Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Poor Execution Dooms Knicks Down Stretch Against Wizards

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

Another night, another way the Knicks lose a basketball game with the final score being 102-101. The Knicks heard boos in the third quarter falling down 15 but were able to get back on track and actually take the lead in the third quarter, reeling off a 22-5 run. But they met their demise in the fourth quarter in the form of second-year guard Bradley Beal, who was making his return from a nine-game absence. Beal killed the Knicks in the fourth quarter and was also responsible for the game-winning basket with 6.9 seconds left as he blew by Beno Udrih to the basket. Confused looking as ever the Knicks did not use a timeout as Carmelo Anthony took his time up the court and took an awful shot at the buzzer that fell short. It resulted in another tough loss as the Knicks record falls to 7-17 with their next game being Wednesday in Milwaukee to face the Bucks.

Player of the Game: Beno Udrih

Jim O'Connor/USA TODAY Sports
Udrih is getting the player of the game not because of stats that will blow you away but because of how he stepped up for the team tonight. With 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter Pablo Prigioni injured himself and was unable to return to the game. In stepped Udrih, who played the remaining 22 minutes of the game. Udrih finished the game with the highest +/- on the team at +14. His final stat line was 12 points, five assists, two rebounds, one steal and an important goose egg in the turnover column. Udrih did give up the game-winning basket, albeit the execution for the Knicks on the position was poor, and missed a free throw with 24 seconds left in the game but had a solid performance stepping up for the injured Prigioni.


Jim McIsaac
Carmelo Anthony played a great game on both ends of the floor. When the Knicks needed him most he stepped up, scoring 13 of his 32 points in the third quarter the Knicks were able to make a comeback in. Anthony also got the ball movement going on many possessions as the Wizards constantly double-teamed him throughout the second half. Anthony rounded out his big scoring night with five rebounds, three assists and four blocks. There was not much more Anthony could have done to get the Knicks a victory tonight except executing the final possession better.

JR Smith and Iman Shumpert shooting struggles have been well documented but both broke out a little bit tonight. Smith and Shumpert combined to knock down seven three pointers on the night but also helped immensely in other spots throughout the game. Smith grabbed four rebounds, handed out six assists and had three steals as well. Shumpert had a team high nine rebounds to go with two assists and some much needed defense.

It was a weird game defensively for the Knicks much like Saturday night against the Hawks. They forced a high amount of turnovers, 20 tonight, but the Wizards shot the ball at a high rate. The turnovers forced by the Knicks are nice but they have to find out a way to put together a full defensive performance as they were lucky to be in this game at all with how the Wizards were shooting the ball. John Wall was the main culprit of the turnovers, as he had seven in the game.

The Knicks struggled to shoot the ball throughout the game as a team but one player who was on top of his game offensively was Tim Hardaway Jr. The rookie shooting guard came up big off the bench for the Knicks, scoring 14 points on 5-6 shooting, including 2-3 from both the three point and free throw line. Hardaway also hauled in three rebounds as he provided a spark to a Knicks team that lacked any energy in the first half. Hardaway Jr. is continuing to become more and more comfortable on the court and is starting to round his game out in more ways than just scoring.


The shooting for the Wizards was unacceptable. They knocked down 54.2 percent of their shots overall and an even higher 61.1 from the three point line. Martell Webster lit the Knicks up from deep, going 6-8 from beyond the arc and 9-13 from the field overall. He had a team high 30 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists and one block and assist. Webster was not alone in the show put on from the perimeter as the aforementioned Beal knocked down 3-5 of his own three point attempts. Beal was unstoppable in the fourth quarter as he carried the Wizards to a victory with Wall only scoring one point in the second half.

Jim O'Connos/USA TODAY Sports
He may have turned the ball over frequently but Wall still had solid game overall, continuing the trend of opposing guards torching the Knicks. Wall finished with 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Beal handled the ball throughout the fourth quarter as well and finished with 21 of his own. The Knicks have to find a way to shore up the perimeter defense or long, disappointing nights like tonight will stay the regular thing.

Andrea Bargnani and Amar’e Stoudemire were unable to get it going consistently on the offensive end tonight. Bargnani struggled shooting, going 4-12 from the field but he battled on the boards with six rebounds and protected the rim with two blocks. Stoudemire was bound to have a letdown game as he was most likely a little fatigued heading into the game. After playing four games in five nights and heavy minutes in the last, two Stoudemire looked to have less bounce in his game tonight. Both will look to bounce back Wednesday against a very energetic front line that the Bucks employ.

The last 24 seconds of the game have a lot of questions that need to be answered. The first one should be why Udrih was in the game at all. With Beal on fire and Wall burning the Knicks throughout the night it was head scratching why Udrih was put on an island to guard Beal one-on-one; Udrih should have been on the bench next to Mike Woodson. The next thing in question is why Woodson did not call the timeout after the made basket. Not calling a timeout resulted in Anthony taking his time up the court and not getting a good attempt to win the game for the Knicks. It was a poorly executed 24 seconds that epitomized the Knicks season; questionable decision making and hurting themselves more than any team could

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