Game Previews/ Recaps

Notes From the Knicks 92-85 Loss to the Bulls

 

JR

Pretty much the only thing you need to know about this game is this:

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This was a 90′s flashback game. There was tough defense by both squads, not a lot of offense and a lot of sloppiness. Both teams played even throughout the game, but the Knicks ran out of gas down the stretch. Without Carmelo Anthony for the second straight game, the Knicks struggled against the defensive minded Bulls. New York couldn’t find their stroke from downtown, shooting just 8/23 from downtown. Usually great in the turnover category, the Knicks uncharacteristically coughed up the ball over 15 times tonight. Carrying the load of the Knicks shooting by default tonight, Raymond Felton was an abysmal 9/30 shooting from the field. JR Smith’s 4/14 performance made me sad and Ronnie Brewer chipped in a solid 0/5 clip. As a team, the Knicks shot just 32% tonight.

Here are my notes from the game: More

Game Preview 12/5: Knicks-Bobcats Preview

MELOOOOOOO

After a two off days, the 12-4 Knicks return to action as they head down south to North Carolina to play the 7-9 Charlotte Bobcats tonight. The Knicks are coming in a little banged up at the point guard position, with bulldog/duck/point guard Raymond Felton expected to start after acquiring a bruise on his left hand in the Knicks win over the Suns on Sunday (puns!) and Jason Kidd expected to come off the bench after dealing with back spasms that kept him out of the past three games. A couple of things to watch for:

  • The Bobcats play at the sixth highest pace in the league. The Knicks play at the third lowest. As with almost every game, the point guard are going to have to slow down the tempo and keep it under control. Moreover, the Knicks are going to have to deal with the athleticism that the Cats’ have. Kemba Walker is lightning quick, and stopping his dribble-penetrations will be key. Second overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is a dynamic wing who has defended very well this year and can also fly. In the frontcourt, Bismack Biyombo stands out athletically. He averages 1.6 blocks per game, can get them in bunches. 
  • As mentioned earlier, Jason Kidd will be coming off the bench. It will be interesting to see if he can help get the defense back on track by doing his veteran, Jason Kidd-things. His return should also let Woodson play around with his backcourt combinations, and have potentially have more of those 2-point guard lineups that have been working very well for the Knicks this year. And finally, and maybe most importantly, Kidd said that he will not be wearing the headband. Thank goodness. It’s as if Basketball-Hanukkah has come early this year.
  • SHEEEEEEEEEED. Rasheed Wallace played only 85 seconds on Sunday after getting ejected with two technical fouls. Sheed should be well rested and ready to pick up more tech’s ready to play smothering defense ready to launch more regretful three pointers. Without Marcus Camby (plantar fasciitis) Sheed will likely be the first big man off the bench and have to play some important minutes.
  • Felton will be wearing a pad on his left hand, and I expect him to be fine. After all, he did launch up a falling away three-pointer on the possession immediately after hurting his hand. Bulldog gonna’ bulldog.
  • Bobcats center Byron Mullens is 7″0, 275 lbs and he averages 5.3 three point attempts a game. He averages 1.5 makes per game. This is hilarious.
  • Finally, Ben Gordon has been on fire lately. He’s made 18 threes in his last three games. I think that’s a lot. Yeah, it’s a lot. The Knicks are going to hope he cools off and make sure they stay with him out on the perimeter.

And them’s be the things to watch for. The Knicks should win this game, and make sure they don’t look past it with their showdown against the Heat happening tomorrow. Tip off is a little after 7 PM ET.

Notes From the Knicks 106-99 Victory Over Phoenix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUMUi8oQbbM

In what feels like their 50th Sunday morning matinee game of the season, the Knicks defeated the hapless Phoenix Suns 106-99. Basically the game went like this. The Knicks started well, then Phoenix came back at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Knicks blew out the Suns 35-22 and went into halftime with a comfortable 17 point lead. New York’s second half defense was pitiful and the Suns had a 30 point third quarter. Luckily for the Knicks, the Suns defense is horrible and the Knicks also had a 30 point quarter. In the 4th, the Knicks defense was bad and the Knicks offense was bad and when your offense is bad and your defense is bad, you usually don’t play very well. Phoenix beat the Knicks 27-17 in the 4th, but the Knicks were able to hang on at the end and escape with a 7 point Knick lead.

