Post Game Recap
When your best player’s reaction to having a game the following night after an overtime victory is “Oh Sh*t,” it does not paint a good picture. Tonight the worst happened for the Knicks as the Bobcats were able to run them off the floor, 108-98. The Knicks were gassed from an overtime victory last night against the Phoenix Suns and it showed tonight as they looked to be facing an uphill battle right from the opening tip. The Knicks were unable to get any flow going and had no answer for what the Bobcats were doing throughout the game. Being tired is not an excuse as every team plays back-to-backs; the problem was the Knicks seemed to be looking ahead to the big match up Thursday night against the Pacers. Another thing to watch for heading into Thursday night is J.R. Smith's standing with the team. He registered his second DNP-Coach's Decision in the last four games.
Player of the Game: Amar’e Stoudemire
With the Knicks struggling to score with Carmelo Anthony not being able to get going, Stoudemire came in and got it going off the bench. Stoudemire scored 17 points on a very efficient 6-10 from the field and 5-5 from the foul line. Stoudemire scored in a variety of ways, knocking down jumpers and throwing down thunderous dunks. He also grabbed four rebounds and had two assists. It was encouraging to see Stoudemire perform so well on the second night of the back-to-back. Coming into the season it was thought that Stoudemire would be getting rest in games like tonight but he is giving the Knicks everything his body is able right now. Stoudemire is one of the hardest workers in the NBA and to see him having some success again is quite a sight.
With the Knicks offense reeling in the first half, the bench was able to produce a spark and some score. In addition to Stoudemire, Tim Hardaway Jr. gave the Knicks good minutes off the bench. Hardaway Jr. scored 12 points and had a nice pass for an alley-oop to Tyson Chandler. Hardaway Jr. played so well in the first half that assistant coach Herb Williams said his play was the reason J.R. Smith was relegated to the bench for the first half. That cannot be the whole story for Smith being benched for the second time in four games but could have played a part.
The offense tonight, albeit stagnant at times, was not the reason for the loss. The Knicks shot the ball relatively well, shooting 48.1 percent on the night. They made 39 baskets and assisted on 21 percent of them, a good ratio. They also turned the ball over only nine times; fatigue was the Knicks biggest problem tonight on the offensive end no the Bobcats.
|Chuck Burton/AP Photo|
The Knicks were unable to slow down the Bobcats top guns in Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker.
Jefferson dominated the
first half as the Knicks had no answer inside for the versatile big man. Jefferson
finished with a season-high 35 points and eight rebounds. The second half,
specifically the fourth quarter, Walker
took over. Walker scored 12 of his
25 points in the fourth quarter, going 4/4 overall and 2/2 from the three point
line in the last 12 minutes with two assists. On the night he finished with 25
points, seven rebounds and five assists as he routinely torched Raymond Felton
throughout the night.
As a whole the Knicks starting unit gave them nothing throughout the game; Iman Shumpert was the only one of the group to not finish with a negative +/-. Andrea Bargnani looked lost in the shuffle with
returning to the lineup and Felton was unable to make up for his porous defense
on the offensive end like last night against the Suns. Mike Woodson needs to
figure out a formula to get these guys clicking on the same page. There are a
lot of parts right now that need to be meshed together and the Knicks need to
figure out it sooner than later.