New York Knicks vs. San Antonio Spurs
Post Game Recap
The Knicks were able to pull off the upset and get their best win of the season in San Antonio, defeating the Spurs 105-101. The victory gave the Knicks their second consecutive game in San Antonio and the first against the Western Conference this season. It was an entertaining game that any fan of basketball would have enjoyed taking in, especially if you are a Knicks fan. The Knicks showed comradery and came together when they needed it most tonight, finally looking like a team that wants to get back into the playoff picture legitimately in the Eastern Conference, not just because of how bad it is this season. It was a career night for two players and an outstanding game played by both teams. The Knicks took everything the Spurs gave them and responded as well as they could. This is the kind of win that could jump start a team and gets them going in the right direction. A new year looks to have brought about a new Knicks team eve if it is just only one game.
Player of the Game: Iman Shumpert
Shumpert had a career night offensively in a game the Knicks needed it most. He put in 27 points on 10-13 shooting from the field (6-8 3pt, 1-1 FT). Shumpert scored 10 points in the first quarter alone as he came out with confidence and aggressiveness that he has seemed to lack in the recent weeks. He provided in other areas as well, as he recorded six rebounds, one assist and three steals. Shumpert had his biggest rebound with about 24 seconds remaining as he tipped in a missed Anthony jump shot to give the Knicks a two point lead. The three steals do not do justice to just how outstanding Shumpert was tonight on the defensive end. From the get go Shumpert was able to shut and slow down Tony Parker. Parker scored only 12 points and added seven assists. He was unable to get comfortable and dictate the game on the offensive end as basketball fans have come accustomed to seeing from Parker, who is deadly in the pick-and-roll. Tonight Shumpert was able to hold him to 5-13 shooting as he put together an outstanding game on both ends of the court.
Carmelo Anthony returned from injury tonight and picked up right where he left off prior to his ankle injury. Anthony racked up yet another double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds. He was also very effective finding the open man when the Spurs would double team him and move the kept the ball moving. Anthony was able to do damage early on as the Knicks floor spacing was as good as it has been all season, minimizing the Spurs opportunities to double team him. He also put Kawhi Leonard in foul trouble throughout the game, rendering him mostly useless as Anthony won the matchup to watch for from pre-game.
Anthony kept the ball moving to set the tone and the rest of his teammates followed suit. The Knicks defense was humming tonight like a well-oiled machine as everyone was involved and knocking down shots; every player to get on the court for the Knicks tonight scored at least three points. In total there were five Knicks in double figures as Andrea Bargnani, Beno Udrih and Amar’e Stoudemire joined Anthony and Shumpert. On the night the Knicks were able to shoot at a high percentage, knocking down 39-76 shot attempts (51.3 percent). They were even more impressive from beyond the arc, making 9-17 attempts (52.9 percent). They were also very effective at the foul line, making 18-20 attempts compared to 13-19 for the Spurs.
The Knicks did an outstanding job on the glass tonight and it took a team effort. Anthony led the way with 12 and got a big boost from the wings as Shumpert and JR Smith had six and five respectively and Tyson Chandler hauled in six of his own. On the night the Knicks outrebounded the Spurs 40-34.
The resiliency the Knicks showed tonight was very impressive. Early on the second quarter the Spurs were able to take control and go up by nine points. It looked like the Knicks were about to be blown out of the gym but they were able to steady the ship and get back into the game. They went on a 20-7 run of their own to get into halftime with a five point lead. They also did a good job of keeping the course late in the game when the Spurs were able to take a two point lead late after the Knicks were up by six. They reverted back to isolation for a few possessions but kept with the ball movement and the results were positive in the end.
Parker may have been held in check by Shumpert but the other perimeter players dominated the Knicks. Marco Belinelli had a career game of his own, scoring a career high 32 points on 12-16 from the field (6-9 3pt, 2-2 FT). He killed the Knicks all night on the offensive end as they were unable to slow him down. Manu Ginobili came off the bench and facilitated the offense extremely well with Parker being harassed by Shumpert. Ginobili shot only 4-11 from the field for 11 points but he handed out 12 assists.
Coming into the game the Spurs were the top three-point shooting team in the NBA and they showed the Knicks why right from the get go. The Spurs had an onslaught of three pointers right from the opening tip as Belinelli was on fire and the Knicks lost Matt Bonner on multiple occasions. On the night the Spurs made 14-32 from the three-point line, killing the Knicks momentum on multiple occasions and making some runs of their own because of it.