Here are my notez from the game: More

Game Preview 12/2: Knicks-Suns Preview

Ray

The 7-10 Phoenix Suns come into Sunday’s matinee at Madison Square Garden coming off back-to-back losses at the hands of the mighty Pistons and the riveting Raptors. Wait no, both those teams suck. Our 11-4 Knickerbockers are coming off back-to-back blowout victories against the Bucks and lowly Washington Generals Wizards. New York looks to continue defending their home court as they are 6-0 at the friendly confines of Madison Square Garden through these first 15 games.

In terms of pace, the Knicks play super slow while the Suns play the NBA’s 6th fastest pace. Phoenix is the 10th best offensive team in the league, coming in with a 102.8 offensive efficiency. Point guard Goran Dragic and center Marcin Gortat make up one of the more dynamic offensive duos in the league. Though often hilarious, forward Michael Beasley can light it up if he gets hot. Phoenix does have some wings who can get hot shooting, guys like Jared Dudley and Shannon Brown. Defensively the Suns are putrid, coming into the game with the 4th worst defensive efficiency in the league.

Here are my keys to the game: More

Recap: Knicks 108 Wizards 87

wizards-knicks

After winning their first (and only) game of the season against the Blazers at home, the Wizards flew on their brooms en route to New York to try and propel on a two game winning streak. Not surprisingly, the Wizards have numerophobia of the number two, and they lost against the Knicks, causing their measly one game winning streak to fall into pieces. Despite being up by 9 at the end of the first quarter, The Knicks were annihilated on the offensive glass 13-3, which basically kept the Wizards in the game early (I know, that sounds pretty funny), but the Wizards didn’t go further. Despite the Knicks sloppy start, they pretty much commanded the rest of the game. After having an early first quarter lead, the Wizards never regained the lead from the Knicks. Even if John Wall wasn’t injured, he would of probably been jacking up random threes trying to improve his .071 3P% from last year. Even if Wall took ten threes, he would still probably miss all of them because he is a monstrosity of a three point shooter. Anyways, here are some notes:

More

Game Preview 11/28: Knicks @ Bucks

        Two nights after the Knicks lost the first Battle of the Borough’s to the Nets they are back in action on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Knicks are in need of a win and have dropped three of the last four games since jumping out to a 6-0 start. After losing their third straight road contest to the Nets at the Barclays, the Knicks travel to Milwaukee. Jason Kidd will miss his second straight game and did not travel with the team to Milwaukee because of back spasms. They face a Bucks team that sits atop the Central Division in the Eastern Conference at 7-5 and can really score the ball, something teams have been doing with ease against the Knicks the past several games.  The Knicks did hold the Nets to 96 points in an overtime game on Monday night, but gave up 100+ points the three games prior. A bright spot that came out of the Nets game was the reemergence of Tyson Chandler, who poured in 28 points and grabbed ten rebounds, demonstrating some of the energy and intensity we become used to seeing with him.

The two teams enter the game under different circumstances. The Knicks have lost 3 of 4, while the Bucks are fresh off a 27-point comeback victory over the Bulls on Monday night. The Bucks are second in the league in field-goal percentage, and are led by their two star guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Ellis leads the Bucks in scoring with 19.1 per, and Jennings is second to him averaging 16.5 per but leads the NBA in steals at a little over three a game. Those two are the engine that makes the Bucks go, and the Knicks perimeter defense will be crucial tonight to avoid the Milwaukee guards from peculating (Clyde voice).  Here are a few keys/notes/things to look for:

Bench Scoring: The Bucks come into the game second in the league in bench scoring, getting 42 points from their reserves this season. On the flip side, the Knicks are only allowing 32 points per game from the opposition’s bench.  In Milwaukee’s comeback victory over the Bulls the other night, their bench outscored the Bulls 56-10, clearly turning out to be the difference in the contest. The Knicks will have their hands full with the two starting guards of the Bucks, so it will be crucial for them to win the battle of the second units tonight. J.R Smith could never get going offensively the other night against the Nets, and the Knicks offense struggled because of it. Chandler and Anthony scored a combined 63 points against the Nets and the Knicks scored 89 as a team; they need J.R. to add some scoring off the bench.

