Saturday, December 28, 2013

Knicks Fall in Deep Hole, Drop Home-and-Home to Raptors

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors

Post Game Recap

The Knicks once again dug themselves a deep hole they were unable to climb out of, losing in Toronto to the Raptors ___. The Knicks were down by more than 20 points in the second half but were able to cut it to six in the later stages of the fourth quarter. They were unable to get all the way back after a flagrant-1 was called on Tour’e Murry. Kyle Lowry knocked down both free throws and then hit a three-pointer to put the game away for the Raptors. It was too little too late for the Knicks as it once again took them getting down by a large margin before they were able to get up and compete. With the loss the Knicks drop the home-and-home with the Raptors and fall five games behind in the Atlantic Division. The Knicks will have a long time off to stew on this loss as the Knicks do not play until Thursday night in San Antonio against the Spurs as the Knicks embark on the Texas Threesome road trip.

Player of the Game: Amar’e Stoudemire

Without Carmelo Anthony playing the Knicks needed someone to step up offensively and Stoudemire answered the bell. Stoudemire gave the Knicks some good minutes off the bench, getting 30 of them on the second half of the back-to-back. STAT shot 9-12 from the field (5-6 FT) for 23 points. Stoudemire battled in the paint as well, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking two shots. With consistent minutes Stoudemire has looked good because he is back in rhythm. When he sits certain games it throws him out of sync. At this point with the Knicks shorthanded they might as well run Stoudemire out there as much as he can says he can handle and hope he continues giving efforts like he did tonight.


W2W4: New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors

Pre-Game News and Notes

Steve Mitchell/AP Photo
The Knicks will look to salvage the home-and-home with the Toronto Raptors tonight after losing 95-83 Friday night. This game is of the utmost importance for the Knicks as they need to start mounting some division wins if they plan to take advantage of what is the worst division in sports. Here are some things to keep an eye on in the game tonight.

-Injury News and Updates

The Knicks will have to find a way to score once again without Carmelo Anthony. Anthony will miss his third straight game, as he did not even make the trip to Toronto with the team. Anthony’s ankle injury has proved too much for him to take the court for the better part of the last week. Anthony will be sorely missed as they have been outscored by an average of 20.5 points per game without their leading scorer.

Anthony is not the only player who is dealing with injuries as Iman Shumpert is battling a thigh injury. He fought through it last night but he is questionable tonight as he did not perform well Friday. Amar’e Stoudemire also is struggling with some swelling in his right wrist the past two games but is supposed to be ready to go Saturday.

For the Raptors we will see if former Knicks Steve Novak and Landry Fields will take the court against them tonight. Neither player received any minutes Friday night, and have not for the last seven games; since the trade with the Sacramento Kings that sent out Rudy Gay the Raptors have been using their new, higher ceiling players in Patrick Patterson, Greivis Vasquez and John Salmons.

-Bargnani Returns to Toronto

Knicks Fall to Raptors as Offense Falters in 4th

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Friday, December 27th, 2013-12-28

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

The Knicks have no one to blame but themselves after losing to the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors tonight at Madison Square Garden 95-83. The Knicks let a 12-point third quarter lead slip through their hands as the offense crumbled without Carmelo Anthony leading the way. James Dolan told the players and coaching staff that no moves were going to be made; a move that should have calmed some people with trade rumors swirling; all it did was make them as complacent as ever on the court. Mike Woodson said yesterday he still expects this team to repeat as Atlantic Division champs and did nothing to back him up. The struggles the Knicks went through in the fourth quarter is where they can point for the poor ending. With or without Anthony this was a game there for the taking and the Knicks could not take advantage, something that has become commonplace this season. The Knicks will look to bounce back tomorrow night against this same Raptors team in Toronto. They will have to do it without Anthony again, who is not making the trip to Toronto with the team.

Player of the Game – Beno Udrih

Frank Franklin II/AP Photo
With the Knicks so short-handed in the backcourt Udrih was forced to play big minutes and he responded in a positive way again. Udrih was not happy that Woodson picked him out for poor performance. After calling out Woodson for his comments made after the Christmas Day debacle against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Udrih came out and played a good game tonight. Udrih was a scoring threat, stepping up without leading scorer Anthony on the court by pouring in 15 points. He also added 10 assists, giving him his first double-double as a Knick and highest assist total of the season. He was also aggressive and a pest on the defensive end, tallying four steals. Udrih has run this team to the best of his ability and the lack of offensive fire power cannot and should not be placed on his shoulders.


The Knicks, for all their short comings on the offensive end, were able to get it going from beyond the three-point line. The Knicks knocked down 10-19 from long range, good for 52.6 percent. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way for the Knicks, knocking down 4-5 and ending the game with 15 points. JR Smith added 3 of his own and Andrea Bargnani added two as well.

Speaking of Bargnani, he looked engaged and aggressive early on, seeming to be motivated by playing against his old team. He finished with 18 points and a season-high 12 rebounds. He also added two blocks to his stat line for the night. Bargnani did not play as well as he could have though given the opportunity he had with Anthony sidelined.

For at least one half the Knicks were able to keep the Raptors under control on the offensive end. The Knicks held the Raptors to only 40 points in the first half as they went into halftime with a nine point lead.

For what seems like the first time all season the Knicks were able to hold opposing point guards to less than outstanding games. Trade target Kyle Lowry did not score much, totaling only 10 points for the game but he did hand out 11 assists. His backup fared even worse, shooting 1-7 and scoring only four points while compiling four assists.


Tyson Chandler, in his fourth game back from injury, was dominated by Jonas Valanciunas. Valanciunas has been having a coming out party since Rudy Gay was traded to the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks did nothing to stop it. Valanciunas finished the game with 16 points and a career high 18 rebounds as he dominated the paint throughout the night. Valanciunas very active front court mates, Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough, gave the Knicks some problems as well as the two combined for 12 rebounds and the constant movement and activity the Knicks do not get night in and night out from their bigs.

The perimeter defense for the Knicks was improved but once again not well enough. While the point guards did not fare as well, the other wing players did just fine. DeMar DeRozan led the way with a game-high 25 points on 7-13 shooting. He was a frequent visitor to the foul line, taking 14 free throws and making nine. Terrence Ross made the Knicks pay from the perimeter as well, knocking down 3-6 from deep and finishing with 11 points. Reserve wing John Salmons hit the go ahead three-pointer with 8:07 remaining to give the Raptors the lead for good. Salmons finished the night 3-7 from three point land and 11 points as well.

Whatever Iman Shumpert is doing he needs to change because it is not working for him. The starting shooting guard is in a rut like no other as he played only 12 minutes tonight because of a combination of foul trouble and unproductive minutes. Shumpert virtually goose-egged the box score, grabbing only one rebound and getting one steal. Shumpert will continue losing minutes to Hardaway Jr. (possibly not a bad thing) and Smith (probably not a good thing) if he continues to play so poorly. It is disappointing that Shumpert is not taking advantage of all of the chances presented to him as the Knicks could really use a boost from the third year shooting guard. Being the player brought up most frequently in trade rumors, being told he would not be traded was thought of as something to calm Shumpert down. Instead he looks as if he has checked out and is ready to move on from the Knicks.