The Knicks finished off a 2 game pre-season sweep of the New Jersey Nets tonight with a 88-82 victory. The Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire led the way tonight. Melo had 21, Amar’e had 15 and Chandler had 12 rebounds. A few notes from tonights game:
- Douglas once again struggled to run the point. He was better tonight than in game 1 but still had a few turnovers and failed to hit open guys on passes. He did run a few decent pick and rolls with Chandler but he is looking more and more like a 2 guard every game. It is not necessarily that he is playing poorly. He is what he is and right now, he is a 2 guard.
- Tyson Chandler’s energy tonight was awesome. He brought down 12 boards, adjusted numerous shots in the paint and blocked 2 shots. There were 2 things that really stood out to me tonight: Chandler’s communication on defense and his energy while on the bench. During the game there were numerous camera shots of Chandler barking at fellow teammates on the defensive end of the floor. He was directing traffic and getting guys in good spots. Communication is absolutely key to playing good team defense and Chandler is helping bring that communication. In the 4th quarter, Chandler did not log any minutes. However, he was off the bench for most of it cheering on his 3rd team teammates and helping to bring energy to Madison Square Garden. That was really impressive to see that even when Chandler is on the bench he is bringing energy to the team. He was extremely impressive in many facets tonight.
- JORTS! Harrellson looks more and more like a rotation player the more we see him. He stroked two more 3 pointers tonight and made numerous hustle plays. He was impressive and is showing why Knick fans universally love him. Right now, he looks like a deserving member of Mike D’Antoni’s early season rotation.
- Iman Shumpert did not impress while Landry Fields did. This is why I said Knick fans should give Fields more than one pre-season game and ditto with Shumpert. One game does not prove anything. Two games do not prove anything. Both players will need to play about 10-20 games before anything can be seriously evaluated in terms of benching one or the other.
- Jerome Jordan did not play tonight and will probably start the year as one of the two inactive players on D’Antoni’s bench unless Bill Walker cannot go. Walker sat out tonights game with his groin injury. Jared Jeffries missed tonights game with a sore calf but he is expected to go Sunday against the Celtics. Mike Bibby left the game tonight at halftime with back spasms but he said he was fine after the game.