By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
Post Game Recap
The Knicks were able to surprise many people by winning in
Sunday night, giving them a 2-1 finish to the Texas Triangle road trip. It was
a pretty decisive victory for the Knicks, who won the game 92-80. They were
able to overcome some demons in the process as they had lost 14 of their
previous 16 games in Dallas. It was
a total team effort from the Knicks tonight as they picked each other up to
make the plane ride back to New York
much more pleasant. It will be interesting to see if the Knicks can ride the
momentum from this successful road trip and put together a winning streak to
get them back into the Atlantic Division race.
-Player of the Game: Kenyon Martin
Coming into the game Martin was a game-time decision because of an ankle injury. When it was announced that Tyson Chandler would not be able to return after only four minutes with an upper respiratory infection, Martin got a big increase in minutes and responded well.
Martin stepped up for his teammates, playing 29 minutes off the bench even with the hobbled ankle. He scored a season-high 14 points on 7-8 shooting, grabbed six rebounds, handed out two assists and added one block to the normal intimidating defense he provides. “I knew Tyson wasn’t feeling the best. I might pay for it tomorrow but I’ll take the win anytime,” Martin said following the game. That type of will to win and dedication to the team is something the Knicks have seemed to lack at times this season. It is refreshing to see Martin putting it all on the line for the team to get this thing turned around.
-Match Up of the Game Review: Andrea Bargnani vs. Dirk Nowitzki
The Knicks were able to neutralize Nowitzki pretty well throughout the night. He scored only 18 points, well below his normal average against the Knicks, on 6-11 shooting. Where he surprisingly struggled was at the foul line, where he went 5-9; he entered the game shooting 92 percent from the charity stripe. He grabbed nine rebounds and added an assist and steal as well. Bargnani had a solid, total game for the Knicks Sunday. He scored 13 points on 6-12 shooting from the field and grabbed six rebounds in only 26 minutes of play. The Knicks ability, thanks in part to Bargnani, to keep the damage Nowitzki did to a minimum was a big help in getting the victory.
|Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports|
The Knicks offense was efficient and crisp throughout the night. They shot 48.7 percent from the field making 37-76 shots from the field (5-13 3pt). The ball movement was on point, as the Knicks assisted on 20 of the 37 makes. Everyone stepped up and played a part tonight as well as Anthony scored only four points after the first quarter. The Knicks had four other players, Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire, Martin and Tim Hardaway Jr., score in double figures to join Anthony. The bench was especially strong, outscoring the Mavericks bench 47-24.
Iman Shumpert did not have the gaudy stat line he had in the first two games on the road trip but he iced the game away for the Knicks down the stretch. He made a nice reverse lay-up with in the fourth quarter and knocked down a three pointer on the Knicks next possession. He also added two free throws with 48 seconds remaining, giving him seven of his nine points in a 49 second span. He also added six rebounds and three steals to his stat line.
the final 44 minutes of the game the Knicks defense and rebounding was
outstanding throughout the night. The Mavericks were held to 41 percent
shooting (32-78) and an unsightly 23.1 percent (6-26) from the three point
line. In addition to slowing down Nowitzki they were able to hold Monta Ellis
and Jose Calderon in check as the two combined for only 25 points, nine assists
and five turnovers. All the more impressive as the Mavericks entered the game
as one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA. The Knicks were able to
finish those defensive possessions as they rebounded well, out rebounding the
Mavericks 47-34. The Knicks were able to gang rebound, as six different players
had six or more rebounds; Bargnani, Anthony, Shumpert, Stoudemire, Martin and
The third quarter was once again a problem for the Knicks. You wouldn’t know it looking at the final score but the Mavericks were in the game until the final minutes. The Knicks let a 19 point lead diminish to as little as six points but were able to pull it out thanks to Shumpert’s heroics. The problem for the Knicks was on the offensive end, as they scored only 15 points in the quarter in large part because of Anthony’s struggles.