Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rangers Shutout for Second Straight Game

The New York Rangers were shutout 3-0 for a second consecutive game Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Michael Ryder scored just 47 seconds into the game, and provided all the offense the Habs would need. Ryder dumped the puck off the back boards, and it took a bounce off the side of the net to Ryder who was all alone in front, and Ryder slid the puck past Marty Biron.

The Rangers carried the play for most of the first period following the early goal, but could not beat Montreal goaltender Carey Price. Price stonewalled Marian Gaborik late in the first period as Gaborik got behind the Canadien defense and tried to go five hole, but Price was up to the challenge. Less than two minutes after Gaborik was stopped by Price, Tomas Plekanec came down on a two-on-one and rifled a shot by Biron to give Montreal a 2-0 lead after one period.

The Rangers outshot Montreal 17-10 in the first period, but still found themselves in a 2-0 hole.

W2W4: Brooklyn Nets vs Utah Jazz

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

March 30th, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Utah Jazz

Pre Game News and Notes

The Brooklyn Nets will be playing the Utah Jazz on Saturday night looking to bounce back from a rough blow out loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday, where they were beaten easily 109-87.

- Starting to Slip Away

J.R. and Melo Lead Surging Knicks Past Bobcats


By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Post Game Recap

Final Score: Charlotte Bobcats: 102 New York Knicks: 111

The Knicks continued their winning streak by beating the Bobcats Friday night.  It was almost a carbon copy of the last game the Knicks played Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, as they opened up a huge 30 point lead going into halftime to only allow the Bobcats to claw their way back in the second half, again cutting the Knicks lead to single digits in the fourth quarter.  The win put the Knicks win streak at seven games, the first time they have had a winning streak this long since Linsanity last February.  The win also put the Knicks 3 ½ games ahead of the Nets for first place in the Atlantic Division as the Nets fell in Denver. 


Nets Get Destroyed in Mile High City

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

March 29th, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Denver Nuggets Post Game Recap

Final Score: Nets 87 Nuggets 109

The Brooklyn Nets, who were playing very well on their circus road-trip, ran into a buzz kill in the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets blew the Nets out of the gym, as Denver’s home court is a place where nobody wants to play, as they have now won 18 straight games in the Pepsi Center.


Friday, March 29, 2013

W2W4: Charlotte Bobcats vs. New York Knicks

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Pre-Game News and Notes

Charlotte Bobcats vs. New York Knicks

The Knicks enter Friday night’s game looking to extend their six game winning streak against the lowly Bobcats.  To put into perspective just how poor the Bobcats have been, the Heat’s 27-game win streak that was snapped earlier in the week is more wins than the Bobcats have had since last season combined.  This is a game the Knicks cannot lose as the Bobcats are an awful road team, losing their last eight games on the road by an average of 23.1 points per game.  Here are some things to watch for tonight.

-Can J.R. Continue His Streak?

W2W4: Brooklyn Nets vs Denver Nuggets

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

March 29th, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Denver Nuggets

Pre Game News and Notes

The Brooklyn Nets will be in the Mile High City of Denver Colorado on Friday night to play the Nuggets, who have emerged as one of the better teams in the Western Conference in large part due to their fantastic play at home.

- Don’t Forget to Breathe

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nets Crush Trail Blazers With Monster Game From Reggie Evans

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

March 27th, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers Post Game Recap

Final Score: Nets 111 Trail Blazers 93

The Brooklyn Nets were able to pick up a great win in the Rose Garden, which has been a tough place to play all year for visiting teams, and with the 111-93 win the Nets move to (4-1) on their circus road-trip. The win also guarantees that the Nets will finish with a winning season for the first time since 2005-2006, and with the win on the road it ties a franchise record of 20 road wins in a season.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Knicks Hold On Despite Furious Memphis Comeback Attempt

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Post Game Recap

Final Score: Memphis Grizzlies: 101 New York Knicks: 108

The Knicks came out on fire against the Grizzlies Wednesday night and cruised to a victory at Madison Square Garden.  The Knicks led by as many as 30 points but allowed the Grizzlies to get as close as five points in the fourth quarter after taking their foot off the gas.  The win ran the Knicks winning streak to six games, currently the longest in the NBA with the Heat’s 27 game winning streak ending tonight at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.  With the win the Knicks will be guaranteed to stay ahead of the Nets by at least two games and as many as three depending on how the Nets fare in Portland against the Trail Blazers.  The Knicks will look to extend their winning streak Friday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.


