Game Recap 3/31: Knicks vs. Celtics

Happy Easter!

It’s so much more fun to write a recap for win instead of a loss. And even more fun when it’s so much more fun to write a recap for win instead of a loss. And even more fun when it’against the Celtics.

The Knickerbockers won its eighth straight game on Sunday, defeating the Boston Celtics 108-89 at the World’s Most Famous Arena. They now have a 4 ½ game lead in the Atlantic Division, and the magic number to clinch the division is at 6.

With the win, the Knicks took the season series from the Celtics 3-1, and have all but ended Boston’s reign atop the division.

The Knicks dominated this game from about the second quarter on, and held a double-digit lead for the majority of the second half. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 24 points on 9-19 shooting, despite only taking a handful of shots in the second half. He was also a beast on the offensive glass and grabbed 10 rebounds in all, but really looked aggressive crashing the basket.

The key to the game was the bench. Chris Copelandia poured in 22 points the lead the second unit, a role usually designated to J.R. Smith. After three straight 30-point games, Smith scored 15 on 4-12 shooting. He didn’t have the great shooting nights he has had in the past week or so, but Smith did a lot of good things tonight. He continued his drive-first mentality and got to the free-throw line 10 times, as well as grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out four assists.

Copeland played a huge role with Kenyon Martin being sidelined due to a strained abdominal muscle, and played 20 important minutes. He was 6-10 from the field en route to his 22 points, and also grabbed five rebounds. He got to the line nine times himself, and as a unit the Knicks took 31 free-throws.

Overall, this was a fairly easy win for the Knicks, and they coasted for most of the contest. It was exactly the way they wanted, especially since they travel to Miami on Tuesday. Maybe Lebron, Wade and Chalmers won’t play again? No shot.

Here are a few other notes from the win:

  • The ball movement was excellent again tonight, and led to 14 three-pointers. The Knicks shot 52% from behind the arc and allowed them to build the lead and put the Celtics away. The Knicks have shot extremely well from 3 during this winning streak, and is coming from the crisp ball movement and spacing; the keys to an efficient Knick offense.
  • Raymond Felton had a solid game tonight, despite having only four assists. He hit 3 three pointers and scored 18 points in total. The addition of Pablo Prigioni to the starting lineup continued to be effective with the two point guards. Prigioni dished out five assists, and Kidd off the bench because of the change is doing a lot of little things for the second unit.
  • Steve Novak took more two point shots than three pointers tonight. That has to be the first time that’s happened.

 

Analyzing Kenyon Martin’s Recent Production

Kenyon Martin

Look, I know that Kenyon Martin has only played 13 games with the Knicks, but recently, he has been a valuable piece to the Knicks bench. It wasn’t fair to adjudge the way K-Mart played during his first 10 day tenure because he got little to no playing time. He only played one game during his first 10 day deal, and was on the floor for just under 5 minutes, the game being Stephen Curry’s 54 point explosion at MSG.  The second 10 day deal was pretty much the same, except, he actually got playing time, but again, in only one game. K-Mart made his legitimate Knicks debut against the Thunder and pulled a Bill Walker by fouling out in 17 minutes of run, four of those fouls being in a very short span. But at the same time, if it wasn’t for him defending Kevin Durant, defending as in bear hugging him or smacking the crap out of him, the Knicks wouldn’t have been in that game. Then, K-Mart was signed for the remainder of the season, and as of now, it has turned out to be a great move. More

Game Recap 3/27/13: Knicks vs. Grizzlies

I want to start this recap by expressing how much I dislike the jerseys the Grizzlies wore tonight. The light blueish unis are by far their ugliest, and probably has a lot to do with the way they played early on.

The Knicks defeated the Grizzlies tonight 108-101 at The Garden. It is their sixth straight victory and the most impressive one of this winning streak so far. With the Heat loss this evening, the Knicks now have the longest active winning streak in the NBA.

Besides the first couple buckets of the game, the Knicks led this one wire to wire, but made it very interesting towards the end in the fourth quarter.

Memphis came into the game second in the Association in points allowed, but the Knicks did whatever they wanted in the first half. Excellent ball movement freed up the three-point shooters and they rarely missed. The Knickerbockers shot 61% from the field and had an offensive efficiency rating of 153.3 en route to putting up 69 (haha) first half points. Shumpert got the scoring going early with 10 early first quarter points. His jumper has looked better and better with each game and he has been shooting over 42% from behind the arc in March. He also made a nice play in transition, showing some of his explosiveness and trust in that knee.