Play of Raymond Felton: We all know how poor Felton shot the ball the other night. He was 3 of 17 from the field and couldn’t find his jumper all night. He also seemed to be a little hesitant on some pick and rolls with Chandler, caught in between whether he wanted to drop in an eight-foot floater or throw Chandler a lob. He and Tyson connected on a few real pretty pick and rolls that led to easy Chandler dunks, but overall Felton played easily his worst game as a Knick. With Kidd out for the second straight game, the play of Felton will again be under a microscope, and they will without a doubt need a better shooting performance from him. I’d also like to see him and Tyson run that high pick and roll more often, and Felton improving on the decision-making. His defense will also be put to the test against the two electrifying guards, especially since Kidd will miss his second straight game and Ronnie Brewer ailing with a dislocated finger.

3-Point Shooting: The Knicks come into tonight averaging just fewer than 12 threes per game to lead the NBA. It has been a major part of their offense so far this season. They were able to knock down only six against the Nets on Monday night, and it is no coincidence they lost the game. Novak looked like he regained his stroke in the game prior against the Pistons, but barely showed up against the Nets as he attempted only three shots. Steve Novak is a key part of this offense when he is able to spread the floor, but he is obsolete on both ends of the floor when he isn’t hitting the three ball. I look for him to hit some big three’s tonight to help the second unit along with J.R. For the Bucks, they shoot under 30% as a team from behind the arc, so the Knicks will need to keep them around that number tonight.

The Bucks are also a pretty good rebounding team with Samuel Dalambert and Ersan Ilyasova who both attack the offensive glass. While the Knicks outrebounded the Nets in the fourth quarter on Monday night, they were outrebounded for the first three quarters, and got abused on the glass by Reggie Evans who grabbed 14 boards in 17 minutes. Rebounding continues to be an issue for the Knicks, so I would like to see Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby show up and help on the rebounds.

Follow Brian on Twitter @bcoles1029

Notes From the Knicks 96-89 Loss to Brooklyn

EVERYBODY STAY CALM. It is just one basketball game, contrary to Jay-Z’s asinine tweet of “The city is under new management.” Troll so hard Mr. Z, troll so hard. Anyways, the Knicks and Nets played a hard fought game Monday night. Reggie Evans willed Brooklyn to a two point halftime deficit. New York’s offense really fell apart in the second half and overtime. The Knicks scored just 20 third quarter points, 17 fourth quarter points and mustered a mighty 5 point performance in the overtime period. New York held an 84-81 lead with 1:38 to play in regulation, but a series of Knick miscues allowed Brooklyn to push the game to overtime. In extra time, the Knicks offense was unable to do anything and they were outscored 12-5. Deron Williams, despite his shooting struggles, played a masterful game. His 16 points and 14 assists led Brooklyn to victory. Tyson Chandler broke out of his early season doldrums with a 28 point 10 rebound performance. Carmelo Anthony also had a great game, scoring 35 points on 25 shots and grabbing 13 rebounds, but ran out of gas along with the Knick offense.

Here are my notes from the game: More

Knicks-Nets: What to Watch For

The 9-3 New York Knicks face off tonight against the newly minted 8-4 Brooklyn Nets. This matchup brings us the first Knicks-Nets matchup since the Nets uprooted from Chris Christie-territory and made the magnificent Barclays Center their new home arena. What makes this matchup fun is that both teams are good. This isn’t Knicks-Nets of the recent past, where New York has won 6 of the last 7 meetings between the teams. Brooklyn poses a formidable opponent for the Knicks and actually match up quite well with them. Taking into consideration that the Knicks are floundering as of late and that the Nets are 6-1 at home, we should have a good game on our hands.

Brooklyn and New York are pretty evenly matched across the board. New York boasts the NBA’s most efficient offense with a 111.5 offensive rating, while Brooklyn rates 6th at 104.4. Defensively, the Knicks and Nets are incredibly similar as they rate 17th and 19th respectively in defensive rating. Both teams play at incredibly slow paces and rank 28th (Knicks) and 29th (Nets) in that category.

