SO MUCH CAPS LOCK!!!!!!! FELTON! KIDD! MELO PASSING THE BALL! THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS TO TALK ABOUT.
*TAKES DEEP BREATH*
*TAKES ANOTHER DEEP BREATH*
Okay caps lock disengaged, but still !!!!!!! That was a fantastic comeback victory for the Knicks. Down 12 with 7:13 to go in the game, things looked bleak for the Knickerbockers. But Jason Kidd rose from the dead (sorry) and splashed two threes in a row to get New York right back in the game. Ray Felton was attacking like crazy off the pick and roll and had by far his best game of the season. Felton came through in crunch time with 4 points and 2 assists in the final five minutes. The Knicks defense went into lockdown mode, the Knicks offense woke up and a Tyson Chandler smash dagger dunk put the game out of reach. When it was all said and done, the Knicks emerged with the 104-100 win.
Here are my notes from the game:
- Hear that faint sound? That’s the sound of me giving a standing ovation for Carmelo Anthony tonight. Throw out the parts of the box score that had to do with scoring, because he played a fantastic offensive game. In addition to his 12 boards, Anthony really was phenomenal (Amar’e word!) passing the ball tonight. Dare I say LeBron-esque?? He had just 3 assists, but his passing was absolutely fantastic. If this was hockey Carmelo might have had 12 assists tonight. I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. Especially in the first half, the Knicks were really good moving the ball on offense. Much of this was initiated by Anthony. San Antonio did a good job of keeping him in check in terms of his scoring. They threw double teams at him, they put a plethora of different defenders on him. They really gave him a lot of different looks. Instead of forcing shots, which is what San Antonio wanted from him, Anthony really got the offense in rhythm by swinging it out to open players who either shot it or continued to swing the ball. As a result, the Knicks got open shots and driving lanes and scored an efficient 55 first half points. While this was really Anthony’s first “bad” scoring game, if you will, this concept of him creating offense with passing is not new. If you all recall, I wrote and broke-down this part of Anthony’s game last week. Bravo Melo! Bravo!
- Good Raymond! Who’s a good Raymond! *gives treat* Raymond “Bull Doggy Dog” Felton had his best game of the season. Even though he scored 21 points against Orlando, he really didn’t play all that great of a game. It took him 23 shots to get his points and he took a lot of long jumpers which aren’t his strength. Tonight Felton scored 25 points on 10/20 shooting and his shot selection was so much better. Instead of settling for a bunch of long jump shots, Felton really attacked San Antonio off the pick and roll. He was able to get much better shots because he attacked towards the rim rather than settling on the perimeter. If we observe Felton’s shot chart from tonight, we see that he took a lot of his shots at the rim. If they weren’t at the rim, they were closer to that 16 foot mid-range area rather than out by the three point line. He still took a lot of mid-range shots, but his shot location shows his trend tonight to be attacking rather than sitting back and settling. He took just 6 shots of his 20 attempts beyond the red line I drew. You don’t want Felton getting 20 shots a game, but if he’s going to take them I think this shot chart is pretty much what you’re looking for from him.
- Tyson Chandler looked a bit slow tonight. He hasn’t been making quite the impact that we saw last year, but he has also been ailed with some injuries and sickness since the pre-season. I’m not worried about him. For all the times he looked slow tonight or whatever, he still had 13 points 11 rebounds and was a team high +8 in +/- on the night. He’ll be fine.
- While I’m not worried about Chandler, I’m slightly worried about Steve Novak. He has not shot well since that opening night bomb-fest against the Miami Rashard Lewis’. Novak worked on quickening his release in the off-season and it seems to be really hurting his shot. Since opening night, Novak has shot just 31.8% from downtown in five games. He has been wide open on most of those shots, making his struggles all the more worrisome. If the 6’11 gorilla in the room were to come back tomorrow, I think Novak would be the guy to lose his minutes. He may already be close to losing his minutes. We’ll see what Woodson decides to do.
- JR Smith had another efficient performance. 6/13 shooting 17 points 5 rebounds. He hit his only three point attempt of the game to put the Knicks ahead for good with 1:47 remaining in the game. In the second half, the team’s spacing and ball movement kind of crapped out and JR went back to old JR. He started shooting stepbacks that clanked off every part of the rim and I strung up a noose for myself. But the Knicks offense found its way and I didn’t have to commit basketball induced suicide. It is weird I wrote that because I watched a Law and Order this morning where somebody got hung. Anyways, going back to Smith I thought he played a good game. Apart from his lull in the 3rd quarter, his offense was good the rest of the game. I was also enthused about the effort he gave on defense tonight. All season he has looked zoned in on defense and tonight was no different. Kudos to you, Earl!
- My ears bled the entire game from having to listen to Sean Elliot on the Spurs broadcast.
- The Knicks shot 65% from the free throw line. That made me angry.
- The Knicks shot 44% from 3PT land. That made me happy.
- The Knicks won the turnover battle forcing 10 and committing just 7. This is a good thing.
- JASON KIDD
- ^ He gets his own bullet point tonight. Although he played like fecal matter the first three quarters, Kidd was really good in the 4th. His two big threes got the Knicks back into the game and he made a few disruptive defensive plays late in the game. Through 6 games, I have been completely wrong about Jason Kidd. I thought his signing was a mistake and he has been absolutely fantastic. SO MUCH VETERAN LEADERSHIP. He’s shot the ball well, he hasn’t been a liability on defense and did I mention all his VETERAN LEADERSHIP. Also, while Google Chatting with the the great Dan Goldstein (@thedanstein on the Twittuzzzz) I had a revelation. Elmer Fudd came up in conversation and I realized that Jason Kidd looks like Elmer Fudd. Jason Kidd has been good at the sports this year. Therefore the Knicks should sign Elmer Fudd! Go get him Glen!
- Priggie Smalls made a cameo tonight. He played 7 minutes. The only thing I can remember him doing was hitting a jumper off a pick and roll with Sheed. It was a great pick from Sheed and good execution from Smalls. Way to go Pabs!
- Marcus Camby didn’t play at all tonight. I think we’ll see him a lot tomorrow night against the Grizzlies. Literally, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are Grizzly Bears and Camby may or may not die trying to guard them tomorrow.
- SHEEEEEEEED and Tiago Splitter had a fun little battle going on tonight. Some plays, Sheed got the best of Splitter and vise versa. Earlier in the game, Wallace was able to hurt the Spurs in the post as well as outside on some jump shots. But then the game ran past his bedtime and Splitter really hurt the Knicks in the second half. I still think Sheed looks like a homeless person, but that makes him all the more awesome. Decent minutes from him tonight. He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t awful either. He was just Sheed.
- The Spurs interviewed this guy during a break. I found it funny:
- At one point in the Spurs broadcast, Sean Elliot said Felton had a “chunky frame”. I found that funny as well. Sorry racist faction of Knicks twitter that hates me, but Felton was looking a bit chunky tonight.
That’s all I’ve got for you! Hopefully my recap didn’t ruin the game for you. I’m still in awe that the Knicks are 6-0 and I hope they keep up the good work. Go
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