  • J.R. Smith is in the midst of quite possibly his best stretch of his career.  Tonight was the second straight game he scored at least 20 points in a half and second in a row he went for over 30, the first player to do that off the bench since Al Harrington in February of 2010.  Smith also tacked another game onto his game streak of shooting 50 percent or better.  Smith made a living at the free throw line tonight, knocking down 12 of his 13 attempts en route to a game high 35 points.  He shot 10 of 18 from the field and once again cut back on his three point attempts, taking only seven and knocking down three.  Smith also tied for the team high with seven rebounds and handed out two assists.  The Knicks have to love what they are getting from Smith right now as he is finally using his athleticism to his advantage.
  • The Grizzlies disrespected Shumpert by putting slow footed power forward Zach Randolph on Iman Shumpert and he responded with as well as any player could have as he hit his first six shots of the game, four of which were three pointers.  Shumpert ended the game with 16 points, as he failed to score after making those first six attempts.  He added three rebounds, one assist and two steals as his hot start set the pace for the Knicks and was a big reason why they blew the Grizzlies out in the first half.  
  • The Knicks defense in the first half could not have been any better.  They were rotating and closing out on three point shooters and shutting down the Grizzlies attack.  They allowed the Grizzlies to score only 41 points in the first half.
  • The rebounding for the Knicks tonight was also very good.  They were outrebounded 34-31 but that has to be taken as a positive for the Knicks who were shorthanded to start the game up front and got even smaller when Marcus Camby was ejected from the game early in the third quarter.  Kenyon Martin was in foul trouble for most of the night leaving the Knicks scrambling with lineups including Chris Copeland, Steve Novak and Carmelo Anthony playing center.  For all of the problems they faced, losing the rebounding battle 34-31 is a win in my book.

  • The offense, even with the struggles they had in the second half, ended up with very good percentages.  The Knicks shot 51.4 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from the three point line.  The hot start enabled the Knicks to open up a huge margin over the Grizzlies, maybe too big of a margin as the Knicks took it easy in the second half and had to fight towards the end to pull out the win.
  • The effort in the second half on both sides of the court was not there for the Knicks in the second half.  They did not have the same energy or focus as they allowed the Grizzlies come within five points in the fourth quarter after being up by as many as 30.  The Knicks offense stalled while the defense relaxed, as the Grizzlies outscored the Knicks 60-39 in the second half.  The Knicks will need to give effort for all four quarters if they expect to make noise in the playoffs, playing only half of the game will not cut it.
·         The Knicks fouled too often in this game, a big factor in the Grizzlies getting back into the game.  On the night the Knicks had 25 fouls, equaling 35 free throw attempts by the Grizzlies.  The Grizzlies were able to take points off the lead without time running off the clock as the Knicks got into the penalty with less than three minutes passed in the third quarter.  The Knicks also lost their composure for a little while in the second half, as Marcus Camby picked up two technical fouls early in the second half and Anthony followed that up with one of his own when he felt the referees weren’t giving him enough calls.

W2W4: Memphis Grizzlies vs. New York Knicks

Bleacher Report
Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Pre-Game News and Notes

Memphis Grizzlies vs. New York Knicks

With all of the attention being on the Heat currently and their 27-game winning streak it is understandable that people are not aware that the Knicks actually hold the second longest win streak in the NBA currently at five games.  The Knicks will look to run that streak to six games tonight with a win against the Grizzlies.  This is the second matchup between the teams this season with the Grizzlies taking the first meeting 105-95 all the way back in November.  Here are some things to look for in the game tonight.

-Can Knicks Compose Themselves?

The last time these two teams took the court together the game was very physical with little altercations taking place throughout the game.  The Knicks were unprepared for this and let it get the Grizzlies’ physicality and the referees get into their head and throw them off their game.

J.R. Smith got into it with Jerryd Bayless and picked up a technical foul and head coach Mike Woodson also picked up a technical for arguing calls.  The Knicks were unhappy with how physical the game had gotten and how the referees handled it and did not respond in a good manner.

Throughout the season the Knicks have been rattled by teams that play them physically and get under their skin.  Will that continue tonight?  Both teams will look different tonight on the court with plenty of roster moves and injuries changing the landscape of both teams.

