Evening Knick fans! I hope everyone enjoyed the Knicks 102-87 victory over the Pistons. I’ve recently picked my jaw up off the floor from the sheer sight of seeing Iman Shumpert play basketball again, and will now attempt to recap what happened when Shump took over London. I’m hoping to do so coherently, but if I don’t just know that it’s because my brain is melted from seeing Shump Daddy play and/or I’m illiterate. Anywho, lets begin:
The Knicks started the game off on a 16-2 run, filled with ridiculous Carmelo Anthony three pointers and punctuated with a beautiful cross-court pass from Melo to Shumpert that resulted in a corner three that Shump buried. I made a loud shrieking noise. So did you, probably. Add another Melo un-godly three pointer and a couple other baskets and the Knicks were ahead 29-17 after the first quarter. In the second, the Knicks did their best to pull away, at one point going up by 18 and finishing the half with a 15 point lead. The majority of the Knicks scoring this quarter came from pick-and-rolls in which Amare Stoudemire either got fouled on the shot or finished around the rim. Then came the dreadful third quarter. The Pistons cut into the Knicks lead–at one point getting it to 4–due to poor pick-and-roll defense, stagnated offense, and missed jumpers. Chandler picked up a quick 4th foul, forcing Woodson to play STAT at center, and in turn having the defense deteriorate. Amare had trouble defending Greg Monroe inside, as well as helping in pick-and-rolls. On the offensive end, Melo resorted to shooting fallaways over double teams instead of passing out of them. The Knicks, as a whole, began getting very careless with the ball as a result of the Pistons big men aggressively doubling pick-and-rolls and turning it over like crazy. (They finished with 16 total.) The Knicks did, however, end the quarter on an 8-0 run and were up 12 going into the final period. The score differential remained around 12 for the majority of the quarter, with each team exchanging baskets. Melo made some lovely passes out of double teams; one to Novak in the corner and one to a cutting Amare that led to a foul. Then, Melo spun from the left block, identified the double in mid-air, and threw a quick pass to Prigioni under the basket. Pablo then threw a tasty touch pass to Tyson who threw down a dunk. That was a pretty cool sequence. Anyway, the Knicks ended up pulling their starters shortly thereafter and ended up winning by 15. Some specific notes:
- Melo started out on fire from three-point range, looking like the Melo we saw in the Olympics. He excelled off the catch, and even threw up one ridiculous heat-check pull-up that I wanted to go in with all my soul. However, after starting off 4-6, he cooled off drastically and ended 8-19. At times during the second half, Melo resorted back to his alter-ego “Bad Melo”, who we saw play last year. Other than a couple of bad decisions in shooting over doubles, Melo played a solid game and set the tone early, helping the Knicks get out to a rare good start. Also, thanks for eating food now Melo!
- 17 points on only 5 shots? Why, that would be Amar’e Stoudemire! Indeed, STAT got a lot of calls inside after rolling to the hoop for baskets. He canned 11-12 from the line, added a couple of mid range jumpers, and played well offensively with Melo. I imagine the reason for this success is that Amar’e was playing the 5, and thus the floor spacing was very good. Defensively, he had some troubles. As mentioned earlier, he had issues guarding Greg Monroe, helping on Will Bynum penetrations, and boxing out Andre Drummond. While this was nothing new defensively, Amar’e had some nice finishes inside on offense and made some strides on that end.
- As pointed out by the great Seth Rosenthal on twitter, at one point in the first quarter Tyson Chandler (7) had more rebounds than the Pistons (3). He ended up with 14, and played a spectacular game. Tyson covered the entire court on certain possessions, bumping cutters in the paint, switching out onto the perimeter and the recovering inside, all while still protecting the rim. He thoroughly shut down Greg Monroe inside and gave Brandon Knight fits at the basket. Tyson is pretty good at basketball. Scary moment, however, when that rascal Austin Daye grabbed Chandler’s arm mid-flight on what would have been a fastbreak dunk and Tyson took a terrifying tumble. (Alliteration, yo!) Anyway, I cursed loudly and threatened to fly to London and beat up Austin Daye, but he got a flagrant foul and I was satisfied.
- Woah! Three bullets and I still haven’t mentioned Shump? My brain really is melted. The aforementioned god of basketball finished with 8 points on 3/7 shooting and was a +11 in 15 minutes on the floor. Shumpert started, played some hounding perimeter defense, nailed 1/2 corner threes and then was subbed out after about 4 minutes. Shumpert played throughout the 2nd and 3rd quarters in three more 4-minute intervals. He came up with a strip on Jason Maxiell, took the ball ahead and finished with a gorgeous euro-step reverse layup on the fast break. Later, he hit another corner three and threw a flashy no-look pocket-pass to Chandler on a dribble-drive. While 15 minutes isn’t a lot, my takeaway from his game was that his jumper looked nice, the defensive intensity was still there, and he overplayed some passing lanes at times. Shump Daddy also tried to throw down the poster of all posters on multiple Pistons, but ended up airballing the dunk. He jumped really high though. Like a bird. A bird witha flattop. Also, the hair was…there are no words to describe the hair. Iman Shumpert’s flattop defies adjectives.
- Steve Novak hit 3/6 threes and busted out the belt in London. He also hit a hilarious, off the dribble, leaning mid range jumper.
- I thought Pablo Prigioni played better than Jason Kidd today. Although Pablo didn’t record a point (or take a shot) he took care of the ball better than Kidd and seemed more in-control at times. Which is weird, because, you know, Jason Kidd is always in-control.
- JR Smith added in 16 points on 6-15 shooting. JR played passing lanes well early on and picked off some passes in traffic, but counteracted that by losing the ball when doubled off pick-and-rolls. Good JR turns to Bad JR and vice-versa so quickly at times. He added 6 rebounds and 4 assist, and ultimately played a solid game.
- Chris Copeland ha—You know what? It doesn’t matter. Shump played. Everything else is irrelevant.
Simply put, the Knicks played poorly, but the Pistons played really really really poorly and the Knicks won by 15. The Pistons missed 11 free throws, and had 15 turnovers. They missed a lot of shots at the rim, and had a putrid overall offense. I’m willing to attribute the uncharacteristic 16 turnovers from the Knicks to playing in Europe and getting thrown off with the Metric System in some way/Shump returning and giving everyone superpowers they didn’t know they had and took a while getting used to. The Knicks have the Nets and Celtics coming up, and I don’t care for those teams at all.
Well, the ReShumpification (all royalties to Seth Rosenthal) was completed today and the Knicks are now a new team moving forward.
Merry Shumpmas to all, and to all a good night.