By Max Marcilla
Knicks 106 Rockets 109
I’ll focus on the call later, but as far as the game as a whole, the Knicks played a pretty good game for the second night in a row. As always, they had their struggles, but the last two games might’ve brightened up some of the Knicks fans.
The first quarter was a pretty good one for New York, and even though a buzzer beating three pointer gave the Rockets a five point lead, the Knicks saw something they hadn’t seen for a while: 2012 Melo.
In the first quarter, Anthony scored 12 points, slightly over his first quarter average last season (which was best in the NBA), and Anthony shot a very good 5-7.
The second quarter brought some struggles early, but by the last few minutes, it was the 7-foot Italian Andrea Bargnani that took over. In his best performance as a Knick, Bargnani played his best ball in the second and third. In that third quarter, Bargnani locked down and played HARD, TOUGH and PHYSICAL defense on Dwight Howard. Bargnani even stunned the world when he blocked Howard: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=563139063758640&l=e1bf4134fb
I still cannot believe that I wrote positive things about Andrea on defense.
The fourth quarter was an interesting one, to say the least. The Knicks made a comeback, Melo showed why he was in the MVP race last year, Dwight Howard was taken out of the game until the 2-minute mark, and then the unexpected went down at the Garden.
Carmelo Anthony foolishly fouled Dwight Howard with about 1:40 in the game. The NBA rules state that on an away-from-the-ball foul, any player on the court can shoot one free throw, and then the team will get the ball back. Melo’s unawareness of the situation gave the Rockets a free point, which ended up being big.
Fast-forward about 90 seconds, and the Knicks have the ball down by the three with 5 seconds left. Melo was inbounded the ball, fouled by James Harden, put up a ridiculous shot, but the foul was called before the shot. Instead of a continuation, a three pointer and a chance to take the lead on a free throw, Anthony was “rewarded” with two free throws.
It was a controversial call, one that personal I don’t agree with, but I’ll leave it to you to decide.
http://twitpic.com/dlaovn (GIF credit: @SBNationGIF)
It was a TOUGH loss for the Knicks, but certainly a good sign to see the Knicks play well against a good team in a back-to-back. Next up for the Knicks is the Atlanta Hawks in New York, the team the Knicks defeated yesterday.
Peter From Knickswag’s Thoughts:
Yup, I am a broken record. I will make this short and sweet. When the Knicks moved the ball tonight they went on runs and got easier baskets. When they ISO’d J.R. or Melo they got stagnant offense that led to Houston fast breaks, resulting in Rocket runs. I am confused…why do the Knicks continue to do the same thing every day? If this is the way they are going to play they will never win on a consistent basis. Doesn’t Woody know this?
I am in fear of what this season will bring if they do not figure this out. Whether it’s a new coach, a leader at the point, or Melo wakes up and figures out that ball movement is key to a championship run, the New York Knicks will be in trouble all year. If some of these things do not change then I guess I should just copy and paste this article and repeat it every game.
Sleep on what I just said and let me know how you feel. Stand together Knicks nation.