Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Knicks 113, Pistons 86 - Recap

Hey, so that's what a win is, huh? It's been awhile since we've seen one of those, but they still exist! A beatdown of lowly, short-handed team was precisely what the Knicks needed. Between the dunks, steals, 3-pointers, and garbage time, you could see the tension ease out of the Knicks and they appeared to actually be having fun!
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
What's more, we saw a concerted effort to move the ball on offense, make the extra pass, and communicate on defense. There were some lapses, but overall, this may have been the best offensive performance of the season for the Knicks.

Take the jump for some more.

Here's a little breakdown of what went down.

Good Performances
 - Landry Fields had himself his best quarter of the season in the opening 12 minutes. Starting off with a corner 3-ball, Fields seemed to be in the groove in this one. His best moment came when he intercepted a pass around halfcourt, drove the lane with Amar'e to his left and Tyson to his right, and made a little no-look scoop pass to Chandler for the dunk. On the Knicks' next possession he then knocked down a 3-pointer from dead-on. He was perfect in the first half hitting all 6 of his shots. The Landry man made a few nice passes in this one, had 5 steals (!) and one nasty, Stoudemire-like rejection in the second half.
  • 18 points, 7-10 FG, 4-6 3FG, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals, 1 block
 - Carmelo Anthony returned after missing the previous two games and looked much better. Anthony was clearly making an effort to move the ball early and take only good shots. As the Knicks' lead grew in the second half, Melo got a little carried away with his isolations and trying to showboat a bit, but overall he looked good and made good decisions. If Melo can make this type of concerted effort each night, it'll be a huge boost for the Knicks.
  • 25 points, 9-14 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6 assists  
 - Tyson Chandler was his usual self, for the most part, but what really stood out to me was his 17 points on 5-6 shooting, 7-10 from the FT line. Though the box score doesn't show it, Tyson really held up the defense on this one, snaggling up rebounds, deterring drivers, and forcing some turnovers. The Pistons are the worst scoring team in the league, but they were only allowed 86 points tonight and Tyson was a big part of that.
  • 17 points, 5-6 FG, 7-10 FT, 8 rebounds, 1 block
Not So Good Performances
 - I definitely don't want to call Stoudemire's game a bad one, but it probably could have been better. He stroked a mid-range jumsphot or two, but he also had some of those clumsy, arrhythmic drives to the hoop that almost never ended nicely. He also only grabbed 4 rebounds and twisted his ankle while jogging to the bench during the halftime shoot-around. However, Amar'e was okay, and what was good about his game was some transition hoops that resulted in and-1s and a few nice blocks.

 - The boxscore is a bit deceiving in this one because of the garbage time the fellas got, but the bench was actually pretty bad through the first three quarters. Against the Pistons, that's acceptable, especially because the starters were rollin' tonight, but against Chicago and Boston later this week, they have to get some better, more consistent production, namely Douglas and Walker.

Odds and Ends
 - The Garbage Time All-Stars - Jerome Jordan, Renaldo Balkman, Jeremy Lin, and Steve Novak - were pretty entertaining to watch. Lin looks like the Energizer Bunny, flying around the court, setting up teammates, scoopin' to the hoop, and pickpocketing some folks. He had 4 assists in 6 minutes, mostly coming off feeds to Balkman who also was running around and finishing around the basket. The crowd, relieved to be watching a clear victory, was super into watching the Garbage Patch Kids (the new, decided nickname in writing this) do their thang.

 - Mike Breen and Clyde were seriously on their A-games tonight, and it was delightful to listen to. Here are some gems:
  • Tina Cervasio reported on Clyde's new Twitter account (which is authentic and truly wonderful) and Breen asked how many followers Clyde had. Tina said 8,000 after three days, which shocked Breen, but Clyde said, "That's it?!"
  • Clyde commented on patience at one point and noted that he grew up with 7 women in his family. He then said he has as much patience as Job.
  • Breen was talking about how he and his brother hung up a poster of Clyde in their home in Yonkers in 1970. Clyde asked how old Breen was and after some time, Mike said, "I was 8 or 9. I was precocious neophyte!"
  • Lastly, Clyde again on his childhood, said he was the only boy for a long time as his parents kept having girls (he had 9 siblings). He said that his parents kept trying to have another boy because "this one" was so remarkable and splendid that they must try to have another.
 - Jared Jeffries tried going coast-to-coast when he snagged an defensive rebound, and was successful until he got about 3 feet from the hoop. Then there was a blur and I saw JJ flailing through the air, while the ball bounced away behind him. It literally made me bust out laughing.

That's about it, folks! This was fun, but I don't want to make too much of it. It was nice to get a win, and the Knicks handled their business, but this was against a now 4-19 team. This week will present two very tough challenges against the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics. We'll see how they look then. Go Knicks!

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