 16th in defensive efficiency and they gave up a 111.2 offensive efficiency to Houston tonight.

Here are my notes from the game: More

Game Preview 12/17: Rockets at Knicks

It’s the game we’ve all been waiting for. Well, not really, but it is the long awaited return of Linsanity to the Mecca, the arena where Jeremy Lin became a house hold name practically overnight. Lin has struggled mightily this season though, averaging less than 11 points and 6 assists per game, to go along with his abysmal field-goal percentage (under 40%). The backcourt tandem of Lin and Harden has been questioned because of their styles of play and has left many wondering if they don’t click well. It hasn’t effected James Harden however, as he is averaging 25 points per game, the fifth most in the league.

This game is a lot bigger for the Knicks then Jeremy Lin’s return, as they should have some revenge on their mind. The last time these two teams got together the Knicks got ran out of the gym, giving up 131 points to the Rockets in Houston en route to a 28-point blowout, by far the Knicks worst defeat of the year. In that game Harden had 33 and Chandler Parsons added 31, and in the wise words of Bart Scott, the Knicks couldn’t stop a nose bleed. The Rockets knocked down 14 of 25 threes, something the Knicks cannot allow to happen again. The Knicks have gone 10-2 since that game, and have allowed 100 points in only four of those last 12 games. Their three-point shooting and lack of turnovers has been the catalyst all season, and could be tonight as well.

The Rockets allow opponents to shoot 38.9% from behind the arc, the fourth highest in the league according to HoopData.com. The Knicks shoot over 40% from downtown and lead the league in 3-point rate. The Rockets are just behind the Knicks in 3-point rate, so be prepared to see a lot of three-pointers tonight from both teams. With Carmelo Anthony questionable with a sprained ankle, the three-point shot will again be huge for the Knicks. Both Harden and Lin like to get out in transition, so the Knicks transition defense will be crucial tonight. The Rockets average 16.8 fast break points a game, and the Knicks need to make sure they get back on defense and force the Rockets to beat them in the half-court game. As we saw when he played in New York, Lin is susceptible to turnovers in the half court and could allow the Knicks to get out into their own fast breaks.

Keeping Omer Asik in check tonight will fall on Tyson Chandler. Asik killed the Knicks last meeting with 18 and 14, and is averaging over 11 boards a game on the season. With Rasheed Wallace likely out again, Chandler’s interior defense and rebounding will be essential to limiting Asik’s effectiveness.

Tonight will mark the return of another former Knick point guard, Toney Douglas. Douglas played well for a brief time a couple years ago and was the Knicks starting point guard against the Celtics in the playoff series, but seemed to regress significantly last season. Douglas was a part of the deal that brought Marcus Camby back to the Knicks, and has played pretty well for the Rockets this season.  He is averaging over 10 points per game over his last 10 games in 22+ minutes. The hard-working point guard was pretty much ran out of New York at the end of last season, and has found a decent fit with the Rockets.

This is a huge game for the Knicks even without the return of Jeremy Lin. That is the last thing on the Knicks’ minds as they want to avenge their worst loss of the season. Raymond Felton told reporters this morning that they owe the Rockets something, and I expect them to come out firing at the World’s Most Famous Arena.

Follow Brian on Twitter @bcoles1029

Knicks-Cavs: What to Watch For

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Coming off Thursday nights victor over Mike D’Antoni and the Lakers, the Knicks come into tonight’s game without the services of Carmelo Anthony. Cleveland is not a very good team, entering tonight with a 5-18 record. New York ranks 2nd and 15th in the league in offensive and defensive efficiency. Cleveland ranks 28th and 27th respectively. The Knicks rank 27th in the league in pace, while Cleveland plays at the 10th fastest pace. Even without the services of Anthony, this is a game the Knicks should win.

