Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 105 Kings: 106
The Knicks looked like they were going to pull off an improbable 27 point comeback, which would have been the biggest since 1990-1991, but had a dose of their own medicine given to them with a buzzer beating three pointer by James Johnson; it was Johnson’s first three pointer on the season, missing his first 11 attempts on the year. The Knicks were awful on defense in the first half, giving up 71 points but holding the Kings to only 35 in the second half. The loss gives the Knicks a 1-2 record on the road trip and drops their overall record to 21-9. This was a game the Knicks had no right in having a chance to win, but at the same time a game they could have easily won by 25+ points if they had just come out and played from the beginning.
- J.R. Smith is on a tear the last few games and playing some of the best basketball of his career. Tonight was the third straight game he scored 25+ points in, the first time he has done that in his career. Smith was a big factor in the Knicks comeback and put them in a position to win at the end of the game by changing the tempo and forcing will on the Kings. Smith played a game high 43 minutes tonight, stuffing the stat sheet with a game high 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
- Chris Copeland is making a case to get consistent minutes in the rotation even when Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire return from injury. Tonight he was the first forward off the bench, passing Steve Novak on the depth chart and responded well. In a career high 41 minutes, Copeland scored 23 points on eight of 16 shooting and a perfect four for four from the foul line. He gave the Knicks the scoring punch they needed with Anthony and Raymond Felton sitting out because of injury. Copeland will need to step his game up in other areas though, as he grabbed only one rebound tonight to go with only a single assist and block.
- Tyson Chandler gave the Knicks a great effort tonight as well. He scored 21 points in addition to a career high tying 18 rebounds. Chandler would also add an assist, block and steal to his stat sheet, giving the Knicks energy and a presencein the middle they desperately need. His free throw shooting was abysmal though, as he went three of nine from the charity stripe.
- Pablo Prigioni responded off the bench tonight as well. He will need to step his game up consistently as Jason Kidd cannot shoulder the point guard load by himself until Felton comes back from injury; he will need help and Prigioni can provide that. In only 18 minutes of playing time, Prigioni handed out nine assists and turning it over only twice. Prigioni will play a huge role to the Knickscontinuingtheir great play as they battle injuries to main players.
- The perimeter defense was atrocious tonight for the Knicks as the Kings were making it rain from deep. The Knicks surrendered 71 points in the first half as the Kings were on fire from all over the court. For the game, the Kings shot 15 of 30 from the three point line, good for 50 percent. That is remarkable, as they average only about six makes per game on the season.
- Kidd had an uncharacteristic game tonight, turning the ball over five times. He had two backbreaking turnovers in the last 90 seconds of the game; both being stolen by DeMarcus Cousins on passes intended for Chandler. The performance tonight is a weird one because of how the game started, but there are some concerns that Kidd may not be able to shoulder the point guard duties for an extended period of time. There were times tonight Smith had to bring the ball up the court and initiate the offense when Prigioni wasn’t on the court.
- The free throw shooting again was awful for the Knicks tonight and is becoming a troubling trend. They shot 12 of 20 from the line tonight, good for 60 percent. To put it in perspective, the Kings shot only 10 percent less from the three point line tonight than the Knicks did from the foul line. This is something that has to improve, as if they knocked down their season percentage from the foul line the Knicks would be 22-8 not 21-9.