Here is what to watch for: More

Recap Mavericks 114 Knicks 111

Another epic comeback was almost sealed in heart-attack inducing fashion, but the Knicks couldn’t quite pull out of Dallas with a second win against the Mavericks. The first half was filled with lots of ball movement and unselfishness that propelled the Knicks into an early 54-49 lead at halftime. The Mavericks romped ahead of the Knicks in the third quarter 35-26, leading the Knicks to trailing by 4 at the end of the third 84-80. The Knicks showed life in the fourth quarter like they have in previous games, but despite the “good job, good effort,” they fell short because of poor decision making in the latter. Notes from this game are brought to you by…me:

  • Despite his smart fundamental play in the first half and his team leading 23 points, Carmelo Anthony had a typical mediocre shooting night shooting 7-16 from the field. Melo played 41 minutes and fouled out, resulting in a dose of “Hit The Road Jack.” Melo was rolling early. He continued to pass out of double teams finding the open man, but got sloppy with the ball later, reverted back to iso ball and committed 7 turnovers. On one possession, Melo attacked the rim, did a 360, and converted a mesmerizing layup. Unfortunately, the circus shot was called off and Melo was tagged with an offensive foul, which was absolutely not a foul because looking back at the tape, Vince Carter clearly moved and Tony Brothers happened to be brothers with Vince Carter deciding that it was an offensive foul against Melo, leading to fans denouncing the refs. The subject of the 4th quarter, as well as the whole game, was Melo’s shot selection on the very last possession of the game. Melo, who was being guarded by lockdown defender, Shawn Marion, beat Marion off the dribble and pulled up for an extraneous double-clutch jumper that hit short rim. I was facepalming right after Melo missed the shot because I knew that it wasn’t the decision I wanted Mike Woodson to go to. Prior to that, to prevent the Knicks from taking the lead in the fourth quarter, Chris Kaman sucked the venom out of one of his pet snakes he brought with him that he was hiding under the hardwood floor tiles, smacked the bejesus out of Melo’s face, and hissed at everyone in transition. More

Game Preview 11/18: Pacers @ Knicks

 

The Knicks will host the Danny Granger-less Indiana Pacers at the Garden on Sunday afternoon, their second Sunday afternoon game already this season (hopefully JR isn’t partying to hard tonight. Wait that was last year, right?). Anyway, I’m glad the Knicks play an afternoon game tomorrow. The Giants are on a bye and therefore I can give the Knicks my undivided attention instead of being subjected to watching the Jets play the Rams. The Knicks are coming off their first loss of the season to a much more physical Grizzlies team on Friday night, dropping them to 6-1. They were going up against the league’s leading rebounder in Zach Randolph, but the most alarming part of the loss was getting beat up on the glass for the seventh time this season. For all the things the Knicks have done very well this year, rebounding is certainly not one of them and something they need to address going forward.

After getting the loss out of the way, the Knicks will look to bounce back against a 4-6 Pacers team that they without a doubt should beat. They are one of the worst offensive teams in the league as they average only 89.3 points per game, and have the second worst offense efficiency rating of 92.2 (not very good). They also turn the ball over a lot, possessing a turnover rate of 15.65, the fourth highest in the league. They are coming off of a 103-83 blowout win against the Mavericks where they were able to find some offense. However, if the Knicks can continue their outstanding defense on the lowly Pacer offense, they should be able to take care of business on their home court. Here are a few key matchups to watch in this game:

David West vs. Carmelo Anthony: If the Knicks continue to go with their small lineup with Carmelo playing the four (which they probably will and should), they are going to need to help Anthony on the block against West. West is the Pacers leading scorer and rebounder, and can be a real menace on the offensive glass. Anthony needs to make sure he boxes out West and limits the Pacer’s second chance opportunities.

Can Rasheed Wallace continue his solid play?: Through the first seven games of the season you can’t be any happier with what you have seen from Sheed. He is averaging 7 and 3 to go along with a block per game. With Tyson Chandler being banged up and sick plus Amare’s injury/Camby working his way back, the Knicks needed someone to defend and play in the post. Wallace has done a great job of that (it’s hard for me to believe even as I type it) and will be needed down low as the Pacers have two very formidable bigs in David West and Roy Hibbert.

Starting Lineups

New York                                                                    Indiana

PG-Raymond Felton                                          PG-George Hill

SG-Jason Kidd                                                     SG-Lance Stephenson

SF-Ronnie Brewer                                              SF-Paul George

PF-Carmelo Anthony                                         PF-David West

C-Tyson Chandler                                               C-Roy Hibbert

Prediction: Knicks 105, Pacers 91

Follow Brian on Twitter @bcoles1029