That was pretty awesome. The Knicks made it rain inside the garden and trumped the hated Celtics 118-110. Steve Novak and JR Smith each contributed 25 points and combined to shoot 15/20 from downtown. Carmelo Anthony was the man, recording his second career tripple double. His 35 point, 12 rebound, 10 assist performance helped the Knicks hold on down the stretch despite giving up 57 second half points. I think this game can really be summed up by a single tweet:
Here are my notes from the game:
- Steve Novak’s three point shot had trailing flames on it tonight. The real white mamba was absolutely fantastic tonight. Novak was 8/10 from downtown and scored 25 points. Novak’s highlight play was a 4 point play in the second quarter. I began to take my shirt off but thought better of it and stopped myself. The Knicks finally ran some plays for Novak and it panned out. I’ll have to check it out on synergy, but it looked like they were setting back picks and screens for him tonight. Obviously it paid off.
- This is the JR Smith we’ve been waiting for. Finally, JR had that breakout game for the Knicks. He couldn’t miss, going 7/10 from downtown and scored 25 points. I loved how he played. I didn’t think he forced up a ton of shots. Smith took good open 3’s and as a result, was very efficient. I have widely criticized Smith’s shot selection in the past, but tonight I thought his shot selection was very good.
- The Knicks dominant shooting overshadowed some pretty mediocre defense. Boston shot 54.5% and shot 52.4% from downtown. Paul Pierce, the Knick killer, proceeded to kill the Knicks with his 43 points on 11/19 shooting. The Knicks had no answer on Pierce, although I thought Anthony did a good job defending him down the stretch. New York also failed to defend the three ball. Avery Bradley shot over invisible Knick defenders and killed the Knicks with 5 threes. I understand a win is a win, but the Knicks can’t defend like that in the playoffs. Or tomorrow. Or Friday. You get the point.
- The corpse of Mike Bibby gave the Knicks some solid minutes tonight. His defense was what you’d expect from a 60 year old man, but offensively he was pretty decent. It was actually fun to see him hit a three in the first half. He also dished 6 assists and didn’t turn the ball over. With how horrid Baron Davis (more on him in a second) and Toney Douglas have been this season, I think Bibby bought himself some more minutes tonight. Woody likes veteran point guards and Bibby is definitely a veteran. No literally, he’s a World War II veteran.
- BARON SUCKS. Woodson said that Baron was sick throughout the day and was under the weather for the game. Who cares? It’s not like he played any worse than he has been previously playing. He’s been absolute garbage all year and he was horrid tonight. Again, I’ll give him a slight pass because he was sick, but I’ll still criticize. Tonight is only one game. Baron has played in 26 games this year and he’s sucked in 25 of them. To his credit, he had a good game against the Wizards. My problem with Baron isn’t that he was awful tonight. I mean, he was awful and I hate that, but I’m more frustrated by the fact that there is no sign of improvement. Unlike JR, Baron isn’t improving at all. In fact, you could argue that Baron is regressing. The Knicks really need their point guard to perform in the post season and I have no confidence that Baron can do that.
- Amar’e Stoudemire gets Twitter Photo MVP for today. He gave us two gems this morning. We got to see STAT’s more lavish pimp side, and we got to see his new cornrows.
- Melo was the man tonight. 35 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists. Anthony’s second career triple double was nothing short of spectacular. He was once again efficient, shooting 13/24 on the night. I thought his dominance in the first quarter really helped open up the perimeter for the Knicks shooters. Anthony dominated in the mid-range and in the paint early in the game, which caused the Celtics to focus on the Knick star. When Boston left him one-on-one, Anthony scored. When they brought help, he distributed. He really was fantastic tonight. This is the Anthony I thought we would see from the beginning of the season. I really do believe he is the best and most versatile scorer in the NBA. He can isolate, spot up, post up, cut, and create his own shot. He shoots the mid-range with ease and can also extend his range. He’s clutch and he can be efficient, as he’s been over the past month. In his past 5 games, Anthony is averaging 31 ppg on 52.2% shooting. He has been nothing short of spectacular, which is exactly what the Knicks have needed. I still don’t condone what he did earlier this season with coach D’Antoni, but right now, I’m definitely tipping my hat to the Melo man.
- The Knick bench outscored Boston’s bench 55-2. That has to be some sort of record? Right?
- Landry Fields wasn’t very good tonight… Thanks for making yesterday’s blog post look good, Landry!
- I was impressed with New York’s rebounding tonight. They out-rebounded the Celtics 36-26 and only allowed 6 offensive boards. New York is going to play Miami or Chicago in the first round. Those teams will absolutely annihilate the Knicks if they can control the boards. I know Boston isn’t a great rebounding team, but the Knicks have to start rebounding like this every game. It’s not even that they dominated, but they did a good job of not letting Boston dominate. In my opinion, this Knick team can rebound. When they aren’t lazy boxing out and not hustling, they can do a very good job of keeping guys off the glass. They did it tonight and they have to do it moving forward.