By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Monday, November 25th, 2013
New York Knicks vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Post Game Recap
It did not take long for the Blazers to take control of this one as they led virtually from the get go and never really let the Knicks get back into the game. The Knicks went down by as many as 22 in the first half as they did not mount much of an attack through the opening two quarters. The second half they were able to get things going a little better but digging out of a 22 point hole is not a recipe for success, as they were only able to get it down to seven in the fourth quarter. The loss tonight ran the Knicks losing streak to six games and continue heading in the wrong direction. The Blazers in the meanwhile ran their winning streak to 11 games and have beaten the Knicks now 11 of the last 13 games in the Rose Garden. Things do not get much easier for the Knicks as they continue their west coast trip to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers Wednesday night at 10:30 PM ET.
Player of the Game: Carmelo Anthony
|AP Photo/Don Ryan|
Anthony did everything he could tonight for the Knicks but it was not enough. He tried doing everything he could to get the Knicks a win but he is virtually the only player giving the Knicks anything positive. Tonight Anthony shot efficiently from the field, going 13 of 25 en route to 34 points. He also added a game-high 15 rebounds as he has stepped up big time in the glass with Tyson Chandler sidelined. He also added three assists, all which came on consecutive possessions in the third quarter to get the Knicks back into the game. He also turned the ball over only two times in the game, really an astounding number because of how often he has the ball in his hands. Anthony tried his best on the defensive end but when you are the one doing all of the scoring, rebounding and leading on the court it is hard to get on him for being the weak spot on defense.
Kenyon Martin was like a Swiss army knife for the Knicks Monday night as he gave them a little bit of everything on both ends of the court. In the first quarter he was helping out a ton on the offensive end, finishing the game with 10 points and six assists. He also got his normal work done in the paint, grabbing five rebounds in his 24 minutes on the court. Martin is a high energy player that brings a lot of positives to the court for the Knicks; the only thing holding him back is limit on the minutes he can give them on the court.
|AP Photo/Don Ryan|
Beno Udrih had another solid performance for the Knicks tonight as the starting point guard after a down one Saturday against the Washington Wizards. Udrih tonight scored 13 points, going five of seven from the field and perfect three of three from the three point line. He also added five rebounds and five assists as he is providing the Knicks the best point guard play they have had all season; not saying much with how poorly they have played but he has given some the Knicks some good games recently. The problem for Udrih was on the defensive end and there will be more of that shortly.
Iman Shumpert has struggled recently amide multiple trade rumors that he has been involved in. Tonight he was particularly bad, putting up zeroes across the board except for the one steal he made. He went zero for three from the field and finished with an unsightly -22 on the night. J.R. Smith did not help much when he came on the court either, finishing the game two of eight from the field and finishing with five fouls in only 25 minutes in the game. With how poorly both Shumpert and Smith played it is even more peculiar that Tim Hardaway Jr. did not register a minute in the game tonight. It is also fair to question why Torre Murry is not being given a shot as he can’t do much worse than what his teammates are offering now.
|AP Photo/Don Ryan|
The effort was not there tonight right from the start. The Blazers won this game in the first quarter and were able to turn it on and off the rest of the game whenever they needed. The Knicks cannot just walk into games and think they are going to win because they are not good enough to do that. The effort given in the second half was there but why it is not there for a full game is unacceptable. Having and off game here and there is acceptable but not brining effort every night is something that cannot happen. The execution needs to improve as well as the Knicks just seem to lack basketball IQ sometimes when they need it most.
The perimeter defense has been lacking all season for the Knicks and it struggled once again tonight. Damian Lillard continued the trend of opposing point guards ripping the Knicks apart as he went for 23 points and six assists. He got some help from the underrated wing tandem of Nicolas Batum and Wes Matthews as well. Batum stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 23 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and one steal and block. Matthews did what he does best; knock down timely three pointers and play good defense as he scored 17 points to go along with six rebounds and made life as difficult as he could for Knicks players while they were on offense. Aldridge was the fourth Blazer in double-figures tonight as he scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds but was not very efficient, shooting only seven of 20 from the field.