By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls
Post Game Recap
The Knicks fought hard on the second night of a back-to-back but came up short in the end in Chicago against the Bulls, losing by a score of 82-81 thanks to a Derrick Rose floater with 5.7 seconds remaining in the game. The Knicks showed some good resolve tonight as the Bulls enforced their will upon the Knicks but they never gave in. The Knicks went to their best player in Carmelo Anthony for the last possession but he clanked a long jump shot off the rim, a common theme for Anthony tonight against a tough Chicago defense. The Knicks will have a couple of nights off before returning home to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday night at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 PM ET.
Player of the Game: Andrea Bargnani
|Howard Simmons/New York Daily News|
Bargnani got the nod for the starting lineup tonight and looked like a disaster at the start. He struggled to get anything going again on the offensive end as he committed three offensive fouls and missed all three of his shots. Woodson showed some much needed confidence in Bargnani going back to him to start the second half and he responded in a big way. He knocked down four of his five shots for nine points and kept the Knicks in the game. He also played and competed hard enough on the defensive end that Woodson was able to get Tyson Chandler some rest at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth by pairing Bargnani with Amar’e Stoudemire. It was a positive night for Bargnani on a night that the Knicks did not have many things go their way.
- Tyson Chandler could have easily been the player of the game again tonight for the Knicks. Once again he anchored the Knicks defense and was huge tonight on the boards against a very good rebounding Bulls team led by Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson. Chandler finished with 19 rebounds tonight and kept multiple possessions alive for the Knicks with his patented tap outs. He also added four more blocks and another steal tonight as he challenged any Bulls player that came at him in the paint. Only one play was really made against Chandler, it just happened to be the game winner by Rose following Chandler only making one of two free throws in a tied game. The Knicks defense will be hard to score upon if Chandler continues playing like this for the better part of the season.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. will get plenty of opportunity to show that he should be a part of the rotation with JR Smith being suspended and he is taking full advantage thus far. Tonight he showed a ton of confidence on the offensive end, spurring the Knicks fourth quarter comeback with a three pointer. He also showed the ability to finish in the open court and played well on the defensive end even though he was forced to play a lot of small forward tonight with Iman Shumpert being in foul trouble. Hardaway Jr. had the second highest +/- on the team tonight with a +7, behind only Chandler’s +8.
- Amar’e Stoudemire made his season debut tonight and made it through without any problems. He looked a little rusty and out of sync but was able to make two of his three shot attempts en route to five points. He added one rebound, assist and steal to his stat line for the night but did have three turnovers in his 11 minutes of playing time. It will be interesting to see how Woodson works all his big men into the rotation as Kenyon Martin played only four minutes tonight.
- The Knicks struggled holding onto the ball last night against the Bucks and were on pace to blow that amount of the water tonight in the first half, as they totaled 14 turnovers in the first half alone. But they were able to calm down in the second half and keep the Bulls in the half court, enabling to build a comeback and get back into the game. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come for the Knicks as the turnovers in the first half were the big difference in the game as the Bulls got easy baskets and were able to play from ahead for a lot of the game.
- The Knicks have some kinks to work out but it was disappointing to see them rely so heavily on Anthony down the stretch. The Knicks were able to take the late lead in the game by moving the ball and getting everyone involved in the offense but after gaining the lead the offense stalled; the players stood around and waited for Anthony to play hero ball. This is in part a fault of the players on the court but also Woodson. He is the head coach and needs to get the players prepared and into good position to succeed in situations like this. Anthony had a solid game outside of his shooting percentage, pulling down six rebounds, handing out six assists and getting six steals. Just for good measure I’ll throw in there to continue the six theme, Anthony had a -6 on the game and combined for, you guessed it, six blocks and turnovers.