Notes From the Knicks 109-96 Loss to Houston

Lin

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

Recap: Knicks 103 Cavs 102

Tyson on Anderson Varejao

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

Knicks-Cavs: What to Watch For

JR

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

Notes From the Knicks 112-106 Win Over Denver

Meme

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.

Here are my notes from the game: More

Carmelo Anthony Will Play Tonight

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There you go

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

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