In what feels like their 50th Sunday morning matinee game of the season, the Knicks defeated the hapless Phoenix Suns 106-99. Basically the game went like this. The Knicks started well, then Phoenix came back at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Knicks blew out the Suns 35-22 and went into halftime with a comfortable 17 point lead. New York’s second half defense was pitiful and the Suns had a 30 point third quarter. Luckily for the Knicks, the Suns defense is horrible and the Knicks also had a 30 point quarter. In the 4th, the Knicks defense was bad and the Knicks offense was bad and when your offense is bad and your defense is bad, you usually don’t play very well. Phoenix beat the Knicks 27-17 in the 4th, but the Knicks were able to hang on at the end and escape with a 7 point Knick lead.
Here are my notez from the game:
- Rasheed Wallace played 85 seconds in this game before he got a pair of technical fouls on the same play and got ejected. It was infuriating, but also really funny. Here is the hilarity:
- Also infuriating and really not so hilarious was JR Smith today. For some reason Woodson played Smith 37 minutes tonight despite the fact that he shot 1/11. Either Smith was drunk, didn’t sleep or both, because he was horrifically bad. Clearly he couldn’t shoot and he didn’t make up for it with passing, rebounding or defense. Woodson seemed to forget about his whole accountability spiel, as he usually does with JR, because there wasn’t really a good reason why he should’ve been in the game.
- Ray Felton gets the game ball today. He scored 23 points on an efficient 10/17 shooting and dished 7 assists. This was probably Felton’s best game of the season, at least statistically. While he did some things that usually make me hit myself in the face, such as pulling up for long twos, he did play a really good game. He hit his open threes, shooting 3/6, and as I mentioned he hit his jump shots. I thought Felton did a good job keeping the offense in rhythm and he only turned the ball over once today. Good job Duck!
- Melo was cool beans today. The box score reads 34 points on 11/27 shooting, but I thought he played better than 11/27 shooting. Let me explain. A few of those shot attempts were misses in which he grabbed his own board and put it back up. I believe he scored twice on those and I know Tyson put one of his attempts back. Yes, they’re still misses but he was attacking the rim and the Knicks were still getting points out of it. One shot was as the shot clock ran down and he had no choice but to take a silly shot. I would’ve liked to see him attack more and I think he shot too many jump shots, but that is what happens when he plays small forward as he did for much of the game. He didn’t have the driving lanes and space down low that he usually does and so he settled for more jump shots. Either way, he played well on offense. I know he is shooting 44% on downtown this year and he hit 4/10 in this game, but I think ten threes is way too many.
- Tyson Chandler has bounced back quite nicely from his early season struggles. He played another great game, scoring 15 points on 6/8 shooting and grabbing 13 boards. Chandler is now shooting 71% on the season, including 81.1% over the past five games. Stay being awesome, Tyson!
- Novak was 4/9 from downtown. He too has bounced back from his early season struggles and it has been great to see. One shot in particular stood out to me as Novak was smothered but was able to quickly catch and shoot a three and stroked it. This stands out to me because it was a glimpse of what Novak was trying to accomplish by quickening his release. Miami totally shut Novak down in the playoffs last year and he deemed he needed a quicker release to help prevent teams from taking him completely out of the game. His release has caused him some problems this year, but those problems seem to be disappearing and Novak has shot well lately.
- The Michael Beasley ‘hilarious play’ count was just 2 today, mainly because he only played 21 minutes. He threw the ball out of bounds and then threw his headband into the stands and then he had a really egregious travel. Either way, he was fun in his limited minutes today.
- I watched the game on TV here in Arizona, and at one point the Suns broadcaster said Shannon Brown is a mini Kobe Bryant. I couldn’t really figure that one out.
- New York’s defense wasn’t very good today. They allowed Phoenix to have an eFG% of 53% and gave up an 110 offensive efficiency to the Suns. I don’t know how much you can take from Sunday morning games without Jason Kidd and Sheed, so I won’t look too much into this. The defense has been consistently average lately, but I don’t want to put too much into today’s game.
This was a game the Knicks would’ve lost last season. They almost blew a big lead in the 4th quarter, but in winning time they were able to bear down and get the win. The Knicks are now 7-0 at Madison Square Garden, which is cool beans. New York plays Charlotte on Wednesday. Have a good day everyone!
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