Post Game Recap
Final Score: Clippers: 102 Knicks: 88
It was a long afternoon at the Garden for Knicks fans as the Clippers came into MSG and took it to the Knicks for the better part of the afternoon. All of the Knicks struggles from throughout the season came out at once today, making it almost unbearable to watch at times. The Knicks also got another scare in the injury department, as Raymond Felton got some whiplash, but was able to return to play. With the loss the Knicks will not reach Mike Woodson’s goal of a 9-2 finish and drop to 32-17 on the season.
Carmelo Anthony did everything he could for the Knicks today in carrying the offensive load on his back en route to a 42 point night. For most of the game the Clippers elected to play Anthony one-on-one on the defensive end and he capitalized by taking advantage of anyone the Clippers threw at him. It was a very efficient 42 for Anthony as well, as he shot 14 of 26 from the field, including five of 11 from the three point line and a perfect nine of nine from the free throw line. This was Anthony’s fifth 40 point game of the season, the most for a Knick since Patrick Ewing did it 11 times in the 1989-1990 season. Anthony also added eight rebounds today, in addition to one steal, block and assist.
No one was able to give Anthony much help today, but one person who did was Raymond Felton. A whiplash/stinger injury could not even keep Felton down today, as he brought his “A” game to the court against one of the best in Chris Paul. Felton had a strong game shooting the ball, going nine of 18 from the field and scoring 20 points, as he got into the lane with ease and was able to finish at the rim. Felton still struggled with his perimeter shot a little, as he was zero from two from the three point line and struggled from the foul line going two for four. Felton also added five assists, two rebounds and two steals.
It was a struggle today for the Knicks on offense, as it was stagnant with no flow for most of the afternoon; only Anthony and Felton had anything going. On the day, the Knicks shot 44.6 from the field, but struggled mightily from deep, going seven of 23 from the three point line for 30.4 percent. The ball movement was not good either, as the Knicks managed only 11 assists on 33 shots made. The lack of offense can be epitomized by the high turnover rate, as the Knicks turned the ball over 16 times tonight.
The Knicks let their offensive struggles affect their play on defense, as the Clippers scored at will and did anything they wanted to on offense. On the afternoon the Clippers shot 51.3 percent from the field and were much crisper on offense than the Knicks. They were able to stay one step ahead of the Knicks with their ball movement, resulting in assists on 21 of their 41 baskets.
The perimeter defense specifically for the Knicks was bad today. Guards Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford did whatever they wanted to against the Knicks, knocking down perimeter jumpers and getting into the paint with will and finishing around the rim. Combined, Paul and Crawford went for 52 points, including six of 12 from the three point line.
Crawford was the leading scorer for the Clippers in the game and led the Clippers bench in dominating the Knicks. The Clippers benched blitzed the Knicks, scoring 48 points and actually outplaying the starters. Eric Bledsoe played well for the Clippers off the bench as well, not missing a shot en route to 13 points scored. On the contrary, the Knicks benched struggled and did not have it tonight. J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire were the only bench players to get significant run for the Knicks tonight and both struggled, as Smith shot one of nine from the field for six points and Stoudemire went four of nine for nine points.