By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Friday, November 8th, 2013
New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Bobcats
Post Game Recap
The Knicks were able to exact some revenge tonight as they bounced back nicely against the Bobcats with a 101-91 victory after a disappointing loss Tuesday night. The Knicks came out of half time like world beaters, ripping off a 15-0 run after the Bobcats scored the opening basket of the quarter to cut the Knicks lead to two points. The Bobcats are not a top team in the NBA by any means but tonight was an encouraging step in the right direction for the Knicks as they played possibly their best game of the early season. Tonight also marked the head coaching debut of Patrick Ewing, who was taking over for Bobcats head coach Steve Phillips had a heart procedure earlier in the day. The Knicks will be back on the court Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden for a matinee against the San Antonio Spurs as J.R. Smith will be making his season debut.
Player of the Game: Andrea Bargnani
Bargnani is the first multiple time winner of the POTG award and tonight it was well deserved as he had his best game as a Knicks. Bargnani came out firing tonight and ended up scoring 25 points on 11 of 25 shooting from the field as he stayed aggressive and showed confidence all night from the field. The confidence carried over to the other parts of his game tonight as he added eight rebounds, three assists and five blocks. To put into perspective how good of a performance it was for Bargnani tonight, the eight rebounds match his season total in the previous four games and he had no recorded a block during that course of time either. It was only one game against a less opponent but in the first game without Chandler on the court Bargnani came up huge and showed that he is capable of holding down the center spot until Chandler returns.
- Carmelo Anthony was well deserving of POTG honors as well as he had his most efficient game of the season on the offensive end, going 11 of 22 from the field and finishing with a game high 28 points. Anthony added eight rebounds and handed out six assists as the ball was moving well for the Knicks tonight led by Anthony’s willingness to make the extra pass and hit the open man. The six assists led the Knicks tonight, who had 25 as a team; this comes after a Wednesday disaster at MSG against this same Bobcats team when the Knicks only had 12 assists in the game, a number they matched in the first half alone tonight.
- The assists weren’t the only positive thing for the Knicks tonight on offense, as they shot the ball extremely well from the three point line as well. The Knicks knocked down 12 of 26 attempts from the three point line, led by three from Bargnani and Pablo Prigioni each. The Knicks were also able to keep the turnovers down for most of the night as they ended the game with 12, seven of which that came in the fourth quarter alone. The low turnover rate forced the Bobcats into a half-court game, something they are not built for without Al Jefferson being on the court.
- It was a quite night in the scoring department for Iman Shumpert but he was a big help to the Knicks bringing home the victory tonight. Shumpert only scored five points in 39 minutes but added seven rebounds and four assists. Shumpert’s rebounding will be a big lift with Chandler on the shelf for an extended period of time. Overall tonight the Knicks did a good job on the glass, losing only 41-37 in the game but dominating the offensive glass. The Knicks pulled down 12 offensive rebounds in the game, led by five from Anthony and three from Bargnani. Shumpert will have to continue doing positive things like he did tonight to continue receiving playing time as Mike Woodson’s personal pet project Smith returns Sunday from suspension.
- The Knicks struggled tonight to keep the Bobcats guards out of the paint and that has nothing to do with Chandler being hurt. The perimeter players, specifically Raymond Felton, have to do a better job of keeping opposing guards out of the paint. Kemba Walker struggled with his shot tonight but caused havoc in the paint tonight along with his backup Ramon Sessions. The two combined to go 15 of 15 from the foul line and 40 points, hand out seven assists and turn the ball over only once. The Knicks would help offset the loss of Chandler if they can do better at keeping opposing guards out of the paint, taking some pressure off of Bargnani as a rim protector.
- With the guards attacking the basket so ferociously the Knicks ended up fouling a lot and sending the Bobcats to the foul line too often. The Bobcats went to the foul line 30 times tonight and knocked down 25 of them, compared to only nine attempts and five makes for the Knicks. The foul differential was the only thing keeping the Bobcats in the game as the Knicks were able to come away with a 10 point victory even though they were more than tripled from attempts from the line.