The Knicks had a 28-point halftime lead and led by as much as 30 in the third quarter. It looked like it was all over, but because of bad defense and constant foul calls, the Grizzlies got clawed their way back into it, and had the lead cut down to as little as four late in the fourth.

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Recap: Knicks 100 Celtics 85

j.r rotem

Tonight, the Celtics were shorthanded without Kevin Garnett due to an ankle injury that will set him back for two weeks (thank god). Even though KG wasn’t on the floor to antagonize Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks still got it done against the Jordan Crawford-led Celtics, if you will, also without Tyson Chandler. At the beginning of the second quarter and from there on out, the Knicks held onto the lead. The Celtics did go on a mini 5-0 run by scoring the first two baskets of the second half, after the Knicks ended the first half with a 19-4 run, leading me to thinking that the Celtics were eventually going to take the lead and create their own run. Thankfully, that was not the case and Avery Bradley was left in disbelief post game. Here are the most important notes: More

Ex-Knick of The Week

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The picture above looks like it’s just an ordinary old ticket stub from a basketball game, right? You may all be thinking that right now in your cerebral cortex, but guess what? You’re totally missing the most significant thing about that game. More

Will the Knicks Win 50 Games?

Knicks celebrating

Instead of recapping last night’s blowout win over Toronto, I thought I’d take a look at the 14 remaining games on New York’s schedule. The Knicks currently sit at 42-26, and while catching Miami is out of the question, winning 50 games this season is not. However, the road to 50 is a difficult one. Here is the Knicks remaining schedule:

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Only four remaining games will be played against sub .500 teams, Charlotte twice, Cleveland, and Washington. And two of those four games are on the road. Assuming the Knicks win all four of those games, they’d only have to win four of the other ten to get to 50 wins. Although the Knicks have been good against bad teams this year, it’s far from a sure thing that they’ll win all four. For the sake of discussion here, let’s say the Knicks win three out of the four. More

Notes From the Knicks 99-94 Win Over Toronto

DUCK KIDD

That was a weird game. Playing the first game of a home and home, the Knicks were able to fend off a ridiculous Alan Anderson assault in the second half and hold on for a five point victory. The first half was an odd one. New York got out to a big first half lead with some good ball movement and quality three point shooting. At some point, Mike Woodson decided to go Iso-Melo and Toronto made a run to end the half. Melo did not have a good first half, shooting 5/15 from the floor with 4 turnovers. Non-coincidentally, Toronto made their run after Rudy Gay went to the locker room with a back injury. Gay was playing even worse than Anthony in 14 first half minutes before he got injured. The Raptors stormed out of the locker room and scored 34 points in the third quarter. Alan Anderson scored 20 of those points, as he shot 6/6 in the frame with three triples. Luckily for the Knicks, Anthony was able to compose himself somewhat in the third and scored 11 points of his own. The 4th quarter was an odd one, as the Knicks outplayed Toronto, but were unable to put the game away due to poor free throw shooting. New York shot 50% in the quarter, but lost it 23-22 because they could only get five of eleven free throw attempts to go. Anthony was big down the stretch, shedding his apparent inability to score on Landry Fields. In the final minutes, the Knicks missed 7000 free throws, but Toronto was unable to capitalize and the Knicks escaped with the win. It was a bizarre game, but it was a game the Knicks needed to win. They need to win tomorrow as well, as their schedule gets super hard after that.

Here are my notes from the game:

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Clippers 93, Knicks 80

cp3feltonWell, that sucked. The Knicks kept their losing streak alive, getting beat pretty badly the Clippers. Missing Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler (and Amar’e Stoudemire, but whatever) the Knicks got thoroughly out worked on the glass (-12 in that department) and got a really, really, really, terrible game from JR Smith, who they needed to pick up the majority of the offensive load. Notes ‘n’ stuff:

