Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 100 Timberwolves: 94
The Knicks did just enough to win tonight as a game Timberwolves squad gave them everything they could handle in a 100-94 victory. It was not the prettiest of victories, but a win is a win and it counts all the same in the win column. Again there was not effort given for the whole game, making for an uneven performance and full effort being given down the stretch for the Knicks to pull it out tonight. The win tonight moves the Knicks to a 32-16 record with their next game being Sunday afternoon against the visiting Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Carmelo Anthony carried the Knicks offense tonight and they needed every point he gave them. Anthony shot 50 percent from the field, going 13 of 26, including a rough two of nine from the three point line. Anthony also made the most of his trips to the foul line, knocking down eight of nine free throws to end the night with 36 points. Anthony brought it on the glass as well, grabbing a team high nine rebounds on the night. Tonight showed what having a closer and go-to scorer can do for a team, as the Timberwolves faltered down the stretch with no one to score the basketball and the Knicks thrived with Anthony taking over.
J.R. Smith played a good overall game tonight, giving the Knicks some good effort on both sides of the court. On the night Smith shot six of 14 from the field, scoring 15 points and having a team high +14 +/- ratio. Smith handled the ball well as well, dishing out four assists and not turning the ball over in 35 minutes played. He would also add eight rebounds on the night, the second highest amount on the team. Smith also had the dagger shot tonight, making the”and one” lay-up to ice the game after a Luke Ridnour turnover.
Amar’e Stoudemire put in another efficient night as well, going five of seven from the field and scoring 11 points. He came into the game and gave a lot of energy off the bench, as Stoudemire deserves to have an expanded role in the offense and more plays be called for him as there aren’t many players in the NBA, especially coming off the bench like he does, that can contain him much less stop him. Tonight Stoudemire had a poster dunk over Timberwolves center Greg Stiemsma, dunking it over him for the “and one”. It looked like vintage Stoudemire on that play, who also totaled five rebounds on the night.
The ball security was on point tonight, ending a streak of high turnover games. Tonight the Knicks turned the ball over only eight times, as only Raymond Felton and Stoudemire had multiple turnovers in the game.
Steve Novak was aggressive tonight and it was a nice thing to see. Too often Novak is just out on the court adding nothing to the game; there have been multiple times this season Novak has had literally zero impact on the game, putting up zeros across the stat sheet. Tonight Novak took nine shots, knocking down four of them, en route to 11 points. Novak is an integral part of what the Knicks are looking to do; is he can show this aggressiveness against upper echelon teams and knock some shots down, the Knicks would be unstoppable.
Again the perimeter defense was not good tonight. Guards Luke Ridnour and Ricky Rubio torched the Knicks all night, combining for 38 points, 14 assists, four rebounds and two steals on the game. Ridnour was especially good in the third quarter when he scored 12 points while not missing a shot, making all five of his attempts. The Knicks will need to tighten up their perimeter defense because they are getting destroyed by lesser point guards now; playing against the better point guards I shudder to think what will happen.
Kenneth Teape @teapester725 – Knickswag Contributor
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