Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New York Knicks
Post Game Recap
The Knicks have no one to blame tonight other than themselves for the 109-100 loss at Madison Square Garden Sunday night. The Knicks were blitzed by the T’Wolves in the first quarter, falling behind 40-19 by the time the second quarter was starting courtesy of a 34-5. The Knicks showed some heart and fought back throughout the game, getting it to within two points in the fourth quarter but they ran out of steam and the comeback came up short. Outside of the first quarter the Knicks actually outscored the Timberwolves by 12 points but it was not enough. The Knicks will look to get back on track Tuesday night back at the Garden against the Charlotte Bobcats at 7:30 PM ET.
Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony
It was not the best of nights from the field for Anthony but he receives the player of the game for the effort he put forth in the other aspects of the game tonight. Anthony had a game high 17 rebounds and fought hard on the glass against what could be the best power forward-center tandem in the NBA in Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Anthony also added a team high 22 points and three assists as he scanned the court and found open players on multiple occasions. It was not a perfect game by any means for Anthony but he was the lesser of the evils tonight for the Knicks in what was a very ugly game as the end score does not do justice to the disheartened effort they showed in the start.
There were not many but one positive was Metta World Peace. When he was on the court tonight was when the Knicks were at their best as he finished with a team high +/- ratio of +17. MWP scored 17 points off the bench as well on seven of 13 shooting, including two of five from the three-point line. He also added four rebounds and his usual tough defense as he made things a little more difficult for whoever he was assigned to guard on defense.
Andrea Bargnani looks to be getting more and more comfortable with the Knicks as he had his best game offensively in the early going of the season. Bargnani finished the game with 14 points on six of 10 shooting from the field, including two of four from the three-point line, in only 19 minutes. Bargnani also added three rebounds and was peculiarly benched by Woodson for most of the second half. It not for Bargnani and World Peace in the first half this game could have easily seen the Knicks suffer the same fate as the Thunder when they played the Timberwolves Friday night and face a 30+ point deficit.
Tim Hardaway Jr. got the crowd going with a couple of nice finishes at the rim in transition when the Knicks were desperate for anything to get going. He showed that no moment is too big for him as he has the confidence and swagger to play on the biggest of stages at MSG. Raymond Felton struggled from the field tonight as well but he ran the offense well en route to 12 assists.
The turnover bug has hit the Knicks and it does not look to be going away anytime soon. The turnovers killed the Knicks in the first half as the Timberwolves got out in the open court for easy buckets in transition. The Knicks turned the ball over a total of 16 times and the T’Wolves converted those opportunities into 23 points. The Knicks are still figuring out what they want to do on the court and getting used to each other but they better start gelling fast because they cannot keep digging themselves big holes at the start of games to climb out of.
The shooting for the Knicks tonight from the three-point line was abysmal. The Knicks shot only 28.1 percent from beyond the arc, going nine of 32. Hardaway Jr. failed to find the range as he went an unsightly 0-7 from deep. On the contrary, the Timberwolves shot 37 percent from the three-point line going 10 of 27 behind a perfect five for five from Kevin Martin, who torched the Knicks all night ending with 30 points.
The Knicks sent the Timberwolves to the foul line way too often and did not get there enough themselves. The Knicks shot 11 for 13 from the foul line while the T’Wolves attempted 38 free throws, making 29. Foul trouble put the Knicks in an early hole as well as Anthony, Shumpert and Chandler all had to sit more than Mike Woodson wanted in the first half. Kevin Love made a living at the foul line tonight, making 12 of his 15 attempts en route to 34 points on the night; he also added 15 rebounds of his own to not be outdone by Anthony.