Post Game Recap
The Knicks were able to keep the good times rolling Thursday night at
, blowing out the Cavaliers
117-86. The Knicks offense was clicking and they got out to an early lead on
the Cavaliers and never let up off the gas; they never were in real danger of
losing the game. More importantly the shorthanded Knicks, who had only 10 able
bodied players available, were able to get some rest for their starters tonight
heading into a big match up with the Miami Heat Saturday. It was nice to see
the Knicks come out and handle business against a team they have routinely
struggled against in recent seasons as they could have easily looked past this
game to the weekend. The win tonight also clinches a .500 home stand at worst,
something that did not look remotely close to happening after the first three
games. The Knicks will look to keep their winning streak in tact Saturday in
the final game of the home stand against the reigning champion Heat. Madison Square
Player of the Game: Tim Hardaway Jr.
|New York Knicks|
Hardaway Jr. got extra minutes tonight because of the shoulder injury plaguing Iman Shumpert and he made the most of it. Hardaway Jr. lit up the Cavaliers from all over the court, finishing the game with a career high 29 points. He shot an efficient 11-17 from the floor and a solid 6-12 from the three point line, tying the Knicks franchise rookie record for three pointers in a game. Hardaway Jr. is continuing to grow with the Knicks and is looking more and more like the steal of the draft. On the contrary, the Cavaliers so far have hit a lame with first overall pick Anthony Bennett, who had another underwhelming game, shooting 1-6 from the field for four points and grabbing only two rebounds. Hardaway Jr. made his points count tonight, as he made three of his shots from deep after the Cavaliers cut a 29 point lead to 14 in the fourth quarter.
With Shumpert sidelined, someone needed to step into the starting lineup and that someone was J.R. Smith; he stepped up in a big way. Smith got off to a hot start, scoring 11 points in the first quarter on 4-5 shooting and 2-3 from deep and never cooled off. He finished the game with 19 points on 8-16 from the field (2-5 3pt, 1-3 FT), adding four rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Smith also delivered a highlight dunk in his hot first quarter, as he finally looks to be rounding into shape after off-season knee surgery. Smith is starting to get things going, as he has shot 50 percent or better from the field in five of eight games since his last benching.
Raymond Felton put together a solid game in his 36 minutes on the court. He shot 5-10 from the field for 12 points, handed out nine assists, grabbed five rebounds, and had one steal and two blocks on the night. Felton finished with the highest +/- ratio in the game with +33. Felton was able to get into the paint at will and cause havoc, making his own shots and hitting Tyson Chandler with lob passes.
With the game well in hand Carmelo Anthony’s scoring heroics were not needed but he still delivered them. He tied Hardaway Jr. for team high in scoring with 29 points, going 8-17 from the field (3-5 3pt, 10-12 FT), grabbing five rebounds and having one assists, block and steal. On the night the Knicks were all on fire from the field offensively, shooting a scorching 56.6 percent and impressive 46.2 percent from long range. In the last four games, all wins, the Knicks have shot 50, 42.3, 51.9 and 46.2 percent from the three point line.
|Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports|
With so many injuries ravaging the front court, Jeremy Tyler and Cole Aldrich have been pressed into duty and both have responded well.
gives the Knicks a spark off the bench, delivering the scoring punch from the
front court missing with Amar’e Stoudemire injured. Aldrich you could then say
replaces what is missing with Kenyon Martin sidelined, as he isn’t the scoring
threat Tyler is but he grabs
rebounds and intimidates in the paint. The two are giving the Knicks good
minutes right now and look like they will provide much needed depth as the
Knicks continue their push to erase the first half of the season mistakes.
The defense for the Knicks was outstanding throughout the night, especially on Kyrie Irving.
has gone off on the Knicks multiple times in his short career but he was held
in check tonight. Irving shot 10-25
from the field for 24 points in 39 minutes. Irving
looked disinterested at times and will need to improve his demeanor on the
court as his teammates feed off of what he does. On the night the Knicks held
the Cavaliers to 35.6 percent shooting.
There were really no negatives in the game, but there are some concerns going forward. The Knicks got lucky they were able to give some rest to their starters tonight because they will need them against the Heat Saturday night with so many players injured. The Knicks had only 10 healthy players for the game tonight and they all appeared in the game tonight. How long they will be able to go forward with this little amount of depth will be something to keep an eye on as the injury bug has seemed to take up a permanent residency within the Knicks roster.