Post Game Recap
Final Score: Knicks: 98 Raptors: 100
The Knicks are playing some bad basketball right now and are in the midst of their worst stretch under Mike Woodson. Tonight’s loss runs the Knicks losing streak to four games as the same problems with inconsistent effort being their demise yet again. The Knicks brought it for only half of the game on the defensive end and struggle on offense all night resulting in yet another lose. The Knicks were unable to get into any type of rhythm as a lot of whistling blowing by the referees and poor ball handling. With the lose tonight the Knicks drop to third place in the Eastern Conference as the Pacers victory catapults them ahead of the Knicks. If not for the Knicks old friend Jeremy Lin and the Rockets beating the Nets the Knicks would have fallen even further down the standings.
J.R. Smith played one of his better games of late as he played under control and within himself tonight. Smith scored 19 points on seven of 12 shots, including three of six from the three-point line. Smith is an integral part of the Knicks success so he getting back on track would be a welcome addition to a struggling Knicks team. Tonight Smith also added four rebounds and four assists, playing a nice complete game and being one of the only bright spots for the Knicks tonight.
Jason Kidd stuffed the stat sheet tonight, filling up the scorecard. Tonight Kidd helped a little in every category, scoring six points, grabbing a team high tying seven rebounds, dishing four assists, getting two steals and one block as well. Kidd played 32 minutes, still a little too much for him if he is to stay fresh at the end of the season but the Knicks needed him tonight. Kidd has to get more aggressive on the offensive end though as he passes up too many open jump shots. Passing up open shots hurts the offense as it ruins the flow and throws everything out of whack. Passing on an open shot is worse than a miss in most cases.
Carmelo Anthony did everything he could in carrying the Knicks offense tonight as he scored 32 points on 11 of 24 from the field. Anthony continues to struggle with his jump shot as he went one of eight from the three-point line, equaling a three for 20 stretch from deep for him. Tonight Anthony also added six rebounds and four assists. His defensive lapses will have to become few and further between for the Knicks to be successful though as the rest of the players follow his act while on the court.
The Knicks let the referees affect their play too often. Every time the whistle is blown a Knicks player has something to say about it to the referee. They need to just focus on what is going on on the court and control what they can. Letting the referees get into their heads is a recipe for disaster as it throws them off their game. The Knicks mental toughness is not where it needs to be.
Rudy Gay went off on the Knicks tonight, as the defensive assignments must have made Gay feel like he was back in high school. The Knicks deployed Kidd on him for most of the night and it became even easier when the Knicks would switch on screens as Gay got to torment Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire. On the night Gay scored 32 points on 11 of 23 shooting from the field. He also added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Gay has brought a different culture and attitude to the Raptors who have won seven of 10 since his arrival, with two of those victories over the Knicks.
The turnovers are starting to pile up for the Knicks. They still have the least turnovers per game in the NBA but their number continues to climb as they are up to 11.6 now. Tonight they turned the ball over 17 total times. That number is way too high and attributed to the Knicks problems on the offensive end tonight. Multiple moving screen violations were called against the Knicks tonight, resulting in almost 20 percent of their turnovers on the night. Anthony, Chandler and Stoudemire all had three turnovers tonight with most of Chandler’s and Stoudemire’s of the moving screen variety.
Kenneth Teape @teapester725 – Knickswag Contributor
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