Knicks 113 Magic 97
Knicks overcome a sluggish defensive effort in the 1st half to overpower the undermanned Orlando Magic 113-97. The Knicks add a win to the column and are now 28-15. The Orlando Magic got off to a hot start, but could not stop the Knicks in the 4th which is the Magic’s Achilles heel.
Things That Looked Good:
- Melo breaks Richie Guerin’s record of 29 straight games of 20 points or more. He is now at the 30 mark and counting. Besides that, Melo chipped in with 5 assists and grabbed 7 rebounds. Interesting comment after the post-game interview, Melo told Tina Cervasio “ It’s pretty simple, when you get double teamed you pass the ball”. I hope this translates into Melo’s game the rest of the year.
- Everyone is saying, “Amare is back”. I am afraid to say this, but it does look like he is playing at a high level. He was 7/7 tonight and had 14 points, 4 rebounds and 2 block shots. He definitely needs to pick up his rebounding, however Stat is looking explosive and a bona fide 2nd option at this point in the season. His defending has really become a lot better than we all could have expected. Lets hope he stays healthy.
- Pablo Prigioni pitched in with 11 points and 3-6 from three. He is a solid role player who gives the proper minutes to relieve Raymond Felton and run the offense with ease. It’s always easier when the shots are falling, but PP is a true point guard and an important role player moving forward.
- Tyson Chandler started the game with a pick and roll basket from Ray Felton and never took his foot off the gas pedal. He finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in only 32 minutes. Tyson is the only big right now since the services of Marcus and Sheed are unavailable at this moment. It is important that Tyson stays in the flow of the game and he must stay aggressive.
- Steve Novak sighting! Coach Woodson made it clear early today that he would try to get Steve more involved in the offense, with better looks. Mission accomplished! Steve got hot late in the game, but this was a much needed confidence booster in the worst way. He needs to get himself open by running through screens; Steve only dropped in 8 points, but got many solid looks.
- JR Smith was in a slump for a hot minute, but tonight he did more than just shoot. He added in 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists; solid contributor to say the least.
Things That Need to Improve:
- Defense, defense, defense, this Knicks team gets off to slow starts and allows the other teams players to get into rhythm which really hurts the Knicks early in the game.
- Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert have to do a better job defensively, especially keeping guards in front of them. I realize that both players are coming back from injuries and chemistry and stamina will come in time. I understand that these things will take time to gel, but in the meantime the Kicks are getting off to slow starts. If their offense is not flowing then the Knicks are in trouble very quickly and go down by double digits.
- The Knicks tonight shot 57% and 41% from beyond the arc. They won the rebounding battle 36-31 and dished out an outstanding 30 assists. That’s what you get when you shoot at a high percentage. The Knicks also only committed 9 turnovers, which is a huge improvement over the last few games.
- Both teams were hot early and seemed like the Knicks defense was a “no show” again. Even though the Knicks offense was in sync, the Magic were right on NY’s heels throughout the 1st half. I was alarmed watching the Orlando guards get to the basket with ease early on the game. Even though the Magic fizzled out in the end, they were eating up the Knicks at will. Once again, if the Knicks want to be contenders they need to step up and shut down the perimeter.
Peter A – Knickswag