There is no such thing as a moral victory. Not when you have 8 wins and 14 losses this season. Not when you have Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire on your team. This was absolutely a game the Knicks could have and should have won. A horrific 2nd quarter performances, lead by Toney Douglas (more on him later), put the Knicks in a hole they could never pull themselves out of. They wasted Stoudemire’s best performance of the season. It was Stoudemire’s best game by far apart from the fact that he missed a wide open 3 that essentially put the game out of reach. The Knick “bench”, who I predicted to score 3 points, scored 6 points tonight and Jeffries was the only guy that did anything remotely well. Toney Douglas has horribly regressed since last season and killed any momentum the Knicks had in the first half. Melo was good but did not play a sharp 4th quarter and the Knicks were unable to pull out the win. Continue reading
The Knicks were 2-1 versus the Bulls last season. This season was supposed to be one of those years where this great rivalry would be re-kindled. The Bulls, 18-6, have been very good but obviously the 8-13 Knicks have been very bad. The Knicks do usually step their game up and compete against good teams so I think tonights game will be competitive. The Knicks match up pretty decently with the Bulls.
Here are some things to watch for:
- With no Luol Deng, it will be interesting to see what Melo can do against Ronnie Brewer. Brewer is a strong, athletic defender but he is not the player that Luol Deng is. The Knicks did a really nice job of getting Melo the ball in post up situations where he is a dominant player. For more on Melo’s dominant post play, check out Jared Dubin’s Hardwood Paroxysm article from last month. I think tonight, Melo either will be horrible and stop the ball all game or he’s gonna have one of those vintage Melo nights. Lets be frank, in order to win tonight the Knicks will have to get Melo dominating. I think tonight he can do that against Brewer and I think the Knicks will compete hard tonight.
- Iman Shumpert Vs Derrick Rose. Obviously Bibby and Douglas won’t be able to stay in front of Rose but I think Shumpert can. His legs have seem to have left him but the Knicks have had a good amount of days off lately and Shump could rise to the challenge versus the reigning MVP. The Knicks have no chance if they let the Bulls one man fast break do his best Rajon Rondo impersonation. If you forgot what that looks like, I’ll remind you:
and if you have a couple minutes
- The Knicks have to keep Carlos Boozer off the boards tonight. The Duke product (how the hell did he get into Duke?) averaged 20 ppg and 20.5 rpg in 2 games versus the Knicks last season. If Boozer has 20 points 20 boards tonight, 2 things will happen. 1. I will shoot myself in the head and 2. the Knicks will lose.
- Toney Douglas had 30 points in the Knicks first matchup against the Bulls last season. I will bet anyone a large sum of money that he doesn’t get 30 tonight.
- Boozer is a horrid defender. Lets see if Amar’e can take advantage. Per Hollinger’s insider report on Boozer, the Bulls give up 6.36 more points per 100 possessions last season when Boozer was on the floor. He was ranked 64th out of 70 eligible power forwards in blocks per minute. Boozer has short arms and is only 6’9. The long, athletic Stoudemire should be able to take advantage but given his struggles this season, I would not expect him to dominate.
- The Bulls bench cannot score. Chicago’s bench has not scored a lot of points this year, 25th in the league in bench scoring, and the Knick defense must keep it that way. Rose and Boozer will be a load offensively for the Knicks to deal with, they don’t need Ashton Kutcher shooting the lights out tonight or Taj Gibson scoring 15 points. Unfortunately, the Knicks bench probably will score 3 points tonight and if the Chicago bench can get going the Knicks will likely have no counter.
- Will the real STAT please stand up?
Sorry to all people reading that this article wasn’t posted earlier. I have been under the weather the past week and between school and rest I wasn’t able to get on here and write any blogs.
On Tuesday night, the Knicks blew out the Pistons 113-86. The offense was flawless in the first half and the Knicks led by 12 at halftime. Carmelo Anthony and Landry Fields led the Knicks to victory with 25 points and 18 points respectively.
Here are some notes from the game:
- Landry Fields had his best game of the season. He played literally a flawless first half as he was 6/6 from the field (no pun intended) at halftime. He finished the game 7/10 including 4/6 from outside the arc. This is a great sign as Fields’ 3 point shooting has been abysmal this season. Over the last 5 games, Fields has shot 43% from outside the arc and has averaged 12.6 points a game. He seems to be playing more comfortably within the offense as well as more confidently.
- Speaking of playing within the offense, Melo had an efficient 25 point performance. He wasn’t 10/30 or 9/27 like in games past. He shot 9/14 and 2/3 from beyond the arc. I understand that Detroit was the opponent and they are awful but I definitely have noticed a concentrated effort by Melo to play within the offense. This does not mean that the Knicks cannot run isolation plays to Melo but every time he gets the ball he doesn’t need to shoot. I liked how he played on Tuesday. When he had a mismatch, he attacked the rim. I thought he did a nice job of moving the ball. He is skilled enough in spot up situations to not always need isolations to get him going. His first shot of the game was a spot up 3 that he hit. There are ways for him to get his points without screwing up the flow and execution of the offense and I think slowly he is learning that. He will not play like this all the time right away but I think in time he can make this his game. If you watch OKC, Durant doesn’t stop the ball. LeBron moves the ball. Dirk moves the ball. Melo does not need to be a ball stopper. I think when Baron Davis comes back the flow of the offense will improve and the Knicks will be able to get Melo some more spot up shots in the offense. I really like his spot up ability and I think he can continue to play like this.
- Amar’e still cannot get going. He was 5/11 and scoring 15 points. I didn’t think Stoudemire played poorly but he has yet to have a dominant break out game. It is quite disheartening to see Stoudemire struggling offensively, especially given how great he was last season. He only hit 1/4 from mid-range on Tuesday and still cannot get his jumper going. I thought his shot looked good in Houston on Saturday but it was ineffective on Tuesday. He still does not look explosive to me. It is pretty clear that he still hasn’t found his legs but on the bright side I do this he’s getting closer. He did not get going Tuesday but over the last few games, Stoudemire has looked a little bit more explosive. I think he’s emphasizing getting to the rim on offense and I think thats the right way to go. Until he gets his mid-range game going, Stoudemire needs to find the way to impact the game in other ways and I think he can do that getting to the hoop.
- Bill Walker had 5 fouls in 15 minutes… yikes
- Walker and Renaldo Balkman literally are the best garbage time players in the league. Balkman, who looked like a weird gremlin with a pony tail, was 3/3 in 6 minutes and Walker hit some shots as well.
- Sorry for the short/really late post. I am feeling much better and will writing posts longer and on time now that I’m finally healthy.