Friday, November 15, 2013

Knicks Lose Hard Fought Game to Rockets

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

November 14th, 2013

Houston Rockets vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

It was a valiant effort by the Knicks tonight but they were unable to overcome some mental shortcomings and questionable calls from the referees as they fell at Madison Square Garden to the Rockets 109-106. It looked as if almost all of the Knicks were not ready for the quick turnaround tonight after playing last night in Atlanta against the Hawks. It is hard to beat a team as talented as the Rockets when you have only two players on top of their game but that is the uphill battle the Knicks faced tonight that they were unable to overcome. Saturday marks the next game for the Knicks as they will take on the Atlanta Hawks again, this time at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 P.M. ET.

Co-Players of the Game: Andrea Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony

Bargnani and Anthony were the only two Knicks to show up tonight and compete against the Rockets.
Bargnani continues to put good game after good game together for the Knicks. It is too bad the team isn’t getting the wins at the end because this is the best stretch of basketball that Bargnani has had in a long time. Tonight Bargnani shot extremely well on the offensive end, going nine of 12 from the field a perfect three of three from the foul line en route to 24 points. He also added four rebounds, a block and surprisingly tough defense on Dwight Howard. Bargnani is known as a poor defender but he showed a lot of heart and toughness on the defensive end tonight against Howard. He drew two charges and made life difficult for Howard, who shot only one of five from the field. The Rockets weren’t trying hard to get Howard involved in the offense but Bargnani virtually shut him down whenever they did. Bargnani looks like a totally different person for the Knicks right now and is very encouraging sign moving forward.

Anthony put on a show on the offensive end, scoring 45 points on 17 of 30 shooting from the field, including two of four from deep and nine of 11 from the foul line. Anthony also added 10 rebounds as he was very active on the glass when he wasn’t putting the ball in the basket. It was another heavy minutes night for Anthony but he was in the zone tonight and nothing could slow him down other than himself. Anthony made a boneheaded move by fouling Howard with less than two minutes left, resulting in the Rockets picking whichever player they wanted to send to the foul line. The blunder gave the Rockets a free point as James Harden knocked down the freebie but he made up for it at the end, or so we thought. Anthony made a heave with five seconds left on the clock but the referee said the foul occurred before the shot attempt, sending Anthony to the line for two free throws instead of a possible four-point play. It was a disappointing end to the game for Anthony and the Knicks but without his dominance throughout the game they aren’t even in that position.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nets Blown Out by Kings

By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)

Wednesday, November 13th 2013

Brooklyn Nets vs. Sacramento Kings

The Brooklyn Nets opened up their west coast road trip with a 86-107 loss to the Sacramento Kings. This snapped the Kings 5 game losing streak.

Brook Lopez was the high man for the Nets with 16 points. Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston were next at 13 a piece.

The Kings won in spite of DeMarcus Cousins being in foul trouble the entire game; playing only 22 minutes total. Cousins still managed to score 15 points and grab 9 rebounds. Greivis Vasquez had his best game as a King against the Nets, scoring 17 and had 12 assists. Marcus Thornton came off the bench for the first time this season for the Kings and put in 24 points.

Knicks Back Up Talk, Win in Atlanta

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Atlanta Hawks

Post Game Recap

The Knicks talked of a turnaround heading into Atlanta and that is what they delivered. Must win games in November are not something people take seriously but this was something of a game the Knicks needed to win. They have a daunting matchup with the Houston Rockets tomorrow night on the second night of the back-to-back and James Dolan opened his mouth once again promising the Knicks would win tonight. They did not put together a full four quarters but they had a dominating opening and final quarter to control the game. Overall it was a solid, not outstanding, team effort put forth by the Knicks tonight as they were able to keep Dolan’s promise and take a victory back to Madison Square Garden with them for tomorrow night’s matchup against the Houston Rockets at 8 P.M. ET on TNT.

Player of the Game: Iman Shumpert

Daniel Shirey/USA Today Sports
Shumpert has been part of a lot of trade rumors in his short career and they became very loud this week as the Knicks and Nuggets were supposedly engaged in trade talks revolving around a Shumpert for Kenneth Faried sway. The Nuggets rejected and Shumpert is still a Knick, which is a good thing and tonight’s final line epitomizes it. Shumpert had a tough shooting night, going two of eight from the field but he did not let that negatively affect his game in any way. He handed out a career high nine assists tonight, grabbed six rebounds and played his usual menacing and ferocious defense with four steals. Shumpert had a momentum swinging play in the fourth quarter as well, stealing an inbounds pass and hitting the slashing Raymond Felton for a layup. Shumpert is the exact type of glue guy the Knicks need as he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to impact the game and is more than willing to let the rest of his game do the talking.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How Tyson Chandler's Injury Impacts the Knicks

Getty Images
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The Knicks are about to embark on an all too familiar stretch of games without a regular from their starting lineup. This time, once again, it is center Tyson Chandler, who has a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula. Last season the Knicks were without Chandler for a stretch of games because of a bulging disk and the “small-ball” lineup was born with Pablo Prigioni being inserted into the starting lineup alongside Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin. This season head coach Mike Woodson planned on using a bigger lineup with the acquisition of Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors but the small lineup looks like it is going to be reappearing for the Knicks for the next 4-6 weeks. This is something that could actually work to the Knicks advantage. Offensively, this is something that could really blossom. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nets Fall to Unbeaten Pacers

By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)

Coming off a depressing defeat to the Washington Wizards in overtime, the Nets did not right the ship in Brooklyn against the Pacers; losing 96-91 on Saturday. Both teams were on the second half of  a back to back. The Nets had an opportunity to send the game into overtime in the final seconds but Joe Johnson couldn't connect with an open look from 3.

MVP Candidate Paul George put in 24 points and was clutch down the stretch hitting big shots. David West put in 18 points as well, and seemed to have an open jump shot the entire night. Whether giving West that shot was by design or simply missed assignments I couldn't tell as it happened so often.

Positives -

The Brooklyn Nets bench continued to impress. Thought to be their weakness going into the season has turned into one of their strengths. It was their bench that saved the Nets from the game turning into a blowout early in the first quarter. Mason Plumlee out worked his counterpart Ian Mahimi for 3 rebounds and 6 points. Livingston showed once again that he can run the 2nd unit effectively. Unfortunately, other than the stretch of play in the 1st and 2nd quarter, the 2nd unit was not seen again.

Brook Lopez fended off Roy Hibbert fairly well. Hibbert shot 7-17 from the field and finished with 15 points. Post defense against elite centers is something Lopez has struggled with. Lopez was dominated by Marc Gasol and DeMarcus Cousins a season ago, so it's nice to see improvement. Hibbert's not exactly the offensive dynamo like those two, but Lopez made Hibbert work on every shot.

Negatives -

Kevin Garnett continued his struggles on the court. He shot 3-7 from the field for 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 turnovers. Garnett missed a couple of routine jump shots that he normally drills. This has been a theme so far in the early season and hopefully it can be fixed shortly.

 The Nets continued their late game struggles as they did against the Wizards. After managing to cut down the Pacers 4th quarter lead of 10 to 2, the Nets turned the ball over 3 times in the final 3 minutes of play. One was by Paul Pierce with under a minute to go as he was running to the corner in transition. Deron Williams also fouled George Hill on a 3 point shot with under 2 minutes to play. The Nets have been in games late 3 out of their 4 losses only to throw it away with bad mistakes.

Hopefully with time and as chemistry develops between the new pieces the Nets acquired, they'll be able to fix these late game issues.