Saturday, March 24, 2012

Knicks 101, Pistons 79 - Recap

Photo by AP
After a disappointing letdown game against Toronto last night (I called that!), it was nice to see New York secure a nice (albeit kinda boring win) against another weak opponent. Though at times it was ugly and the Pistons showed signs of maybe putting forth a run, the Knicks mainly held them off with passable offense and aggressive defense.

Against most teams (such as the ones the Knicks will see in this coming week) committing 22 turnovers while shooting 30% and 63% from beyond the arc and the free throw line, respectively, would do you in, but well... that's kind of the Pistons' deal.

Take the jump for some quick notes!

That Was Great!
 - After a pretty awful outing vs. the Raptors (maybe his worst of the season), Tyson Chandler returned and basically took a dump on the Pistons' big men. Chandler was extremely active early on in the game, deterring drivers, snaggling rebounds, and finishing most everything that fell into his hands around the rim. Greg Monroe and other members of the Pistons missed little bunnies at the hoop just because of Chandler's presence. Tyson's FT shooting was pretty forgettable, and he dropped or missed or simply didn't get that same ESP as usual with some of the guards, but all is well. Hard to complain about a 15-point, 17-rebound, 63%-shooting effort from your big man.

 - Amar'e Stoudemire showed some good glimpses of what we've seen in previous games lately. He was hesitant on the jumper, but generally finished well around the rim, played some surprisingly good defense (especially on help and weakside blocked shots), and rebounded at a decent rate during his 25 minutes on the floor. Unfortunately Stoudemire left in the 3rd quarter and went back to the locker room, getting help for a troublesome lower back. Not good. He finished with 17 points, 7-10 shooting, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

 - The Knicks defense held the Pistons to just 79 points on 37% shooting. Likewise, they forced the Pistons into 17 turnovers while winning the battle of the boards 54-30. Great numbers all around even if the Pistons are a pretty putrid offensive team.

That Wasn't So Good
 - As mentioned before, Amar'e Stoudemire went out with a back injury. He insists that it's fine, but as we know, Stoudemire was hampered by a back injury in the playoffs last season and it lingered all through the offseason and affected him even this season. That's a little bit nerve-racking.

 - Jeremy Lin also went out with a sore left knee, but returned to the bench during the 4th quarter despite not playing. Also nerve-racking though he does seem to be okay.

 - In terms of actual game things, the Knicks committed 22 turnovers! That's the kind of stuff that loses games against teams that aren't the Pistons. And some of them were just downright silly. Lin was the main offender with 7 of his own, but other guys were just not thinking when they were handling the ball. Baron Davis also had 4, but plenty of other guys committed pretty obvious errors, most of them unforced. The worst was when Jeremy Lin drove the ball, got trapped and picked up his dribble. As Anthony came to receive the pass to help Lin out, Lin essentially tossed it off Melo's head, and the ball wafted into Detroit's hands.

Odds and Ends
 - Carmelo Anthony was 1-7 in the first half and 4-5 in the second half. A lot was made of this though I didn't particularly find it interesting. In the second half, Melo made one jumper, but mostly did his work with quick moves in the post with entry passes that hit him in the paint. I guess we'll see what becomes of his offensive struggles. He finished with 15 points in 29 minutes.

 - Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith did this in the 4th quarter!

 - Jeremy Lin had a quieter outing besides the aforementioned turnovers. In 26 minutes he shot 50% and had 13 points and 3 assists. Pretty "meh" work from the Linster.

 - In garbage time Josh Harrellson made one of the prettiest running sky hooks I've ever seen by a modern day player. Guess who's back, back, back....

 - Mike Breen and Clyde commenting on Austin Daye and his physique:
  • Breen: "He needs to eat some ice cream!"
  • Clyde: "Yeah! Or some chorcoalate!"

The Knicks are off tomorrow before playing a pretty crucial game against the Milwaukee Bucks. At 24-25, we one again find ourselves flirting with .500, but of course playoff spots and division titles also linger on the horizon, so games like Monday's will be huge. In the meantime, wins like tonight's will do just fine!

1 comment:

  1. While you may not find Melo's loss of shot prowess of interest, I thought that his post play was. This is not a part of his game we have seen much of in NY. Melo working low and inside is an added threat for the Knick's offense. An ugly win for sure. Stop giving up the ball and this team is beginning to look like something good.