This is a great, great win for the Knicks. Playing the 4th game in 5 nights, the Knicks showed some signs of fatigue early in the game. Overall the Knick defense wasn’t very good, allowing Denver to shoot 55% for the game, but they continued to fight and grind the entire game. Jason Kidd was reminiscent of god, JaVale McGee was hilarious and Steve Novak hit a pair of three point bombs to spark a fourth quarter comeback. The defense bore down when it had to and Melo sealed the game with some clutch buckets in the final minutes. This is a game that great teams win. New York didn’t play it’s best, but that was good enough tonight. A great win for a seemingly great 15-5 Knicks team. Oh yeah, they’re 8-0 at home this year.
Here are my notes from the game:
- My thoughts on JaVale McGee’s performance tonight: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, I couldn’t help mys… BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Sorry, I think I’m don…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Okay now I’m actually done. He is talented, but holy crap he does some stupid things. Whether it was the pull up 20 footer or dropping the ball out of bounds, McGee made a series of 4th quarter plays that let the Knicks right back into the game. Thanks JaVale!
- Melo was a warrior tonight. He shot just 10/24, but with some help from the officials he was able to shoot 16 free throws in the game. Clearly his jump shot wasn’t as lethal as usual, largely due to the thumb and some rust me thinks, but he battled all night. In vintage Melo fashion, he put in two big buckets in the final minutes that put Denver to rest. He wasn’t great tonight, but he played hard and he finished the game at a very high level.
- Jason Kidd did his best Jesus Christ impersonation tonight. I have been so so so so wrong about him. He was absolutely the best player on the floor tonight. Kidd scored 17 ponts on 4/7 shooting and got to the free throw line twice after pump faking the Nuggets into fouling him from downtown. His 4th quarter steal and dish to Ronnie Brewer was one of the big plays in the game, I thought. He was the best player on the floor tonight.
- Mike Woodson is a wizard coming out of time outs. Ever since he took over as the head coach of the team, Woodson has been fantastic and drawing up out of bounds plays. Tonight was no different. He drew up a great play in the third quarter to get an open three and then he drew up this beauty (gif courtesy of our friends over at the Knicks Wall):
- The BullDuck point guard guy didn’t play very well tonight, but I believe that had a lot to do with fatigue. I mean he did shoot the ball thirty times last night. He’ll be fine. However, Denver did do something interesting tonight. They took their best defensive player, Igoudala, and put him on Felton. This is designed to keep Felton from penetrating the paint and forcing him into long jumpers. It’s not a bad strategy, especially if you have another elite defender like Gallinari to guard Melo, and it kept Felton in check tonight. It’ll be interesting to see if other teams start to do this.
- JR Smith… I don’t know what to think of JR Smith. He was 5/19 shooting, but then he hits a big three down the stretch in clutch time. I would make the argument there is no need for clutch time if he’s not previously 4/18 shooting, or whatever he was. He just wastes so many offensive possessions. So he has this awful shooting game, but then he was a +12 and grabbed 9 rebounds. So really, I don’t know what to make of JR.
- Tyson Chandler was a beast tonight. His one handed dunk off a Felton oop made me jump out of my chair and I accidentally dropped my iPad. Now there is a dent in it. Chandler’s 12 rebounds were huge and he did a good job of not letting Kenneth Faried dominate the glass.
- I missed watching Sheed throwing up a ton of terrible threes. Wait… no, no I didn’t.
- I was surprised Chris Copeland didn’t play. I would’ve thought this to be a good game for him to get some run.
- The Knicks are a ridiculous 19-1 under Mike Woodson at Madison Square Garden.
- Yes… Yes it is very weird:
This was a game the Knicks would’ve lost last season by 30 points. This team is for real, it would seem, and they won a huge game tonight. Tonight’s game was a game that great teams win. Coming off a loss, the second night of a back-to-back and the 4th game in 5 nights. They were tired and they were banged up, but they persevered and picked up their 15th win of the season.
Follow Taylor on Twitter @tarmosino