Knicks 103 Celtics 102
By Max Marcilla
This game didn’t conclude the way the Knicks had expected, but nonetheless still ended in a win. The Knicks will start off the pre-season with a 1-0 record with some positives and a few negatives. Let’s talk about it for a minute.
A bloated 23-point lead was blown in the 4th quarter thanks to Celtics stand-out Chris Babb (who is a dead ringer for Matt Barnes), however a clutch shot by rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. with just over eight seconds left gave the Knicks the lead for the eventual win. Hardaway was a standout for the Knicks, scoring 16 points on 60% shooting in his first game action since the summer league.
Despite Tim’s clutch shot and his marvelous day offensively; Iman Shumpert took the spotlight for three of the first four quarters.
Ironically, on the same day Coach Mike Woodson announced that there would be a competition between Shumpert and J.R. for the starting job, Iman lit up Providence, Rhode Island, taking a huge step closer to cracking the starting 5.
Previously Shumpert’s main criticism was a lack of an offensive game to combat his defense mastery, but nobody looked better on the Knicks tonight than Iman Shumpert. His final stat line was 7/7 from the field, with 18 points.
While a win is always a good thing, the real point of pre-season is about seeing what the talent on the team is all about, especially with so many new faces in town. For the Knicks, it was Andrea Bargnani under the New York spotlight, and eureka, he did perform well.
Bargnani missed a few shots early, but showed a lot of confidence on the offensive end; using head fakes, pump fakes, and a few other moves in his bag of tricks to get into the lane, and to the line.
The biggest concern with the former Raptor was his defense, even though he did fall behind a few times, the +7 on the +/- is a good sign of things to come with Bargnani in the orange and blue.
Metta World Peace was another Knick being watched, as he played a very good all-around game. Just like World Peace usually does, he played well defensively and showed-off some offensive skills, scoring 13 points on 5/9 shooting.
Next up for the Knicks in preseason play is the Toronto Raptors on Friday night. Look for Woodson to test certain combinations in his rotation.
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