For the second straight game, the Knicks beat up on a far lesser opponent at Madison Square Garden. Saturday night, it was the Kings. Tonight, the Pistons. Although New York slept through the second half, this game was never close. The Knicks led the entire game, getting off to a good start with a 28-13 first quarter win. The lead was 22 at halftime and the Knicks never looked back. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 27 efficient points on 17 shots. Tyson Chandler became the third Knick to record three 20 rebound games. Stoudemire was again strong off the bench and Felton played one of his best games of the season. All in all, the night was swell for our Knickerbockers.
As you’ve probably heard by now, today marks the one-year anniversary of Jeremy Lin’s breakout performance last season against the New Jersey Nets, the beginning of “Linsanity.” The evolution of Jeremy Lin’s standing in the court public opinion has been a fascinating one. What started out as a mutual love-fest between Lin and Knicks fans has evolved into what I imagine a micro-blogging version of World War 3 would look like. At least on the social media ranks of “Knicks Twitter”, the fan-base has been divided by a player that no longer dawns the orange and blue. You have the faction of fans that hate Lin’s guts, unfairly I would say, and then you have the faction who love and continue to root for Lin. I stand in the third faction; I’ve moved on from Lin with no hard feelings towards him, yet I don’t ‘root’ for him per say.
Looking back to when the Knicks jettisoned Lin for Houston and brought in Raymond Felton as his replacement, I wasn’t happy with the move. Not because I don’t like Raymond Felton, because I really like Felton. I was upset because the Knicks could’ve had both Lin and Felton, they didn’t need to choose one over the other. And to be fair, I think Lin has a higher upside than Felton and will end up as a better NBA player. I thought Felton was solid, but on a Knicks team that seemed headed for an isolation based offense, Lin was a better fit. Largely due to this decision, my outlook for the Knicks this year was quite bleak. I thought they’d moved into the distinction of being the new-age Atlanta Hawks. The perennial 5 seed that is never good enough to contend, but never bad enough to blow up the team. NBA purgatory, I like to call it. I was wrong, or at least have been wrong to this point. More
The February 21st trade deadline is fast approaching and the Knicks do have a few holes that could be plugged. They could use depth at point guard, depth and center and another wing player that can defend and shoot some threes. However, it’s quite unlikely the Knicks are going to do anything. They seem content with the team they have and would have to get super creative to truly acquire pieces that will significantly upgrade the team. And why should they be desperate to make a move? New York does sit second in the Eastern Conference at 30-15, a half game back of Miami. I don’t believe they have enough to make it out of the East, unless they were miraculously able to avoid both Miami and Chicago in the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean the team feels the same way. They’ve made no indication that they’re going to pursue a big trade and I would assume any roster changes made would be minor.
If you follow me on twitter, you know I’m an avid user of ESPN’s awesome Trade Machine feature. 90% of what I conjure up ends up crippling the Lakers, sending Kobe to the Wizards, Pau to the Bobcats, or Dwight to the Pistons. LA usually takes back a package consisting of players like DeSagana Diop, Jan Vesely, Charlie Villanueva and Trevor Arizona. I have fun with it. Although the Knicks are unlikely to make a trade at all, much less a major one, I’m still going to have fun with the ol’ Trade Machine.
Trade #1: Hey look! The Knicks get Eric Bledsoe! Now I don’t have to pee my pants every time Felton grabs his injured pinkie finger!
Picture an ordinary day in school. You’re sitting in history class day dreaming about the beautiful sexy girl next to you. In the day dream, that beautiful sexy girl and the popular kid that has 5 bajillion friends are conversing. The popular kid is inquiring her about this massive party he’s having at his house because his parents just recently left for vacation for a week. Meanwhile, you’re listening in to the conversation and the kid approaches you and asks you about attending the party. “Hey kid, wanna come to this gigantic party I’m hosting tonight?” he says. You go along and you say “Yeah, sure. I’m down with that.” The popular kids’ parents went to Milwaukee because they have family up there and they’re avid skiers. Unfortunately, the host passes out at the party after having a little too much to drink. About 20 minutes later, the light bulb goes off above your head. You decide to request to the crappy D.J that’s been playing a two hour remix of some crappy house mix to play “Jam On It” by Newcleus. You had no idea you were a B-Boy under the tutelage of Turbo and Ozone from “Breakin’” and “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.” And thus, you ripped up the dance floor to shreds. Whether it was popping, locking, or just plain breakin’, you mesmerized the circle that was formed by fellow party attendants. You saved the party from being flushed down the toilet with the puke from some of the party attendants. That consummates tonight’s Knick win over the Bucks. However, the Knicksian trend of losing the first quarter is still in tact. I have no clue how many first quarters they’ve lost, but keep in mind, they’ve lost a cluster of them. The first quarter of this year is playing reverse roles with the third quarter from last year. The Bucks had the lead 53-47 at half, but the Knicks won the third quarter and dominated the Bucks in the fourth, holding them to 13 points. A double digit win on Friday night, in which the Knicks would usually lose because of that jackass, Robert Randolph, is absolutely peachy. Here are some notes and stuff: More
The Knicks 113-97 win over Orlando marked the 12th game Amar’e Stoudemire has played since returning from injury. He’s coming off the bench and has excelled in that role. His per-36 numbers read 20.2 points 52% shooting and 7 rebounds. Stoudemire, who looked like a shell of his usual high flying all-star self last season, looks quick, strong and healthy. Having worked out with Hakeem Olajuwon over the summer, Stoudemire added a post-up game to his offensive arsenal. There was much skepticism around how effective his new post game would be and how often it would be used. To this point, and especially over the last 5-6 games, Stoudemire’s post game has been more effective than anyone could have expected.
