71 second half points. 50 bench points. 120 points overall. This team can be pretty damn good.
The Knicks kicked off the second half of the season with a comeback 120-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Trailing by 12 at halftime, the Knicks woke up and exploded offensively in the second half. Steve Novak was stroking 3’s and rocking belts as he hit 5/8 from downtown. New York’s bench was phenomenal, scoring 50 points, and made the difference in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire did not exactly dominate but he showed flashes as he had a couple nice dunks. Carmelo Anthony led all Knicks in scoring with 22 points.
Here are my notes from the game:
This is my second post here on the Meloship, and I am going to start making NBA picks with spreads from time to time. It’s the second night of the NBA following All-Star Weekend, and 24 teams are in action this evening. The Knicks are back in action at home against the Cavaliers, and that is just one of the few very intriguing games this evening. The Sixers, following their blowout win over the Pistons last night, host the Thunder who shares the league’s best record with the Heat. The Sixers have struggled of late losing 7 of 9 before beating lowly Detroit last night, and I expect the Thunder to be able to handle them on the road. The Cavaliers are coming off a last minute loss to the Celtics last night, and head to the Garden to take on our Knicks. Good young point guard matchup with Lin and Kyrie Irving, who I think is without a doubt the rookie of the year in the league so far. The Western Conference has some intriguing games later in the night, with the Mavs heading to Memphis, the Bulls visiting the Spurs, the Nuggets hosting the Blazers and the Timberwolves facing the Lakers, coming off a win against the other Los Angeles team last night.
Wizards +7 over Magic
Thunder -3.5 over Sixers
Pistons -5.5 over Bobcats
Warriors +6.5 over Hawks
Bucks +6.5 over Celtics
Cavaliers +10 over Knicks
Hornets -3.5 over Raptors
Grizzlies -2 over Mavericks
Jazz -2 over Rockets
Bulls +2 over Spurs
Nuggets -2.5 over Blazers
Timberwolves +6 over Lakers
This is the time to make a run. The 17-18 Knicks are only 5 1/2 games back of the 3rd seeded Indiana Pacers and 4 games back of the division leading Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks are currently the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. They are headed for a first round matchup with the 28-8 Chicago Bulls. New York will be in the playoffs but they need to get out of the 7/8 seeds. Facing Chicago or Miami in the first round provides no benefits to the Knicks. They need to get a playoff series victory under their belt before facing one of the two elite teams in the Eastern Conference. In order to set themselves up for playoff success, the Knicks will need to go on a run in these final 31 games. That starts tonight.
The upstart Cleveland Cavaliers, led by star rookie Kyrie Irving, come into Madison Square Garden having lost 6 of their last 10 games. Unlike the Knicks, who have not played since last Thursday, the Cavs come into the game having played last night in Boston. There is no excuse for New York to come out flat tonight. They are rested, they should be hungry and they are more talented than Cleveland. Continue reading
Amar’e Stoudemire has struggled mightily this season. That is a fact and is non-debatable. Physically, Stoudemire is a mess. He just announced today that he is going to try and drop the extra weight he gained in the off-season. I think this is the right thing to do but obviously you do not want your star player worrying about losing weight during the season. The consensus opinion among fans and critics on Stoudemire seems to be that he is not right physically but will eventually improve his level of play. I beg the question: what happens if Stoudemire continues to regress?
Twitter has been filled with Stoudemire trade rumors for months but nothing has come to fruition. His contract, due to his bad knees, is uninsured therefore making a trade very unlikely. If he continues to regress, there will be no suitor willing to pay max money for a broken down star. If the Knicks were to part ways with Stoudemire, a trade is not the only option. The Knicks can waive Stoudemire but that would still result in their paying Stoudemire his full deal.
I have previously stated that the new Stretch Exception is an option for the Knicks. I was mistaken. The stretch exception is NOT an option for the Knicks as it only applies to contracts signed in the new CBA.
Tonight, I had the honor of doing two Knicks spree casts. The first was the always fun “Knicks Blogger Roundtable” hosted by Chris Delgado. There were a lot of participants as Jamie O’Grady from LoHud Knicks, Dan from Knicksfan.net, Jared Dubin from every single basketball website there is, Ross Bernhardt from Charged.fm and Keith from Knicks Journal all joined in the fun.
Here is the link to that spreecast (I’m still having embedding problems on this site).
After the spreecast, I decided to host an “after-party” spreecast for anyone who wanted to continue to hear Knicks talk. There, Chris Delgado, Dan from Knicksfan.net and I discussed Knicks for about a half hour before we were joined by the one and only Tommy Dee. Tommy was extremely knowledgeable as always and really gave us a great show. It was cool for me personally because theknicksblog.com was one of my inspirations to get into the blogging world. I had spoken with Tommy on twitter but it was great to finally get to speak with him in person (sort of).
Here is the link to that spreecast.
Last night’s beat down to the Heat marked the end of the first half of the season for the Knickerbockers, and left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth of Knicks fans for at least the weekend. It has been a rollercoaster type season for the Knicks thus far, and they head into the All-Star break a game below .500. The break couldn’t have come at a better time for guys as the lockout condensed season has fatigued many, none more than Jeremy Lin, who was visibly overwhelmed by the Heat’s physicality and athleticism. Continue reading
Well that sucked.
The Knicks played a tough first half in Miami before the Heat pulled away in the second. Playing the second game of a back-to-back, the Knicks legs left them in the second half and Miami took advantage. The Miami big 3 combined for 67 points while the Knicks starters combined for only 59 points. Jeremy Lin was totally overwhelmed by Mario Chalmers and the Heat defense as he shot 1/11 from the floor and had 8 turnovers. Ultimately, as much as I hate Miami, you have to put this game in perspective. This is one game. Yes it does suck to lose to Miami but will this loss de-rail the Knicks season? No. Miami is rolling right now and the Knicks have a bunch of moving parts to go along with a new point guard and struggling stars. The Knicks are in transition while the Heat are a finished product. I still believe the Knicks, when playing at a high level, have the match ups needed to play with the Heat but it just did not work out for them tonight.
Before the game, I hosted a spreecast with Keith Gibberman and Chris Delgado. Later, we even had a Knick fan from Brazil come on and talk Knicks. We went for an hour and a half strong. I think I’m doing to make a regular Spreecast show and do maybe 2-3 per week. I’ll let you all know what I decide. Chris and I are still trying to figure out why the spreecast won’t embed on my site. For the meantime, the link will do.
WATCH!! just kidding…. sort of.
Here’s the link: