Knicks 87 Pistons 77
This was a game of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Tonight was a microcosm of what is good and bad of the New York Knicks. The injury depleted Pistons team, defending their home court, got down early in the first half to only take the lead in the 3rd period. If you think that was the end of the game you are very wrong. The Knicks came back from a 10-point deficit with the three ball and stifling defense. Knicks win 87-77 in a roller coaster of a game.
Things That Looked Good:
- Amar’e Stoudemire had his second straight night of dominance without Carmelo Anthony, which will only fuel speculation with their on the court chemistry. STAT finished with 22 points and 9 rebounds on 8-12 from the field. Amar’e is proving that his legs are back, however can Melo and Stat coexist to balance out the offense?
- Raymond Felton was an offensive Svengali tonight. His jumper was humming all night as he dropped 26 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, however he had a horrible 7 turnovers, mostly early in the 1st half as the Knicks were stumbling.
- Iman Shumpert got off to a smoking start just like the previous game, but had many mental lapses on the defensive end of the court that Mike Woodson was clearly irritated over. Iman is getting better every game and only time will tell if he makes it back to what he once was. Iman chipped in with 9 points and 6 rebounds in 19 minutes.
- The good, the bad and the ugly of JR Smith was the story line of the night. His shot selection once again was off the grid. I am always surprised that he is not yanked from the game and benched, but when it seems like he is off the see the wizard, JR hits a huge shot. In fact he drained 4 in a row that helped propel the Knicks to a commanding 10-point lead and an eventual win. JR stat line looks like this: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 5 assists on 7-22 shooting, 4-11 from downtown.
- Jason Kidd had an average night on paper, however was a true leader on the court. He grabbed important rebounds and moved the ball the way this team needs to in order to win.
Things That Need to Improve:
- When things go wrong with this team, they completely fall apart and look like they have no business being in the league. They have become a roller coaster like team that cannot hold leads. I feel like when they get 10-15 point leads they become complacent and lazy. Not the formula for winning.
- Knicks are still shooting too many threes game after game. The term “live by the three, die by the three” is a perfect fit for this Knicks team. They take many questionable shots that affect every game and most certainly will affect their playoff run in a negative capacity.
Overall, with this win tonight, the Knicks have kept their arms length lead from the Nets and Celtics at 3.5 and 5 games. However, the Knicks gained ground and control on the number 2 seed from the Indiana Pacers, as they lost to the Boston Celtics at the buzzer.
The Knicks are not playing great basketball, but have not lost major ground and are still in control of the Atlantic Division at the moment. If the Knicks can gel together as a team offensively and defensively, they could lock down that 2 seed and win the Atlantic for the first time in what it seems like a 100 years. The major question is how does Mike Woodson get the ball to move between Melo and Amar’e? A balanced attack on the offense is a recipe for success for both Melo and Amar’e, resulting in wins for the New York Knicks.
Peter A – Knickswag