According to Synergy sports, Stoudemire is shooting 18/29 (62.1%) out of post ups and draws shooting fouls 12.8% of the time. His 1.04 points per possession in post ups ranks 6th in the league. He’s not perfect yet, turning the ball over 21.3% of the time, but he’s been very effective. Though the overall sample size is small, 12 games played, it looks like Stoudemire will be used more often in post than in pick and roll. 30.7% of his plays have come in post up situations while he’s worked as the roll man just 19.6% of the time. More
Hey-yo Knicks fans! That game was weird. The Knicks first quarter defense was horrifically bad and it looked like the night may be a long one. However, New York tightened up their ‘efense and held Orlando in check the rest of the game. With his 30th consecutive 20 point performance, Carmelo Anthony set a new Knicks record. Amar’e Stoudemire was great again off the bench with 14 points on 7/7 shooting. Tyson Chandler got back on track offensively with 21 points on 10/11 shooting. All in all, it ended up being a pretty good night for the Knicks.
Well it wasn’t pretty, and honestly it probably was a game the Knicks should’ve lost. Basically, this was a ’2k’ game, as both teams were ridiculously good on offense. Led by Carmelo Anthony’s 9 three pointers, the Knicks shot 54.2% from the game, and 59.3% from downtown. The Hawks became the first team in the NBA this season to lose a game in which they shot 60% from the floor. New York had no answers for Jeff Teague (27 points) or Al Horford, who didn’t miss a shot in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire had another good game, scoring 18 points on 9 shots and grabbing 8 rebounds. Tyson Chandler aggravated his neck and clearly was in pain towards the end of the game. The severity of his injury is unknown Jason Kidd played 5 minutes because Woodson wanted to ‘rest’ his back, which means he probably has several spinal fractures that the Knicks just aren’t telling us about. I’m joking, hopefully. Anyways, back to the game, the Knicks were pretty shaky in the 4th. New York started the quarter with an 8 point lead, but allowed Atlanta to score 30 points in the frame. Surprisingly Iman Shumpert played just 13 seconds in the final frame. Given how dominant Jeff Teague was tonight, you would’ve thought Shumpert could make a difference playing him on the ball. Offense wasn’t the problem for the Knicks in the quarter, but they couldn’t stop Atlanta. The Hawks shot 11 free throws in the quarter and shot 60%. A Carmelo Anthony technical foul gave the Hawks a 102-101 lead with 1:51 left in the game. With the Hawks leading 104-103, Anthony laid in the game winning basket with 12 seconds to go. On Atlanta’s final play, the Hawks ran high pick and roll with Teague. Tyson Chandler was able to switch onto Teague and the ball eventually found it’s way out to Josh Smith who took a 25 footer that hit off the backboard and rimmed out. It wasn’t a great win for the Knicks, but not every win is going to be a great one. There are plenty of issues that need correcting and the Knicks are by no means playing well, but wins are always a good thing and the Knicks needed to get one today after last night’s debacle.
The only real positives that could be taken out of the Knicks beating to the Sixers in Philly last night is that they have to have a short memory and bounce back today. The Knicks return home after a couple of Atlantic Division road games to take on the Hawks, who currently sit in sixth place in the East, two games behind the Knicks.
After a gutsy and much needed victory over the Celtics on Thursday night, the Knicks laid an egg in Philadelphia last night. They lost to the lowly Sixers 97-80 in a game where the ‘Bockers seemed to be indifferent. It was the return of Raymond Felton to the lineup but that didn’t spark much as the Knicks couldn’t knock down any open shots. It was the first time we caught a glimpse of the Felton-Kidd-Shump-Melo-Chandler lineup, but it looked rusty as expected with Felton and Shumpert still working themselves back.
A bright spot from the game in Philly was Amar’e Stoudemire’s play off the bench. After scoring 15 points against Brooklyn and then Boston, STAT dropped in 20 against the Sixers. Even though Melo outscored him as he poured in 25 points, Stoudemire was the Knicks lone bright spot offensively last night. His improvement from game to game, not only offensively but he has been been more aggressive on the glass and on defense, is something that is encouraging going forward for the Knicks.
