Knicks 112 Nuggets 106
Just like last night the New York Knicks have another sloppy half. Last night the Bulls’ defense was the culprit, but tonight it was all about two things, incorporating Melo back into the offense and lack of rest.
With Melo re-introduced back into the line-up and the absence of Rasheed Wallace due to a sore foot, the Knicks started off the game with LITTLE ball movement. Melo seemed a little bit rusty, as it is definitely understandable. The ball movement was the major issue for me. Sometimes when a team loses their star for a few games, the rest of the team has outstanding chemistry. This is what we all saw against Miami Thursday night; however Saturday night against the Bulls the Knicks looked overwhelmed with the Bulls’ defense and the absence of Melo.
Tonight they started off rusty, but their play picked up in spots. Melo looked off as he had no confidence in his outside shot early, so drove the lane instead, resulting in free throws for Carmelo. Raymond Felton’s connection with Tyson Chandler has continued and I can’t help think about the Ray and Amare duo coming soon. The combo of Denver’s running style and the Knicks tired legs, led to Denver’s hot shooting the first two quarters.
The Knicks led at the half 61-58 with Melo scoring 17 Pts, mostly from the charity stripe, 10-14. Tyson Chandler’s chemistry with Raymond Felton resulted in 10 Pts. 4 Rbs. JR Smith continued to struggle in the first half with 4-11 shooting and 12 Pts. Steve Novak played 9 minutes and did not take any shots. In order for the Knicks to be a dynamic team, Novak must be more consistent like he has the past few games.
It was obvious that the Knicks were tired this game. Tired legs, jet lag, whatever you want to call it. 4 games in 5 nights is tough on every team in the league and as a winner you must fight through it. The Knicks had every chance to take it to the Nuggets, but tired legs and poor shot selection resulted in horrible shooting. We did not see any continuity through 3 quarters in this game.
With the Knicks down by 8 in the early minutes in the 4th period, I thought this one was slipping away. Tired legs and lack of ball movement was my story line of the night. However, Steve Novak had different ideas. His two three pointers and a Tyson dunk got the Knicks right back in the game with the floor leadership of Jason Kidd. The Knicks got hot at the right time and kept the momentum going through out the 4th. Jason Kidd and Melo capped off the game with veteran play and scoring. NY wins 112-106
JR Smith continues to struggle with his shot along with mental blocks and mistakes. I understand he can create his own shot, but sometimes he makes foolish mistakes and jacks up bad shots. This is something we need to keep an eye on. Knicks stay undefeated at home and got hot at the right time in the 4th. Tyson Chandler had another great night with 15 Pts. and 12 Rbs.
Rebound battle: Denver 40 Knicks 39. Danilo Gallinari finished with 21 Pts. 9 Rbs. The Knicks shot a 43% from the field and 40% from downtown.
Peter A. Knickswag Chief Editor