Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 87 Pistons: 77
It was not the prettiest game by any stretch of the imagination but the Knicks were able to go into the Palace at Auburn Hills and pull out the victory over the Pistons, giving the Knicks the season sweep. Just like the first three games this season, the Knicks beat the Pistons by double-digits. Without Carmelo Anthony it was a struggle at times for the Knicks to score the ball, but they were able to put it in the basket just enough to beat out the Pistons tonight.
Amar’e Stoudemire came into the game knowing he would be the go-to guy on the offensive end and he came out aggressive. Stoudemire scored 17 points on six of seven shooting and grabbed four rebounds in the first half alone in 11 minutes. Stoudemire finished the night with 22 points, his second straight game with that amount of points, to go along with nine rebounds and one block. Stoudemire came into the game with a great mentality, bringing it on both sides of the ball and providing an offensive punch with Anthony missing the game due to his knee injury.
Raymond Felton was huge tonight for the Knicks, having one of his best games recently. Felton scored a team high 26 points tonight on 10 of 15 shooting from the field. Felton was hot from deep all night, knocking down four of his five attempts. Felton got it going especially in the third quarter when the Knicks let the Pistons take control of the game, but Felton would not let the Knicks lose tonight. Felton was strong on the boards as well, grabbing six rebounds and handing out four assists. Felton was good on the defensive end of the court tonight as well, getting a block and steal in the process.
Jason Kidd and J.R. Smith struggled from the field tonight, but both were still able to fill the stat sheet in other ways. The two combined for 26 points, nine rebounds, 11 assists and seven steals. Both played big parts in the Knicks coming out ahead tonight, especially Smith who heated up right when the Knicks needed it most. Smith started the game three for 15 from the field and zero for five from deep, but got it going at the end of the third quarter. Smith knocked down a three at the end of the third and carried the momentum into the fourth, eventually knocking down four in a row and finishing the game four of seven from the field.
The Knicks dominated the Pistons on the glass tonight as their starting center, Greg Monroe, was out with an ankle injury and rookie Andre Drummond is suffering from a back injury. On the night the Knicks outrebounded the Knicks 48-36, with Tyson Chandler leading the way with 11 on the night. The guards did a great job helping out on the glass as well, as Iman Shumpert, Felton, Smith and Kidd all had at least four rebounds on the night.
The Knicks defense deserves some credit for the ineptitude of the Pistons offense tonight. The Knicks held the Pistons to 77 points in the game, and only 29 in the second half alone. The Knicks were successful in keeping the Pistons out of the paint for large parts of the game and was a big reason they were able to pull out the victory tonight. On the night the Pistons shot only 43.2 percent from the field and 35 percent from the three point line.
The Knicks did not play anywhere near a perfect game tonight and were lucky they were playing against a team without not only their best player but head coach as well. One big area of concern tonight was the turnovers, as the Knicks had 20 of them tonight. 11 of them came in the first quarter alone yet the Knicks still came out of the opening quarter up 24-19. Felton had a great game scoring the ball, but struggled to hang onto the ball throughout the first half, turning the ball over a total of seven times. Stoudemire and Smith each had three of their own as well.
The struggles on offense tonight were alarming at times as the Pistons are by no means a defensive juggernaut. On the night the Knicks shot only 41.3 percent from the field on 31 of 75 shot attempts and 37.1 percent from the three point line on 13 of 35 attempts. The Knicks will need to be more efficient against the better teams in the league as only Shumpert, Felton and Stoudemire shot 50 percent or better tonight.