Knicks 96 Bucks 86
The New York Knicks took on the surging Milwaukee Bucks tonight at MSG in a test to regain home court dominance. Early on, the Bucks took it to the Knicks and had them on the ropes at the half. In the 2nd half the Knicks did what they have become known for-shut down defense. With 20 rebounds from Tyson Chandler and the “Hakeemesque” moves form Amar’e, the Knicks took off like an Angry Bird and cruised to a solid home win 96-86.
Things That Looked Good:
- Melo had an off game, well off for Melo I guess. He had 25 points on 7-22 shooting and 7 turnovers, but he also contributed in other ways. He hit the boards with 8 rebounds and dished out 6 assists.
- Stat’s “bag of moves” was impressive to say the least boys and girls. Amar’e will have a whole second career if he can master the baby hook and powerful spin moves. Amar’e had a solid game with 17 points and 7 rebounds in 24 minutes. He also was 7-8 from the line, which has been a positive part of his game lately. Kudos to Amar’e Stoudemire for accepting his role off the bench and then excelling at it. Stay healthy Stat.
- Novak was aggressive early on, but did not get enough burn in the rest of the game (7 minutes) and that is Mike Woodson’s decision to get him involved. Novak is a three-point machine if given the chance and looks.
- Felton pushing the ball and penetrating is the answer to the Knicks offensive woes. We preach ball movement here at the Swag and with Ray back at the helm the offense will only get better. Something to keep an eye on, Ray banged his finger late in the game, but eventually came back in to run the point. However, we must wait and see his diagnosis. You never know what the Knicks medical staff will say, the dreaded “day to day”? Raymond has put together a couple of solid games in a row with a 14 point, 8 assist game with only 2 turnovers, nice game Ray. Let’s cross our fingers, no pun intended.
- Tyson was a rebounding machine tonight; he pulled down 20 boards in 35 minutes. First time since David Lee did it and Tyson’s first in 5 years. That is the aggressive player the Knicks need to see the rest of the year.
- This was an Orlando type game tonight at MSG. Knicks down by 12, fight back in the 2nd half and take the commanding lead. They held the Bucks to 33 points in the 2nd half after giving up 53 in the 1st half. The Knicks are turning into a 4th quarter team. Good or playing with fire? You be the judge!
Things That Need to Improve:
- Another bad start hurt the Knicks early. This is a reoccurring trend that will and has comeback to haunt them. Against the elite teams in the league, the Knicks might not recover from these kinds of starts.
- Still too much switching, which has alarmed Mike Woodson. Even though he mentioned it earlier in pre game interviews, I still saw a lot of it. Laziness is the culprit, in a few occasions Woody got on Shump for going under screens and his defensive lapses. He seemed to get it together though and finished the game strong.
- Kidd has been in a funk since last week, he is obviously hurting or tired. He played 23 minutes tonight, which is right on his target number, but gave nothing. If Kidd is hurting or tired, then maybe rest is something they need to think about.
- JR Smith shot selection is something that needs to get better like earlier in the season. He shot 6-14, but 5-13 form three. JR always seems to hit the big three, but he needs to be harnessed in the minutes he plays.
- Shump’s just not there yet, but after his benching he came in focused. It will take time with him, as he is coming back from a horrible knee injury that will keep him from playing an exorbitant amount of minutes and performing at his usual level. Stay the course Shump, it will come!
- The Knicks had 15 turnovers tonight. Almost half of them came from Melo, which is unusual. It’s unlike the Knicks to give up so many balls, but they have to focus on holding onto the ball from this point forward.
- The Knicks won the rebounding battle tonight 50-40 and held the Bucks to 39% from the field. Not bad since the Bucks started the game very hot and were on their way to a commanding lead. Good game for the New York Knicks. Lets Get It!
- The New York Knicks are now in the midst of a 3 game winning streak. They have some very winnable games coming up in the next week and they must take advantage of it. They are currently 29-15 and a half a game behind the Miami Heat for the lead in the entire Eastern Conference. Not bad for a team that his been struggling the last month or so.
Peter A – Knickswag