  • The aforementioned JR Smith was horrible, shooting 4-20 from the field and getting blown by really badly by Clipper guards. The Knicks needed him to have a good game to have a chance at winning, and in typical JR-up-and-down fashion, he followed up his 33 point night against the Blazers with whatever the hell today was.
  • Quietly, Raymond Felton had a good game. His defense wasn’t horrible, though he did make some odd rotation choices. (In fairness, the Knicks as a team make odd rotation choices.) Offensively, he made some lovely feeds to big men in space and should have finished with more than 9 assists if any of those big men could finish layups. Once again though, he had an inefficient 16 points on 15 shots. Still, a step in the right direction.
  • Chris Copeland started, played 26 minutes, got lost on dozens of rotations, missed some terrible shots, made some terrible shots, finished with 13 points.
  • Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan had many terrifying dunks and I’m happy no one on the Knicks was killed by them.
  • Once again, Mike Woodson buried Pablo Prigioni on the bench until the fourth quarter. Between adamantly refusing the play Pablo, constantly playing JR Smith, and having started James White for two weeks, Woodson’s lineup and rotation decisions have been putrid.
  • Kurt Thomas and Marcus Camby kept getting jumped over by Blake and DeAndre, and then Chris Paul almost murdered Kurt Thomas with a crossover. Turns out kids don’t have respect for their elders anymore.
  • Kenyon Martin put up quite possibly the worst shot of all time (a fadeaway that hit the top of the backboard) and committed 5 hard fouls, one of which was a flagrant.

Overall, the Knicks played with effort today. Their were painfully overmatched, and couldn’t score without JR having a good game. Good news: With the exception of Kurt Thomas potentially moving the cobwebs around in his knee, nobody on the Knicks lost a limb! The Knicks play the Jazz tomorrow, and hopefully the knees become fixed by then.

Ex-Knicks of The Week

OnceAKnick

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0bmGR2YDa1I]

James Griffo (@j_griff): I can’t stress enough to talk about Renaldo Balkman and his recent choking capades. I actually forgot that Balkman played in the PBA aka the Filipino’s NBA, but it’s not like I care/cared about him anyways because, my god, he was, and still is a pungent block of rotten cheese sitting in a dumpster, while being devoured by alley rats with emblems of Isiah Thomas’s face embedded on their chests. He did write a formal apology, which you can see here, and a couple of other tweets to the Petron Blaze, the team he plays for. After an apparent techincal foul was called, Balkman proceeded to do what most players do: Argue about foul calls till the players get their way. He didn’t get his way, so he decided to choke Arwind Santos, a PBA superstar from what I understand (just look at his accolades), after plowing through one of his assistant coaches and referees. The end result: he made PBA history by being the first player in 15 years to receive a lifetime ban, along with a fine of 250,000 pesos, which accounts for just over $6,000 American dollars. Regardless, you are my Ex-Knick of the week, Renaldo, not just because of your recent incident, but also because of the 2006 draft, in which you were picked right before assist master, Rajon Rondo *cuts to a scene of me contemplating about what the Knicks could have done with Rondo.* Besides being picked right before Rondo, what else will everyone ultimately remember Renaldo Balkman for? Being exchanged back and forth between the Denver Knicks (my nickname I gave to the 2010-11 Knicks/Nuggets) and the New York Knicks. The last time Balkman saw NBA action was during the peak of Linsanity last season against the Kings, in garbage time, of course. He took one shot that game, the shot being a three. He missed it. More

Amar’e Stoudemire Injured Once Again. Where do the Knicks go From Here?

STATsad

Prior to yesterday’s 113-84 blowout victory over Utah, the Knicks announced that oft-injured forward Amar’e Stoudemire will be sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks with right knee problems. Before the season started, Stoudemire underwent a left knee debridement, dead tissue that needs to be removed, which caused him to miss the first two months of the season. Now, the same issue has arisen in his right knee and again he must be operated on.

Having overcome a plethora of injuries throughout his 11 year career, this is nothing new for Stoudemire. He’s worked hard during his tenure with the Knicks to overcome this kind of adversity and he will work hard again to get back in time to help contribute to the team’s playoff cause. Nonetheless, this injury is truly a tragic one for Stoudemire. The Knicks starting the year 18-5 with Carmelo Anthony at power forward made it near impossible for Stoudemire to return in January as a starter. The consumate team player, Stoudemire accepted his role as a 23 minute a game role player off the bench. A move of this ilk is not an easy one for an NBA superstar, of which Stoudemire certainly has been throughout his career. Look no further than the Pau Gasol situation with the Lakers this season as an example of how superstars usually react to a bench demotion. Not only did Stoudemire handle this move to the bench with professionalism and class, but he was having a bounce-back season. Behind a more refined offensive game, thanks to some summer tutelage from Hakeem Olajuwon, Stoudemire was scoring as efficiently as ever. More