Carmelo Anthony scored 1 point tonight as the Knicks defeated the Charlotte Bobcats in a laugher, 111-78. Tyson Chandler was a beast tonight scoring 20 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in 29 minutes. Amar’e Stoudemire came to life tonight with 18 points on 7/12 shooting. Despite the Knicks dominating performance, I do have some concern about what I saw tonight.
Here are some notes from the game:
- Carmelo’s single point performance. Despite the fact that Melo scored 1 point, I liked what I saw from him. The ball did not stick with him and he moved it swiftly and accurately all night. He picked up 11 rebounds, 7 in the first quarter, dished 4 assists and did a good job keeping the offense going. It was evident that Melo, despite his 0/7 shooting, drew the attention of the Charlotte defense and opened up the floor for others to score. Landry Fields, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire all scored more than 18 points tonight. The Knicks ran very few isolation plays tonight to Anthony and Stoudemire which resulted in better spacing and ball movement for the entire offense. Here is what I didn’t like:
- I am all for ball movement and spacing, however I was not thrilled with Amar’e Stoudemire’s lack of time on the floor with Carmelo Anthony. I do not have any official numbers on it, but Stoudemire and Melo were hardly on the court tonight. I understand that they will always play better apart then together on the floor but at some point they will need to learn how to co-exist. I understand the Knicks needed a win tonight and I am all for that but at the same time, is there a better time to work out kinks than when playing the Bobcats? Stoudemire and Anthony had their “important meeting” yesterday, did they not discuss how to run a two man game with each other? There was none of that tonight. At some point when it will really matter, aka the playoffs, the two stars will need to make this offense work together. I am just very concerned that they are going to be unable to do that because there have been no signs of their successful coexistence this season. The two stars will have to play together in 4th quarters and will need to work on getting their games to mesh TOGETHER. If they aren’t willing to work on it against Charlotte, what is going to happen when they are down 5 with 3 minutes to go in the 4th against Miami…?
- Tyson Chandler was worth his money tonight. Chandler abused poor Byron Mullens scoring 20 points and recording 17 rebounds, 8 of which came on the offensive glass. Need I say more?
- Shumpert was 1/9 shooting the ball. Despite his bad statistical night, I thought he played well. Two of his misses came on a botched dunk and a missed layup so his numbers are a bit misleading in that he wasn’t just tossing up shots a la the Memphis game. As always he brought it defensively and he moved the ball well.
- There was a Steve Novak sighting! My boy Stevie Novak came in mid-way through the 4th and hit 3/3 from outside the arc. He actually played some good defense too building his case that he should get some minutes in games not against semi-pro teams. I think his consistently strong outside shooting could boost the Knicks offense even if he only played 10 minutes a game.
- I won’t be starting a Team Bill Walker. He wasn’t good tonight, proving that his 5 minutes (literally) of fame against Denver were an aberration. He was 0/4 after hitting his first shot, a 3 from the corner, and I thought his defense was subpar. He also stepped out of bounds for the 415th time this season. Great job as always, Bill.
- Jared Jeffries was good on BOTH ends of the floor tonight. A la me using the Knicks in 2k12, Jeffries drained a corner three (a staple of my 2k offense). He was 3/5 offensively and actually made some nice plays scoring the ball. He even hit all 4 of his free throws and finished with 11 points (which is the equivalent of 40 points to any other player not named Jared Jeffries). Defensively he was solid as always, including a great hard foul on Gerald Henderson that was ridiculously called a flagrant.
- Jeremy Lin and Jerome Jordan played. Both solid D-leaguers got on the court midway through the 4th and feasted on a Charlotte bench that is probably better off joining Terrell Owens in the Indoor Football League than continuing to pursue their NBA careers. Against a lottery level D-League lineup of Cory Higgins, 400 year old Eddie Najera, Bismack Biyombo, Matt Carroll (fresh off a near death experience on a dunk) and DeSagana Diop, Lin and Jordan combined to shoot 3/3 from the field and score 10 points. I still do not think Lin is that great but seeing him destroy Cory Higgins makes me happy that the Knicks at least don’t have Cory Higgins…
- Last but not least, Landry Fields is getting his confidence back. It is about damn time. Despite looking like Charles Barkley in Space Jam since the all-star break of last season, Fields has pieced together a stretch of really nice games. In his last 4 games, Fields has averaged 15.8 ppg on 53% shooting. While most have seemingly given up on Fields, I refuse to do so. I am not delusional, I understand that at this point in time he is an average player at best but I really do think he has potential. He will never be an all-star, he will never win the scoring title but he will compete night in and night out and in this era of NBA basketball filled with Andray Blatche’s and Eddy Curry’s that intangible is invaluable. In this era where money causes laziness, I believe Fields will stick for a long time because he will always hustle and defend. In the end, it is not always the most talented player who wins the battle *cough LeBron cough* but it is the player willing to sacrifice every night. Fields is one of those guys and I am glad to see him finally starting to produce for the Knicks.