Week 8 of NBA basketball was a decent one for the New York Knicks….kinda. The Knicks took on the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, and Atlanta Hawks, going 2-2 throughout the week. Rotations are beginning to stick, and with consistent play, the Knicks are looking to climb the Atlantic Division standings.
Tuesday’s matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena was another devastating loss, fresh off Sunday’s embarrassing 41-point loss. Kyrie Irving ran circles (literally, ran circles) around Knick defenders. Irving was on rout to 37 points and 11 dishes. The Knicks were unbelievably stagnant on offense. New York attempted only 5 free throws, but chucking up three’s left and right. Amar’e continued his terror off the pine, with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and a pair of blocks. Carmelo Anthony finished the game with 29 points off 19 shots, 8 boards, and 3 assists. Cleveland would rout New York, 94-109.
Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls at home in Madison Square Garden was reason to believe there is still room for hope. The Knicks were the aggressor on defense, picking the opposition’s pockets and blocking even the most difficult shots. Kenyon Martin, at one point, blocked three consecutive shots in one defensive sequence. Midway through the 3rd quarter, the Knicks let the Bulls come back from a 23-point lead. Through it all, defense was the key as the Knicks defeated the Bulls 83-78.
Friday’s loss was a little bitterer, as the Knicks traveled to Boston to take on the Celtics. The last time these foes met was last Sunday, when the C’s blew the Knicks out of their own building after a 41-point loss. Friday’s game came with the same result, another ‘L’, but New York stayed in the game till the end. Carmelo had his shot blocked by Jeff Green late to seal the game for Boston. The Celtics would defeat the Knicks, 86-90.
Saturday, the Knicks took on the Atlanta Hawks in snowy Midtown. Atlanta would outplay themselves, turning the ball over 27 times. The Knicks let the Hawks stay in the game by failing to defend the three-point ball, allowing Atlanta to shoot 15-32 from downtown. The Knicks bench came up when they were needed most, scoring 18 points off 14 shots in the second quarter.
Unlike Friday night, the fourth quarter load that Carmelo Anthony has hauled was taken off his shoulders on Saturday, as his teammates came through in the clutch. One in particular was Pablo Prigioni, who ended the game with 11 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals with only 1 turnover. Speaking of Carmelo Anthony, ‘Melo’ finished Saturday night’s bout with 35 points, 6 boards, and 4 assists. New York would win 111-106.
Knicks Trade Talk:
Rumors are swirling around the Knicks and Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry. Personally, Lowry would fit great with New York. The proposed and accepted trade that was later shot down by Knicks owner James Dolan, was Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace, and a 1st round pick for Kyle Lowry. For once, I have to hand it to Dolan. The Knicks are pick-restricted, handing them out left and right for mediocre acquisitions. Lowry is not worth a 1st round pick, no matter how poor the Knicks play might be.
The Raptors reportedly are not interested in our young wings in Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway, Jr. Toronto already has Demar DeRozan and Terrence Ross. In order for New York to compete in the future, Dolan must keep both Shumpert and Hardaway, and our future 1st round picks.
Next week, the Knicks take on the Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, and Memphis Grizzlies, all who combine for 24-44 overall. For the Knicks to climb out of the historic hole they have dug, they must take advantage of weeks like next week.