Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Raptors 90, Knicks 85 - Recap

We've all seen this song and dance before - the Knicks came out hot, then couldn't buy a basket and went down by double digits. In the second half they rallied to bring it within 1 point in the final minute, but couldn't entirely close the gap, and they lost the game.

Before we all run around like chickens without heads cut off, screaming (even though we're head-less) for D'Antoni's head (okay,  okay I'm done), let's all take a moment to get level-headed (no, really, I'm done. Sorry). The Knicks were without Amar'e Stoudemire for the second straight game, and still without Iman Shumpert, Jared Jeffries and Baron Davis. Realistically, besides Carmelo Anthony and Toney Douglas, no one on this team who was playing last night, is suited to carry that much weight on offense.

Here's just some notes about how it went down:
  • 10-35 from 3-point land. Yuck. Again, without Stoudemire's presence inside, and anyone who can drive the lane except for Melo, it was launch city.
  • Melo had 35 points! On 31 FG attempts..... Not that he had any help, but Melo forced the action quite a bit last night. 11 rebounds and 4 assists ain't too bad though. Put it this way: without Melo, the Knicks would have struggled to score 50 points.
  • Toney Douglas had a nice game I thought. He still struggles running the offense, and can't get into the paint with his dribble, but he did help out with 22 points. Once again, he shot too much, but nobody else beside he and Melo were doing anything, so shoot away, Toney. His playmaking was a bit improved though, as he served up one splendid alley-oop to Tyson Chandler.
  • If you asked me before the game, who on the Raptors I'd be afraid of hitting big baskets in the clutch, I wouldn't have answered "Rasual Butler". But he and Bargnani both hit a few daggers down the stretch.
  •  The Knicks surged in the second half, but credit the Raptors for keeping control of the game. Melo and Douglas both got hot, and were making some easy plays for others, but they just couldn't quite there. Like I said, same old song and dance.
Odds and Ends
  • Victor Cruz got a big ovation when they showed him on the monitor. He was sitting at half-court and after some prodding from teammates and the crowd, got up and did his salsa dance. I'm not really a Giants fan or football fan in general, but that salsa dance is quite lovable when he does it.
  • Iman Shumpert had a brief interview during a timeout and said he was felt good and was close to returning to the court. Afterwards, Clyde calling him a "loquacious neophyte". Couldn't have said it better, Clyde.
  • I like when Steve Novak plays because it seems like he's automatic from downtown, even though he was only 1-3, but he's definitely a liability on the defensive end. He also brings nothing to the rebounding battle.
  • Mike Bibby looked spry in the first half, as he often charged up the court, hoping to start a fastbreak. But to no avail. That's just a side note about his game. The main point I wanted to make is I can't wait until Mike Bibby doesn't play serious minutes.

That's about it. Same old song and dance. Don't read too much into it. Toronto's actually playing pretty well this season, and New York is quite injury-depleted. Game against Charlotte tomorrow!


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