Here is what to watch for: More

Notes From the Knicks 100-97 Victory Over Brooklyn

Multiple times tonight, I jumped out of my seat in celebration of something cool happening. One time, I almost fell. I banged all sorts of three point signs against the side of my head. I let out multiple screams of “MELOOOO” that probably had my roommates thinking “the hell is wrong with this guy?” This game was not a great one for the Knicks. For the first 12 minutes of this basketball game, the Knicks collectively dropped a giant turd. Brooklyn won the first quarter 30-16 and it really wasn’t that close. Ronnie Brewer was sandblasting the front of the rim with threes while Felton and Chandler missed layup after layup after layup. Swiss cheese defense would’ve been an upgrade over the whatever the hell the Knicks were doing. Anyways, quick game synopsis forthcoming. Carmelo Anthony had maybe his greatest game as a New York Knick. In his 44 minutes played, Anthony was unstoppable scoring 45 points on 15/24 shooting. He hit 5 of his 7 three point attempts and hit 10 of his 11 free throws. For the second straight game against Brooklyn and the third straight game overall, Raymond Felton struggled mightily. The Bulldog/Duck/avid user of solid deodorant was just 3/12 shooting from the floor. Felton had my skin boiling the entire game and I was screaming at Mike Woodson through my TV “PUT PRIGIONI IN, DAMMIT!” Unlike the first Brooklyn meeting where Felton basically shot the game away in the 4th quarter, the Knicks were able to overcome the crappy performance of their point guard. So after digging themselves a fourteen point first quarter deficit, the Knicks had a solid second quarter. Anthony was hitting threes, JR Smith was being not horrible and the Knicks found themselves down just four points at the half. The third quarter was not a good one for the Knicks. They lost the quarter 26-25, despite Deron Williams’ leaving the game at the 5:31 mark. Andray Blatche killed them late in the third and the Knicks found themselves down five to start the 4th. In the final period, Carmelo Anthony and Jason Kidd stole the show. Melo continued his dominance, scoring 14 of the Knicks 26 fourth quarter points. With 1:10 to go, Joe Johnson tied the game at 97. With about 50 seconds left, JR Smith missed a three, but Chandler was able to tip out the rebound to Anthony. The Knicks did a good job of moving the ball on their final offensive possession that resulted in Jason Kidd hitting an open three with 24 seconds left. A savvy vet, Kidd stuck his leg out and drew a foul on the shot, but then missed the ensuing free throw. Brooklyn ran a garbage final possession that resulted in a Crash Wallace three that clanked off the rim. Brooklyn got the offensive rebound and kicked it to a wide open Deron Williams for three, but he missed and the Knicks won the game.

Here are my notes from the game: More

Knicks-Nets: What to Watch For

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The Knicks travel back to the Barclays Center tonight to take on the Nets in the second meeting of the NBA’s newest rivalry. The Nets won the first chapter of this saga in overtime, 96-89, back on Nov. 25 in Brooklyn where the Knicks were without Jason Kidd, but both teams have gone in different directions since that game. The Knickerbockers have won six of seven since the road loss to the Nets, while the Nets have dropped four straight games including three in a row at home. Tonight marks the end of a four-game home stand for the Nets, and the Knicks would love nothing more than to give them an 0-4 home trip at the Barclays.

Brook Lopez has missed the last five games for the Nets and  will miss tonight’s game as well. Lopez killed the Knicks in the first meeting with 22 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. On the flip side, Tyson Chandler has been on a tear recently, averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and shooting over 75% from the field in his last 10 contests. He torched the Nets for 28 and 10 in the last meeting, and with no Lopez tonight, Chandler could be due for a huge game. He and Felton have developed a great chemistry and the high pick and roll, and even Felton’s drives to the basket that go for misses turn into assists for Chandler.

The Knicks and Nets currently sit atop the Atlantic Division standings, with the Knicks holding a 3 ½ game lead and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. It is the latest the Knicks have been first in the conference since the 1994 season when they went to the Finals. With the rest of the division struggling a bit it’s a great chance for the Knicks to really put a stranglehold on it. I still think the Knicks and Nets are the two best teams in the division, and tonight is a statement game for both teams.

The impact of this game goes deeper than just the standings, for obvious reasons. All clichés aside, the Nets want to be the dominant team in New York, and are still the only Eastern Conference team to beat the Knicks. A rivalry has started and the Knicks need to claim their first victory in the battle of New York.

Heres what to watch for: More

Knicks-Nuggets: What to Watch For

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Howdy y’all! So the Knicks play Melo’s old team, the Denver Nuggets, at Madison Square Garden tonight. Tonight’s rumble will be the Knicks 4th game in 5 nights and they’re sure to have some heavy legs. However Carmelo Anthony’s return would spark the team, in my humble opinion. It is still unknown whether Anthony will play, but I believe he probably will. In fact, I’d be surprised if he didn’t play.

Studying for my finals are brutally abusing me, so I’ve got to keep the pre-game a bit short today. Here’s what you need to know for today’s game:  More