Post Game Recap
Final Score: Trail Blazers: 105 Knicks: 100
The Knicks once again spotted an opponent a huge lead, eventually fighting back but again falling short in the end; this time it was the Blazers doing it to the Knicks, pulling out a 105-100 victory. The Knicks did not come out with any intensity tonight, again lacking effort on the defensive end as the Blazers as they trailed the entire game, by double-digits most of the time, outside of a 2-2 tie.
Carmelo Anthony returned from a two game absence with a bang, scoring 45 points. It was an extremely efficient 45 for Anthony as well, as he went 14 of 24 from the field, going five of 11 from deep and 12 of 14 from the foul line. Anthony was aggressive on the boards as well, securing seven rebounds. He also added four assists, playing a great all around game for the Knicks.
His stat line wasn’t great, but seeing Amar’e Stoudemire on the court at all was a positive sign. He looked rusty from the start, but started to get going in the second half once he got his confidence up. In the first half Stoudemire went zero for four, but looked much better in the second half going three of four. Stoudemire looked to have a good amount of his athleticism still intact, as he had two dunks and an impressive blocked shot on LaMarcus Aldridge. Stoudemire will need some time to get into game shape and build chemistry with his teammates, but just seeing him in an NBA game is a good sign.
J.R. Smith continues his strong play for the Knicks, giving them the legitimate second option behind Anthony. Smith continued his streak of 25+ scoring games tonight, going for 28 points tonight. Smith was a huge help in other areas as well for the Knicks tonight, grabbing a team high 11 rebounds to go along with five assists and three steals. Smith has been on fire for the Knicks recently and shows no signs of slowing down.
The Knicks were badly outrebounded tonight by the Blazers, 47-37. Aldridge was uncontainable, grabbing 14 rebounds, seven offensive and seven defensive. J.J. Hickson dominated as well, grabbing nine rebounds. The Knicks were not aggressive on the boards tonight, as Smith led the team. Tyson Chandler has not looked like himself recently, with tonight being another example as he grabbed only seven rebounds.
Speaking of Chandler, he has not been playing well recently. He is not bringing the same intensity on the defensive end, looking soft at times and getting manhandled by lesser opponents. Tonight Hickson went to town on the Knicks, scoring 18 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Chandler is looking far from the Defensive Player of the Year he was last season as the onus to lead the Knicks defense, sometimes by himself, seems to be taking its toll.
Part of the reason the Knicks found themselves in such a deep hole from the start of the game was that their defense was not in sync. The Blazers were attacking the rim with ease and scoring at will en route to a 41 for 81 night from the field, good for 50.6 percent. On the night, the Blazers dominated in the paint, scoring 48 points there compared to only 36 for the Knicks. Hickson led the way in the paint dominating for the Blazers.
Steve Novak again had no impact on the game, ending the night -12. Novak missed all five of his shots from the field and grabbing only one rebound in 20 minutes. Novak will start to see that minutes played number dwindle if he does not start impacting the game in some capacity. He is too much of a liability on defense to play big minutes when he is not knocking down three pointers. He has not improved any areas of his game from last season and is picking overly picky with his shot selection. Once Stoudemire starts to get going, his minutes are going to increase, meaning someone will lose theirs and Novak is a prime candidate for that right now.
Kenneth Teape @teapester725 – Knickswag Contributor
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