Knicks 106 Hawks 104
Tonight the New York Knicks held off an Atlanta team that was on their heels and hungry for a win. Carmelo Anthony had 42 points and carried the Knicks to a gut check win 106-104 to move their win total to 27-15. This win was just that, a WIN, however New York struggled defensively all night, as Jeff Teague torched them most of the game.
Things That Looked Good:
- Carmelo Anthony continues his absolute torching of the NBA. After a slow start Melo carried the team to a win with a 42 point performance shooting 15-28 from the field and 9-12 from three. Where would the Knicks be without Anthony?
- Amare Stoudemire looks like he is getting better every game, as he scored 18 points and had 8 rebounds. His defense is still suspect, but getting better as games go on. His offensive touch and jumper are coming along nicely. I am starting to see his “Hakeem” like moves in the paint as well. This is a very positive sign.
- Raymond Felton was like day and night from last night’s performance. He contributed with 12 points, 10 assists and had his jumper back to where it was early in the season. His handle on the ball still needs some work, but for a guy that missed this many games he looked like he was moving well and ballin’.
- JR Smith shot 7-15 from the field and dropped in 18 points and hopefully snapped himself out of a horrible shooting streak. The Knicks will need JR to bring it on both ends of the court if the Knicks want to do damage in the playoffs.
- Pablo Prigioni only played 10 minutes, however his contribution was underrated. He hit 2 three’s and had 4 assists to help a struggling Knicks team in the first half.
- Iman Shumpert played 19 minutes and had 8 points on 3-5 shooting. His long jumper and three point ball is looking solid at this point in the season and I am pleased where he is at, however Shump’s defense and driving ability has not where it was pre injury and I will look for him to get better as he slowly rounds into real basketball shape.
Things That Need to Improve:
- Knicks defense is still struggling mightily. Despite the praise that Jon Barry had for the Knicks defense of late, they did not stop the ball getting to the basket and allowed Jeff Teague to hurt them all night. They gave up 104 points, which is not acceptable on a championship level. Their defense later in the game was borderline pathetic in my book and almost cost them them this game.
- The Knicks continue to turn the ball over the last few weeks. Tonight they committed 14 turnovers. They need to get back to single digits in the turnover department.
- Will the real Steve Novak please stand up, what has happened to Steve? He continues to be non-existent in all aspects of the game. As we can see, Woody is using him less and less and if he is not careful he will lose all his minutes, especially if Shump is playing well.
- Tyson Chandler is usually on the positive side of my post games, but tonight I was surprised to see in the box score he only had 3 points, 2 rebounds in 36 minutes. How is this possible? He is the anchor of the NY defense and should never be held down like that. I am sure it was just a one time thing and nothing to worry about, cross your fingers.
- Jason Kidd left the game in the first quarter tonight with a sore back and did not return. We all cross our fingers and hope that Jason is not out too long and gets back healthy to help this team the way he was earlier in the season.
- The Knicks bounce back from a horrible loss last night in Philly with a nail biter at the Garden. If you watch every game like I do and I am sure you all do, the Knicks have not looked good for quite a while. They need to get stops and tighten up their defense. Along with those things, the Knicks ball movement has definitely gotten better over the last week, but needs to continue to get better late in game. We all know Melo is the go to guy and holds the ball way too long for the Knicks to get quality shots, he needs to share the ball late in games.
- The only reason the Knicks got this nail biting win was because of the terrific play of Carmelo Anthony. He carried the team on his back like no other player can, however we all know in the long run this is not what will get this team over the hump. Winning is everything and tonight was a win, so I will not complain too much. I just want everyone to think about what I am saying and keep a close look at the facts. Ball movement and defense wins games and the Knicks right now are not doing these two things enough to win a championship. Let’s go NY, Let’s get it!
Peter A – Knickswag