One thing that isn’t encouraging is the shooting slump that J.R. Smith has found himself in. His field-goal percentage has dropped to under 40% on the season, and he seems to be lost offensively recently. Smith went 0-8 from the field last night and didn’t score a single point. That followed a 3-16 performance against the Celtics, a 7-19 performance against the Nets, a 6-15 shooting night in London against the Pistons, and a dismal 3-11 shooting against the Hornets. It has been a real tough stretch for Smith who many people believed should have been an all-star. J.R needs to regain his shooting stroke and stop forcing up awful shots in transition and the half court. I think he gets it going again today, starting on the defensive end to get himself an easy bucket.
Felton looked rusty last night, but at least we saw one Felton to Chandler alley-oop that we became so accustomed to seeing. The Knicks host the Hawks today who have won three straight games, including a 27-point comeback against the Celtics the other night. The Knicks have beaten the Hawks four of the past five meetings, and need to get back on track against them today. The key will be keeping the Hawks off the boards who are led by Al Horford, Josh Smith and ZaZa Pachulia. The Knicks have been improving their rebounding on the defensive end over the past few weeks, and as weird as it sounds, Stoudemire has helped provide some rebounding help.
The Hawks leading scorer is the versatile Josh Smith who averages 16.9 points per game, but the more important defensive matchup for the Knicks is Felton on Jeff Teague. Even before the injury the Knicks and Felton had trouble keeping the opposing point guard out of the point. Last night was a prime example as Jrue Holiday did whatever he wanted en route to scoring 35 points in the blowout. Teague is another extremely quick point guard who can get in the paint and cause havoc. Teague averages 13.4 points and 6.7 assists per game, and the Knicks need to keep him in check today.
This video just about summarizes the Knicks loss to the Sixers: Disorganized, annoying, and involving a duck. (Yes I spent 15 minutes looking up duck videos)
Oh, hello there. I assume you’re here because you want to read a recap of the Knicks game. In that case, allow me clean up the pool of vomit that has gathered on my floor. Ok, done. Where were we? Oh, right. The game went a little like this:
Knicks fans were very excited for the return of Raymond Felton, and the starting lineup of Felton-Kidd-Shumpert-Anthony-Chandler. Then the Sixers started out 6-6 from the field, with Jrue Holiday leaving scorched earth behind him as he went to the basket and suddenly Knicks fans were much less excited. Melo forced a lot of shots inside the paint while often double or triple teamed. The pick-and-roll we hoped that would spark the Knicks never got going, as Felton didn’t make many attempts to pass the ball to Chandler. Moreover, a lot of the Knicks plays went to Melo or Amare post ups. Jason Kidd missed some 3s. Iman Shumpert missed some 3s and some 2s. JR Smith missed the rim a couple times. Bleh.
The Knicks effort defensively wasn’t good, as they gave up many dribble penetrations and failed to rotate and help. In fairness not even Iman Shumpert could stop Jrue Holiday from getting in the paint. Holiday had his way with Felton, Kidd, and JR Smith as well, and took a strong stance against missing shots. Conversely, the Knicks had no qualms about missing shots. Melo finished 9-28, JR was 0-8, Shumpert 0-6, and Felton 2-8. As a team, they shot 34%, and were 4-17 from three point land (14%). The Sixers? They shot 50% from the field. Yeah, the Knicks sucked tonight.
The only bright spot was Amar’e Stoudemre. Using an array of post moves, some creative finishes and a couple jumpers, STAT went 8-13 and racked up 20 points. This was by far his best game of the year, as he even got the Sixers to start doubling him in the post while Melo was on the floor. He was quick off the face-up, and managed to get around his defender a couple times, too. He didn’t have much pick-and-roll action as the Knicks mainly went to him or Anthony in the post. He did, however, have one monster block coming over from the weak side and helping out a guard who got beat.
Yep, that’s about it. The Knicks had about a thousand shots go in-and-out, but that doesn’t excuse the lack-luster defense. Ultimately, I’m not too worried about this game. Philly made a lot of their jumpers (most of them open) and the Knicks, while having very good ball movement to start the game, missed their open looks. The Knicks have a game tomorrow against the Hawks, and hopefully the shots go down this time.
This is as far as I’ll go, because to go any farther with this recap is to admit this game happened. Let’s all pretend it didn’t.
WOOOOOO! For the first time in 75 years, the Knicks won a game in Boston! New York’s 89-86 win over the Celtics wasn’t pretty, but some solid defense combined with some late game Celtic LOLZ helped the Knicks hang on. JR Smith played an abysmal 34 minutes, but his 35th minute (technically a minute fifteen) was magical. Smith buried New York’s last field goal, a three with 1:15 to go, and then forced a Paul Pierce turnover with seven seconds left in the game. Though hampered by foul trouble in the second half, Amar’e Stoudemire’s exceptional first half was absolutely critical to the Knicks victory. Carmelo Anthony had a rough game, but got it rolling a little bit in the second half and scored 28 points on 28 shots.