Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 89 Celtics: 86
Knicks Pull Out Hotly Contested Game in Boston
The Knicks were able to pull out a much needed victory against a division rival tonight in the Boston Celtics, winning in Boston for the first time since November 24th, 2006, snapping a 13-game losing streak. It was a surprisingly quiet game for the ramifications, especially after how their first meeting this season ended with Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Garnett at each other’s throats. The win moves the Knicks ½ game behind the Miami Heat for first place in the Eastern Conference with a 26-14 record.
From the second he checked into the game Amar’e Stoudemire looked as if he was on a mission; he played with a ton of energy and brought intensity to a Knicks squad that looked like they could really use a spark tonight. Stoudemire made his presence felt on both sides of the court ash continues to show an improved post game and better effort on the defensive end while rounding into shape. The aggressiveness was evident from Stoudemire; he was called for two goal-tends but had two blocks as well, showing the improvement on the defensive end and giving the Knicks more than Tyson Chandler tonight. On the night, Stoudemire finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, finishing with a +11 on the night, the highest mark of the Knicks tonight.
Carmelo Anthony did not have the greatest shooting night but he was able to step up when the Knicks needed him tonight. Anthony scored a game high 28 points to lead the Knicks and was able to give some much needed help in the fourth quarter; a much different outcome than the first game when Anthony could not find the basket down the final stretch of the game. Anthony showed up on the boards as well, tying Stoudemire for a team high nine rebounds on the night. Anthony finished his stat line with three assists and two steals. This time around Anthony got the last laugh.
Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni ran great floor games for the Knicks tonight. Kidd and Prigioni combined for 18 points, five rebounds, six assists (half of the team’s amount), three steals and only two turnovers in 48 minutes. Kidd and Prigioni did a great job of leading the Knicks tonight and will get help after tonight as Raymond Felton is expected to return from his injury this weekend.
The free throw shooting, which has been an Achilles heel for the Knicks recently, was very good tonight. They went 17 of 20 from the line tonight, led my Stoudemire’s seven of eight. Stoudemire has made a living at the line recently, as he is getting to the line with regularity and knocking them down in the last three games as he still tries to get all his explosiveness back.
J.R. Smith struggled shooting the ball as he has fallen into another shooting slump recently. Tonight, Smith managed to only knock down three shots on 16 attempts. He also made a boneheaded play in the first half when he attempted a pass in the lane between his legs to Tyson Chandler behind him, which resulted in a turnover and benching. But in normal J.R. fashion, he came up big down the stretch knocking down a dagger three pointer and playing great defense down the stretch to force two Celtics’ turnovers.
Once again Steve Novak was non-existent in the game; if the box score didn’t say he played 20 minutes you would not have known he was even on the court. This was the second consecutive game that Novak went scoreless in, taking only one shot tonight and missing. If he is not knocking down shots he has no business being on the court for the Knicks but Mike Woodson made an outstanding decision tonight to go to zone to help mitigate the deficiencies of Novak and Stoudemire on defense.
Kenneth Teape @teapester725 – Knickswag Contributor
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