By Max Marcilla
Knicks 90 Bucks 83
It was a tale of two halves in the Knicks season opener at the Garden, but after building a 25 point lead and then losing it in the second half, Tyson Chandler and company stepped up to give the Knicks their first win.
The first half was as good as anyone could imagine. The defense was swarming, takeaway totals were increasing by the second, as it seemed as if the ball didn’t stop moving on offense. The Knicks walked into half up 56-31, a 25-point lead.
However, once the 8-minute mark hit in the third quarter, all hell broke loose for the Knicks. Numerous traveling violations, a handful of atrocious passes, and a load of wasted possessions took the Knicks lead from up 24, to down 1. But in the final minutes, Tyson Chandler took over.
Chandler helped wrap up the game by scoring on an alley-oop off a Ray Felton pass and then a block on the other end of the floor, to give the Knicks the ball and the win.
Max’s Player of the Game:
Raymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony added 18 and 19 respectfully, but despite their good performances, Tyson Chandler was my player of the game. Chandler brought back the defensive intensity he showed in the regular season last year by recording five blocks. He was a leader on the court, which is just what every team wants from their best defensive player.
In addition to a marvelous defensive game, Tyson knocked down a mid-range jump shot and enough dunks and put backs to create a highlight reel.
Peter from Knickswag Game Thoughts:
My player tonight was between Shump and Tyson. I chose to go with Tyson who elevated his game in the late 4th quarter with blocks and dunks. The Knicks plain and simple blew a 25+ point lead. After the Bucks took a 1 point lead the Knicks slowly regained their heads and settled down for the home stretch. Tyson’s energy on offense was an impact, but defensively late in the 4th he dominated with his tenacious energy that made me think of him as a rookie. Can he keep this going? I am not sure of that but for the Knicks to do damage this year Tyson has to have MANY games like this. Game 1 is in the books, Knicks 1-0.
The Knicks next task is to beat the 0-1 Bulls in Chicago tomorrow night. It’s always tough to play a back-to-back, but especially when you have to travel. The game will certainly be a task to test the Knicks toughness early in the year, as well as a test for Derrick Rose and his Bulls.