Check that. The Three Masked Cavaliers (move over, Musketeers) attempted to storm into MSG with their 5-19 brigade. Commander, Kyrie Irving aka Batman/Zorro/Uncle Drew, struck gold, playing with a vindictive attitude under the mask, erupting for 41 points. Commander Irving reminisced game 2 Rajon Rondo from last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, refusing to give up in the final seconds, hitting a couple of huge threes in crunch time. The Wine and Goldknights’ raid nearly succeeded, but Lieutenant General, Anderson Varejao, missed a crucial second free throw with a second left. The Knickerbockers without their 5 star commander, Carmelo Anthony, retained their home turf. Sorry guys, I got too excited with war metaphors, but they do correspond with tonight’s down-to-the-wire Knick win at home. Sloppiness on defense summed up the Knicks’ first quarter, mostly the interior defense, being the main cause for the Cavs’ early 28-27 lead at the end of the first. Steve Novak, J.R Smith and Jason Kidd combined for five threes in the second, propelling the Knicks into a 48-45 first half lead at halftime. 15 points of the Knicks’ 21 second quarter points came from beyond the arc. The Knicks went on to beat the Cavs in the third quarter 30-28 and ended up losing the fourth quarter 29-25 because of that man named Kyrie Irving, who had 16 points in the fourth. Notes and stuff: More
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.
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.
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.
This is a great, great win for the Knicks. Playing the 4th game in 5 nights, the Knicks showed some signs of fatigue early in the game. Overall the Knick defense wasn’t very good, allowing Denver to shoot 55% for the game, but they continued to fight and grind the entire game. Jason Kidd was reminiscent of god, JaVale McGee was hilarious and Steve Novak hit a pair of three point bombs to spark a fourth quarter comeback. The defense bore down when it had to and Melo sealed the game with some clutch buckets in the final minutes. This is a game that great teams win. New York didn’t play it’s best, but that was good enough tonight. A great win for a seemingly great 15-5 Knicks team. Oh yeah, they’re 8-0 at home this year.
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
Pretty much the only thing you need to know about this game is this:
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.
No Melo, no problem. Having their star player sit with a lacerated finger, the Knicks trounced the defending champion Heat 112-92 Thursday night in Miami. Raymond Felton carried the scoring load with maybe his best game as a pro, scoring 27 points on 10/20 shooting the ball. The NBA’s number one offense rode a 37 point third quarter and a lockdown defensive fourth quarter to turn the grudge match into a laugher. LeBron James played well, but the Knicks were able to render Dwayne Wade useless tonight. Wade, quickly ascending from superstardom in this league, shot just 3/13 and was a game low -33 in +/- on the night. Chris Bosh also was ineffective in his 30 minutes played.