Boy does it feel nice to write a recap without any complaints or grievances. The Knicks were in control of this game pretty much from buzzer to buzzer. It was quite obvious that the Bobcats wouldn't put much of a challenge as they were missing D.J. Augustin, Corey Maggette, and DJ White. But nonetheless, the Knicks put away a disadvantaged team in convincing fashion and got some positive vibes going along the way.
Like the sound of that? Then take the jump!
- As mentioned above, Carmelo Anthony scored only 1 point tonight. Is that alarming or exciting? To me, it's exciting. Melo's shot was off, and at one point he appeared to reaggravate that already cranky wrist, but there was noticeable mindset from Melo tonight: to pass the ball. There were occasions where Melo didn't even look at the hoop and instead kept the rock moving and found some open teammates. It was actually incredibly refreshing to see. Likewise, there was an effort to get involved in other ways, as he had 11 rebounds and 4 assists in less than 30 minutes.
- Tyson Chandler was in absolute beast mode tonight against a weak Bobcats frontline. At times it looked like he was just toying with the 'Cats. 20 points, 9-10 shooting, and 17 rebounds, 8 of them offensive. He was there to clean up any messes in the paint, and what I really enjoyed was seeing him cheer on fellows bigs Amar'e Stoudemire and Jerome Jordan when they did good things as well.
- I'm very scared to jinx it, but Landry Fields seems to have his groove back. This was the third game in the past four that he's posted over 15 points and shot at least 50%, if not better. Fields looks comfortable taking it to the rack and his reformed jumpshot is starting to look smoother and smoother. After initially airballing a corner 3, Landry went on a tear in the first quarters, throwing down back-to-back dunks - one off of a dribble driver, and another off of a steal - and then redeeming himself by knocking down a corner 3-ball. Gotta love Landry's improved playmaking ability too, as he dished out 5 more assists.
- Amar'e Stoudemire started the game pretty horribly by turning the ball over, missing a baby hook from seven feet away and quickly picking up two fouls. However, when Anthony and Chandler left the game, Stat began to assert himself, driving to the lane for some easy dunks, abusing Bismack Biyombo down low in the process. It wasn't a complete turn-around game, but 18 points on 7-12 shooting and 8 boards. Baby steps.
- 'Twas a forgettable game for Iman Shumpert, who by my count, threw a pass through Amar'e's legs, missed a dunk, and missed three layups at the basket, and also threw a wrap-around pass right into a Bobcats' defender's hands. Kind of looked like Shump had something else on his mind tonight. Whatever. On to the next one.
- Toney Douglas looked like a puppy who is afraid of the water, but once it gets its feet wet, realizes that it isn't so bad. Toney's seemed allergic to the painted area all season, but tonight he began to get some confidence and take Kemba Walker off the dribble and get some easy baskets, and even draw some fouls. Also nice is to see hm pass out 4 assists. Good work, TD!
- The bench crew looked nice. Bibby got some burn with starters and looked rather spry, grabbing a few boards, running one very nice pick-and-roll with Stat, and burying some bombs of his own. Likewise, the garbage minute dudes were fun to watch. Steve Novak, who I've been saying all season deserves playing time, came in and promptly went 3-3 from downtown. Jeremy Lin took it to the hole and hit some nice shots, and Jerome Jordan threw down a dunk. Oh, and Renaldo Balkman, who I decided is the funniest Knick of all time, threw down a tomahawk dunk with 46 seconds left in the game, just for fun. Never change, Renaldo.
- How did I almost forget Jared Jeffries?! JJ went 3-5 from the field and had 11 points, including a corner 3!
Odds and Ends
- The Bobcats announcers had a very tough time distinguishing the names of Tyrus Thomas and Tyson Chandler. At one point it took the color announcer, who I believe was Dell Curry, three times to stop and restart his sentence, only to say "Tyrus Chandler".
- The Bobcats' sideline announcer was this woman who spoke so loudly and quickly to Julius Peppers that she got noticeably out of breath during the report.
- I feel bad leaving Bill Walker out of the player notes. He kind of did his thing, which means he shot 1-5 from downtown and did that usual turnover, where his heel is touching the sideline when he catches the ball.
Well, that's pretty much it. The Knicks play the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow and have to keep the momentum rolling. Currently, the Cavs boast a better record than the Knicks, and they took the season series last year, so we musn't take them lightly. There's grumblings that Baron Davis will make his debut, but shhh.... [whispers] Preview tomorrow. Go Knicks!