Rasheed Wallace said it best after the first game, “They’ve still got to come to the Garden.”  The Knicks should respond differently tonight being home and prepared more for what to expect.

-Injury Concerns

For the second night in a row the Knicks will not be the only banged up team taking the court.  The Knicks will most likely be without All-Star center Tyson Chandler again as he told reporters earlier today that he was most likely sitting out with pain still lingering in his neck. 

Thankfully for the Knicks they will be going up against a team for the second straight night without their best big man as the Grizzlies’ starting center Marc Gasol will miss the game with an abdominal injury.  Gasol is a vocal point in the Grizzlies’ offense and he will be missed a lot on the court; but not by the Knicks.

The Knicks should let Chandler rest as much as he needs.  The playoffs are much more important than these games currently right now and they haven’t missed him too much on the court, going 5-2 without him with big contributions from his fill-in Kenyon Martin.

-Bench Brings It

The Knicks have fared quite well in the second games of back-to-backs, going 10-6 thus far this season.  One reason for this is a strong bench, something the Knicks have.  The Knicks bench averages 40.8 points per game, second best mark in the NBA.

Led by J.R. Smith the Knicks bench is capable of carrying the offensive load for long periods of time.  They will need Smith to have an efficient game again like he did last night against the Celtics as the Grizzlies are second in the NBA in defensive efficiency.  He will not able to do it alone and will need help from the likes of Steve Novak and Chris Copeland if the Knicks are to score enough to beat the Grizzlies.  

W2W4: Brooklyn Nets vs Portland Trail Blazers

By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

March 27th, 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Pre Game News and Notes

The Brooklyn Nets will be heading to Portland to play the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, as the Nets will be looking to get another win on their circus road-trip, which they have gone (3-1) so far, only losing to the Los Angeles Clippers.

- Joe A No Go

Joe Johnson will miss his second straight game due to a right quadriceps contusion, and it is expected that Keith Bogans will get his second straight start filling in for Johnson. Johnson’s injuries are starting to add up on him late in the season, as he has been battling a sore heel, and now is being forced to sit out with an injury to his quad. Johnson’s health has to become a concern to the Nets, as he is only averaging 13.3 points in his last 10 games. MarShon Brooks is also feeling a bit under the weather, but is expected to play, and will be getting minutes with Johnson out.

- Rookie of the Year

The Nets and more specifically Deron Williams will have their hands full on Wednesday with the Trail Blazers young Point Guard Damian Lillard, who seems poised to win the Rookie of the Year award. Lillard has led the Trail Blazers to a very good home record at (22-11), and (33-37) overall. The likely Rookie of the Year is averaging 19.1 points per game on 43% shooting, with 6.5 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game. Williams has been playing very good lately, but so has Lillard, which should make this a very fun match-up to watch.

- Can Humphries Do It Again

Power Forward Kris Humphries had one of his best games of the season in the win over the Phoenix Suns, as Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo played Humphries 28 minutes after playing only 26 minutes in the entire month of March previous to the Suns game. While getting the extended minutes Humphries scored 17 points on six for 12 shooting to go along with snagging eight rebounds. If Humphries can start playing like he did against the Suns, which looked like the Humphries of the past two seasons the Nets might be able to do something in the weak Eastern Conference, as they have gotten almost zero production this season from Humphries, who signed a two year 24 million dollar deal in the off-season.

This game will be far from easy for the Nets, who will be playing their fifth game on the road-trip, and the Trail Blazers are a very dangerous team on their home court.

Knicks Extend Division Lead with Rout of Celtics

Getty Images
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Post Game Recap

Final Score: New York Knicks: 100 Boston Celtics: 85

The Knicks were able to reel of their fifth win in a row and extend their lead in the Atlantic Division with a blowout with over the Celtics tonight in Boston.  The loss of Tyson Chandler did not hurt the Knicks as much tonight as the Celtics were without their own All-Star big man in Kevin Garnett.  It was a slow start to the game as neither team scored for nearly the first three minutes, but the Knicks were able to shake the slow start and pull away from the Celtics in the second quarter.  This was a big win for the Knicks who will get right back at it Wednesday night back at Madison Square Garden against another tough opponent in the Memphis Grizzlies. 


