I have a few things to note about this past weekend and the coming week for the Knicks, so take the jump if you will.
Friday 3/30 - Hawks 100, Knicks 90
- From what I did get to see of this game (I borrowed a friend's computer to watch), it was super sloppy. With the exception of Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert, the Knicks were flat, unable to knock down shots, unwilling to defend with the same tenacity that we've seen in recent weeks.
- Carmelo had probably his best offensive outing of the season since the opening day vs. the Celtics. He got beat up on offense trying to defend the bigger, strong, longer Josh Smith, but on offense had his way bullying Marvin Williams or being quicker than Smith. He shot 11-24 FG, 13-14 FT, for 36 points, to go along with 9 rebounds and 5 steals.
- Iman Shumpert continued his excellent play from the domination of the Orlando Magic. Shumpert was usually assigned to Jeff Teague or Joe Johnson (and whichever one he left promptly scored at will) on defense. On offense he had some strong tough drives and made those pull-up 18-footers that he's become adept at knocking down.
- Baron Davis and J.R. Smith were both awful. Davis, who is hampered by a nagging hamstring, looked slow and messy trying to orchestrate the offense (2-8 shooting, 4 assists, 4 turnovers). J.R. Smith was simply having one of those J.R. Smith games where he didn't play defense and shot the ball at an awful clip - 20%.
Saturday 3/31 - Knicks 91, Cavaliers 75
- This one I really hardly got to see at all. It appears that J.R. Smith had the yin to his Friday night yang and scored 20 points on 8-15 shooting. Carmelo was steady with 19 points on 50% shooting in 33 minutes. Tyson Chandler looks like he was very Tyson Chandler-y, going for 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Sweet.
- I did get to see Toney Douglas play! According to Mike Woodson, Douglas will receive more minutes with the absence of Lin. He missed an open 3-pointer, forced a bad shot at the end of the shot clock, and dribbled out of bounds in the time I saw. Apparently he had a nice and-1 drive at one point, so that's cool. He only played 9 minutes, but in that time scored 5 points on 40% shooting (2-5), had 2 rebounds, 1 assists, and 1 turnover. Baby steps.
Jeremy Lin's Injury
- It was announced Saturday that Jeremy Lin had a torn meniscus in his right knee and would require surgery. Recovery and rehabilitation would take six weeks thus putting an end to Jeremy's regular season. This is honestly the saddest injury I've had to deal with during my time as a Knicks fan. Sure, Allan Houston was sad, but the Knicks were already on their way down; Antonio McDyess sucked but I had no real attachment to him; when Jamal Crawford sprained his ankle at the end of one season when the Knicks were in the playoff race, that sucked too, but none of them were this.
- If you are to believe Jeremy when he says he's a quick healer, then perhaps there's a chance that he could return in 5 weeks (?) and be able to play in the first round of the playoffs should the Knicks make them...? Only time will tell.
Games: 4/3 @ Indiana, 4/5 @ Orlando
- Both opponents are foes that the Knicks have beaten pretty handily in the past month, so they may be out for revenge, especially against a weakened Knicks team. Gulp.
- The fact that the Knicks have now had two days off, get another day off before they play Orlando, and then two more days off between the Orlando game and their matchup against Chicago on Sunday is quite handy. As mentioned, Baron Davis is having trouble with his hammy, and Tyson Chandler and Melo are both dealing with groin injuries. Two games over the course of six days is a nice chance to rest some of those injuries.
- In case you missed it, according to Hoopdata, the Knicks are 4th (!!!) in defensive efficiency. The top 5 order goes, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, New York, Miami. Yes, the Knicks are a more defensively efficient team than the Miami Heat if you can wrap your head around that.
- Jeremy Lin underwent successful surgery today, and even posted a pic of himself all drugged up, chowin' on a sandwich, presumably with a case of the munchies! (Tip of the hat to Seth Rosenthal for sharing it). Marc Berman of the New York Post spoke with some doctors today who said the six week timetable for Lin isn't a concrete one and he could even return sooner. This is just what the irrational optimist inside of me doesn't need.
- Baron Davis, who will remain the Knicks main cog at point guard, thinks the Knicks should play slower. That sounds exactly like something an out-of-shape, beat-up, 33-year old point guard would say!
- The Knicks apparently won't add any point guards from the D-League or anything to their team. I'm pretty cool with that because a.) there's a reason those guys are unsigned, and b.) I don't think I really want to mess with team chemistry anymore and cut somebody.
- Amar'e Stoudemire traveled with the team today, which is interesting. I'm assuming that doctors have OK'd this and have determined that it won't hurt his back anymore to sit on planes and stuff.
That's pretty much it. Again, apologies for my absence this weekend. The Knicks play the Pacers tomorrow night. I'll have more material up this week.