By Max Marcilla
Knicks 100 Wolves 109
The score was close, but the game was ugly, as the Knicks fall to 1-2 on the season.
Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert got in early foul trouble and Raymond Felton was having a tough time shooting and moving the ball. The defense was horrendous, as you would guess after a 40-point first quarter. The Knicks couldn’t guard the big bodies of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic, as the T-Wolves scored 20 points in the paint and 9 from the line in the first quarter.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, the offensive part of their game was just as bad, as the turnover numbers (while they only had 16 total) were high in the early stages of the game. Their passes were lazy, not smart, and the Knicks were simply not thinking.
The Knicks made a run in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to as little as two, but delay-of-game call after the lead was cut to two killed the momentum and the Wolves took the game away cruising to a win at MSG.
Player of the Game:
The Knicks didn’t have a player of the game due to the fact that absolutely no one stood out in this game. However, if there is one player to look at, it is Andrea Bargnani. The former #1 overall pick got booed in his first game at the Garden, but a 14-point (6/10 shooting) night can change the minds of Knicks fans. However, Coach Woodson didn’t put him in during the fourth quarter, when the Knicks needed scoring. Head Scratcher?
Carmelo Anthony’s stat line is an interesting one as well. He shot poorly (8/21) and turned the ball over 5 times, but grabbed a marvelous 17 rebounds and scored 22 points.
Melo has struggled so far this year shooting the ball, but his rebounding abilities were a pleasant surprise. However, it’s going to take more than grabbing boards for Melo to be the star of this team. Tonight, he didn’t show it.
Knickswag Thoughts On the Game:
Tonight the Knicks had another tale of 2 halves. In my opinion the big line-up is not working right now, and not sure if they should take the time to see if it will work. Even though Andrea had a better shooting game and Melo crashed the boards heavily, the Knicks got themselves into to deep of a hole in the 1st quarter with sloppy play and lack of flow. The lack of fluidity is a big issue for me. THE BALL NEEDS TO MOVE!
The Knicks ball movement in the 1st quarter was non-existent. Giving up 40 points in the first quarter is what did the Knicks in tonight. They must get off to better starts in order to compete with the better teams in the league. For them to do that they need to swing the ball around and find the open man. Sounds easy right? Well in a way it is easy. This is the fundamentals of basketball.
How do they do that? I first thought the big line-up was the way to go, but I am starting to think that the 2 PG line-up with Pablo/Ray might be worth looking at again. I believe the Knicks are 16-1 with that type of line-up, so if the “big line-up” doesn’t work why not go back to what did work.
At first I was not a fan of that type of starting rotation, but with a few slow starts and proof to go with it, I think Mike Woodson should not be so stubborn and re-think his ideas before the Atlantic Division gets away from them. I am not panicking, but the Knicks must correct their inconsistencies for them to battle the elites.