  • J.R. Smith played outstanding tonight for the Knicks off the bench.  He played a super efficient game, going 13 of 24 from the field en route to a game high 32 points.  He attacked the basket viciously, scoring a large majority of his points in the paint and from the foul line, where he went five for five.  Smith was also made himself present on boards, grabbing seven rebounds; four of which were of the offensive variety.  Smith also protected the ball well on offense, not turning the ball over once.  He made an impact on the defensive end of the court as well with three steals and also playing good defense on whoever he was asked to guard.  He also had a game high +17 on the +/- ratio, showing that the Knicks played extremely well with Smith on the court tonight.
  • As a team tonight the Knicks were very good with holding onto the ball.  They turned the ball over only eight times, giving up only 10 points to the Celtics off those turnovers.  On the contrary, the Knicks forced 20 total team turnovers on the Celtics and converted them into 17 points.  The pressure the Knicks put on the Celtics on the defensive end allowed the Knicks to control the tempo of the game and not allow the Celtics to get into a flow offensively.
  • Jason Kidd showed again how integral of a part he is to the Knicks team and their success.  He did not stuff the stat sheet but does the little thing to help this team win.  He is the one who will get the Knicks set straight on their defensive assignments and the one who calls and sets up the plays on the offensive end.  Kidd tonight scored five points, grabbed six rebounds and had one steal.  He was a big part of the Knicks stretching out their lead in the first half and sustaining it in the second half as his basketball IQ really helps a team as a second coach on the court. 
  • Pablo Prigioni got the start again tonight and continued to flourish in his expanded role.  There have been talks recently of Prigioni possibly not returning to the NBA next season as he was not happy with his role on the Knicks; he is showing why he deserved a bigger role with the team with how he has played recently.  In 30 minutes tonight Prigioni scored seven points, grabbed three rebounds, handed out five assists and had two steals.  Prigioni is a jack of all trades player that has earned more playing time with how he has responded to his expanded role with the Knicks dealing with so many injuries. 
  • The Knicks attacked the paint relentlessly and it paid off big time in the end.  The Knicks scored 50 points in the paint tonight and another 14 from the free throw line.  That is a recipe for success for the Knicks who were unable to get it going from deep tonight.  If Smith attacks the basket like this more often good things will happen for the Knicks.  Another thing the Knicks dominated in the paint was the offensive glass.  The Knicks were able to offset any shooting woes they had by grabbing 15 offensive rebounds and giving themselves multiple opportunities to score.
  • The Knicks were unable to get it going from the three point line tonight, knocking down only eight of their 28 attempts, good for 28.6 percent.  Thankfully the Knicks were smart enough to lay off the three point attempts and find another way to score tonight, but that has not always been the case for this team.  Outside of Anthony’s eight attempts, no Knick took an amount they do not usually take.

NBA Power Rankings: Week 21
We are all currently witnessing NBA history as the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets are both sporting winning streak of at least 15 games.  That will be something to keep an eye on as the Heat look to take over the longest winning streak in NBA history and the Nuggets try and move up the Western Conference and get home court in the playoffs.  The New York basketball scene is starting to heat up as well as the Knicks and Nets are playing for the Atlantic Division title. 

1.) Miami Heat (55-14) – 26 wins in a row. That is all you need to know.  Sure a large amount of them are against lottery teams but the Heat doesn’t make the schedule.  They are handling business and if they beat the Magic, Bulls and Hornets they will have a matchup with the Spurs for win number 30 on Easter Sunday.

2.) San Antonio Spurs (53-17) – The Spurs continue to roll along and will be getting a boost with the return of Tony Parker; not that they missed him too much as they went 6-2 without their leading scorer and assist man. 

3.) Denver Nuggets (49-22) – The Nuggets are on an impressive winning streak of their own, winning their last 15 games in a row and six in a row on the road.  Their winning streak is not getting as much attention as the Heat but is something worth keeping an eye on.

4.) Oklahoma City Thunder (52-19) – A soft spot in the schedule could not have come at a better time for the Thunder who lost to the Nuggets and Grizzlies before bouncing back against the Magic and Blazers.  A couple easier games against the Wizards, Timberwolves and Bucks will lead into a game against the Spurs.  That game against the Spurs very easily could be for the Western Conference title.

5.) Memphis Grizzlies (47-22) – Losing Marc Gasol to an abdominal injury could not have happened at a worse time.  They should let him rest for the regular season so that he is healthy come playoff time.  The Grizzlies will also need a little help to avoid going to Denver in the first round of the playoffs.