Kenneth’s Thoughts on the Game: Knicks @ Pistons

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By Kenneth Teape

New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons

Post Game Recap

It was an ugly performance Tuesday night for the Knicks as they were defeated by the Pistons in Detroit by a score of 92-86; it was only the second loss in the last 13 games against the Pistons. The Knicks struggled in virtually every facet of the game tonight and things only got worse as the game wore 6034on. With Raymond Felton joining Tyson Chandler on the inactive list tonight the Knicks had to once again tinker with their lineup and was unable to find a working combination. Things are not going to get any easier for the Knick as they will be taking on the Indiana Pacers Wednesday night in the second game of the back-to-back at Madison Square Garden at 7 PM ET.

Player of the Game: Kenyon Martin

Martin was inserted into the starting lineup tonight to try to minimize the massive advantage the Pistons had on the inside and he did everything he could. Martin’s minute restriction seems to have been lifted as he is no longer in a platoon with Amar’e Stoudemire and it was a good thing for the Knicks tonight as he was the only person providing any energy and toughness tonight. Martin finished the game with 29 minutes played, five points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block. Martin provides a lot of the things Chandler does on defense so having him in there helps but no one is sure how he will respond on the second night of the back-to-back as Mike Woodson previously has said that he will try to sit him and Amar’e Stoudemire in at least one of the games.

-Positives

Andrea Bargnani was solid when the Knicks were getting him the ball but not often enough. Bargnani finished the night with 13 points on six of 12 shooting, nine of which came in the first quarter alone. Bargnani only got three shots in the second half and it something the Knicks have to work on as Bargnani has easily been the most efficient scorer for the Knicks and a solid second option behind Anthony. Bargnani also showed some effort on the boards tonight, grabbing six in the game and providing two assists as well. Bargnani added one block and some solid one-on-one post defense against some talented big men in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond.

Amar’e Stoudemire on the offensive end and rebounding department were passable tonight. He provided a couple of highlight worthy dunks in the first half and battled on the glass some, pulling down five rebounds. He also had a nice pass to Kenyon Martin for a dunk earlier in the game as well. Stoudemire was able to stay on the court tonight for 15 minutes and did not commit a turnover, another positive. This won’t be the last time Stoudemire NY-CC506_SPRTS__G_20130108174114appears in this article though.

Prigioni was given some extended minutes tonight with Raymond Felton being sidelined and he responded well to them. Prigioni continued his hot shooting from the perimeter, knocking down two of his four attempts from deep and finishing the game with eight points total. Prigioni also handed out five assists and grabbed five rebounds as once again the Knicks looked best with him on the court. He also added two steals on the night as he showed once again he is the best option on the Knicks to slow down the opposing guards.

The effort from the Knicks tonight on the glass was admirable. Coming into the game it was a foregone conclusion for most people who the Knicks would get killed in the rebounding department and they did not. On the night the Knicks were outrebounded only 37-35 because of the team effort put forth to keep it close.

-Negatives

Last season this was a game that Carmelo Anthony would win single-handedly for the Knicks and tonight he was just not on his game. Anthony struggled to shoot from all over the court, finishing the game eight of 20 overall from the field, going one of three from the three-point line and missing three free throws en route to 25 points. His ball security was atrocious tonight as well as he turned the ball over seven times compared to only one assist. Anthony at times looked to be pressing, almost trying too hard to get his team into the game. He needs to relax and get his teammates more involved; he missed Bargnani for a wide open three down the stretch of the game, instead opting for a less open, slightly contested jump shot of his own. This team will only go as far as Anthony takes them so he needs to step his game up to get this team back on track.

The effort as a whole tonight on the defensive end was unacceptable. The Knicks allowed a Pistons team that has struggled to shoot the basketball thus far this season to shoot 50 percent from the field. In addition to that, something that has become all too commonplace against the Knicks occurred again as a guard went off on them; tonight it was Rodney Stuckey. Stuckey came off the bench and torched the Knicks for 21 points and five assists. Brandon Jennings was fighting a stomach bug and was not as aggressive on the defensive end but still managed to hand out seven assists and turn the ball over only once. It is almost funny how easy opposing guards are able to break down the Knicks defense and cause problems in the paint.

The outside shooting tonight for the Knicks, like it has been most of the season, is well below where it needs to be for the Knicks to be successful. The Knicks shot only six of 24 from beyond the arc tonight, good for a measly 25 percent. The Knicks offense is a mess right now as they are not a threat to beat teams from behind the arc and they do not attack the basket as much as they should, making for an easy assignment for opposing teams. This falls upon the staff a little more to get the team into places to score easy baskets as too many of the shots tonight were tough makes.

I have said it once and I will say it again; Mike Woodson has to get creative and put this team in position to win. He should never be okay with the team continually going to Smith or Anthony in isolation situations for extended periods of time. He has also has to be questioned about how he finished the game with no point guard on the court. Shumpert was forced into playing point guard during crunch time which is unfair to him and the team. Woodson did not put the Knicks in a position to win the game tonight down the stretch, something that is becoming more and more common game in and game out.

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