Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Knicks 100, Kings 85 - Recap

In the game preview I said the Knicks would need a 48-minute effort tonight, and that's what we got! How 'bout that! I want a cheesesteak! ... Nothing. Ah well.

Thankfully, the Kings never threatened the Knicks throughout this game, and for much of the second half, the Knicks' lead was above 20 points. Seven Knickerbockers scored in double-digits tonight, and Tyson Chandler had 9 points. Everyone shared the ball willingly, and there were a couple moments of delightful offensive chemistry. The defense was solid once again as well. The Kings are a poor shooting team, but hte Knicks held them to just 38% shooting, and didn't allow over 20 points in any single quarter until the 4th when it didn't matter.

Take the jump for some feel-good notes!

Right from the get-go, the Knicks were looking to dish, the effort led by that Jeremy Lin dude (heard of him?). There were alley-oops being thrown down, extra passes being made, and crisp offense being produced. On defense, the Knicks communicated with one another, and mostly stuck in front of their guys, forcing the Kings into some terrible isolation plays, and poor jumpshots.

That Was Great!
 - Landry Fields had a vintage Landry line tonight! 15 points on 6-8 shooting, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. He set up Tyson Chandler on some beautiful assists, and also snuck baseline twice for some nasty alley-oops, and once on a backdoor cut pass from Lin that miraculously bounced right into Landry's mittens. He's been looking very good over the past couple of weeks, even prior to Lin, but now with Jeremy running the show, he looks extra comfortable which is great to see.

 - Lin was dropping dimes tonight! Only 10 points on 4-6 shooting, but as mentioned, he was looking to pass right from the onset. He threw a couple of beautiful alley-oop feeds to Tyson and Landry, the aforementioned backdoor bullet, but also hit some guys for open 3s, some gorgeous drop-offs and curl passes for Stoudemire, and a nice one-handed bounce pass through traffic to Jared Jeffries. Again, the Kings are a pretty bad team altogether, but considering he was not a scoring threat, it was cool to see Lin orchestrate the offense like that.

 - Bill Walker probably deserves this last one. After some wretched games over the past week, Bully had one of those standout games that makes us all remember why he has a spot in the rotation. Walker took less contested 3s tonight, and instead took a few steps in for off-the-dribble, in-rhythm pull-up jumpers (hyphens!) and drove the lane for a nice floater or two. When given the chance, he also stroked a few open treys. However, what was more impressive, was a cool little shovel pass to a cutting Amar'e from Walker, and then another drop-off pass to Stoudemire on a dribble drive! 14 points, 6-9 shooting, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists for Bully.

That Could Be Improved
 - Lin had a good, very point guardy game tonight, but there were definitely some improvements to be made. He had 6 turnovers again, which could have been overlooked except for a stretch where he threw three of them in a row in just silly fashion. Likewise, 10 points on 4-6 shooting is very nice, but on most nights I think he'll have to be more aggressive with his shot. After the 1st quarter, the Kings trapped him hard and played him physically, and it really halted Lin's dribble-drive game. In the future, I'd like to see Lin more aggressive with his pull-up jumper game, and with shooting the 3-pointer. He's shown he's got touch, and unless he starts shooting them (and hopefully making them) at a greater rate, defenses will sag on him and lessen his effectiveness.

 - Amar'e looked nice in only 27 minutes but he committed some more foolish turnovers. Stat continues to just barrell into folks or try to spin and squeeze his way into defenses that a 6'10", 250 lb. man just can't get into. I'd say this is rust, but he's done this pretty much all year.

Odds and Ends
 - Knicks fans booed the shit out of Isaiah Thomas which was pretty funny. Hopefully the dude understood why though, because I began to feel a little bad for him.

 - During the booing, Clyde said his usual, "Knicks fans are like elephants: they never forget!" This caused Mike Breen to ask how Clyde knows that elephants never forget. In what turned into a seemingly serious moment for Clyde, he began to explain how elephants always go to the same watering holes, and how they care for their young and stuff. It was a true gem!

 - In garbage time when Jerome Jordan scored a basket, they showed Tyson Chandler standing up and waving a towel in celebration. Seconds after, Jared Jeffries did the same celebration. This makes me believe that Jared more-or-less always mimics Tyson on everything. Like, he repeats what Tyson says seconds after Tyson says it, and does all of the same actions and stuff, sort of like an annoying suck-up in a movie. Love ya, Jared!

That's 7 in a row, guys! The Knicks now stand at 15-15 with a seemingly easy game against the 6-23 Hornets, which is part of a 5-game home stand. Let's keep it up! Go Knicks!

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