Post Game Recap
Final Score: Pistons: 85 Knicks: 99
Head Coach Mike Woodson set a goal for the Knicks heading into the All-Star break; finish the last 11 games 9-2; so far so good as the Knicks completed a perfect home stand Monday night against the Pistons. This is the fourth time in franchise history that a five game home stand was swept and the first time since 1973. The Knicks are currently riding a five game winning streak and are 6-1 since Woodson gave the challenge to his team. This was a game the Knicks dominated right from the start, getting the wire-to-wire victory, leading by double-digits in the first quarter and by as many as 26 in the game. Next up for the Knicks are two road games in Washington and Minnesota before hosting the Clippers in a big matchup Sunday afternoon at the Garden.
The common theme in the first two blowouts against the Pistons was how efficient the offense flowed; tonight it was no different. The score was not as high, so only three Knicks were in double-digits this time but the offense still had a good flow to it, at least for the first half. The Knicks were able to pull away in this one because of their three point shooting, as they knocked down 14 of their 34 attempts; good for a 41.2 percent clip. The three point shooting against the Pistons has been almost too good to be true, as the Knicks have knocked down 42 three pointers in the three games thus far this season against the Pistons.
Carmelo Anthony, who saw his streak of scoring 20+ points in a game end Saturday against the Kings, got right back on the horse Monday night. Anthony matched his total points scored from Sunday, nine, in the first quarter Monday night and did not slow up. Anthony would pile 27 points on a Pistons team that had no one to matchup with Anthony with Tayshaun Prince being traded last week. Anthony shot a very efficient 10 for 17 from the field, including three of five from deep. Anthony also added seven rebounds, something the Knicks desperately needed against a Pistons team with a frontcourt that gets at the glass. Anthony rounded out his stat line with three assists.
Tyson Chandler added his name to Knicks lore Monday night with his rebounding prowess. For a third consecutive game Chandler ripped down 20 rebounds, becoming the first Knicks since Willis Reed to grab 20 or more rebounds in three straight games. After not having any such game in his Knicks career before this in 105 games Chandler has reached the 20 rebound plateau three straight times and will look to continue his streak against the Wizards Wednesday night. It will be interesting to see how the Wizards statisticians score Chandler’s tip outs on offense, as not every considers that an offensive rebound like they do at MSG.
A big reason for Chandler’s gaudy rebounding stats is the play of STAT, Amar’e Stoudemire. With how much teams need to concentrate on Stoudemire, focus leaves Chandler even more, leaving him wide open on the opposite side for rebounds. Stoudemire continued his dominance on the offensive end off the bench for the Knicks Monday night, pouring in 20 points on an efficient eight of 14 from the field. Stoudemire was finishing at the rim with ease, showing an array of post moves and finishes around the basket that Knicks fans were not accustomed to seeing when he first arrived here. Stoudemire went a perfect four for four from the foul line and added three rebounds. Stoudemire also showed some effort on the defensive end, something that has been as consistent this year as it has been at any time in his career, resulting in two steals and one block.
For the third consecutive game the Knicks turnover numbers were high and if not for an inferior opponent would have been hurt more by it. Tonight the Knicks turned the ball over 15 times, meaning they have turned the ball over 14 or more times five of their last six games played. Thankfully for the Knicks, the schedule has been kind to them and they haven’t had to play the toughest of competition so it has not hurt them badly yet as they also won five of those six games.
The Knicks may have blown out the Pistons tonight but the end score is not actually a good barometer of how the game actually went. Tonight, the first half set up another Kings type finish for the Knicks, who were dominating every facet of the game like they should against an inferior opponent; then the second half started. The effort was just not the same on defense and the offense stalled, looking as if they lost their edge because they had a big lead. In the first half the Knicks gave up only 36 points; in the second they surrendered 49. Giving up the 49 points is not even too alarming, it is the fact they let the Pistons hang around and never truly put them away. Against the better teams in the NBA the Knicks will have to put in full 48 minute games, not taking off a full half because the results will not be as nice as the one Monday night.
Kenneth Teape @teapester725 – Knickswag Contributor
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