Post Game Recap
The Knicks started the second half of the NBA season much like they played throughout the first half; underwhelming with a heart breaking loss at the end. The Knicks had a poor first half against a strong Grizzlies’ defense but they were able to pick it up in the third quarter to make it a tie game going into the fourth. The Knicks picked up momentum and looked to be in control of the game but mental lapses swing the advantage back to the Grizzlies, who took advantage and came away with the win. The Knicks did everything they needed to do to win the game tonight and still came away with a loss. They are now 13 games under .500 and falling further and further behind in the playoff race. Is help on its way? The trade deadline is Thursday at and the Knicks are apart of plenty of rumors. They will be back at it tomorrow night in
New Orleans to take on the Pelicans a in the second game of their four game in five nights trip.
Player of the Game: Tim Hardaway Jr.
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The rookie put on a show during All-Star weekend during the BBVA Rising Star challenge and carried it into tonight’s game. Hardaway Jr. was the only Knick with a knack from long range, knocking down four of the six Knicks makes from the three point line. He finished with a team high 23 points on 7-15 shooting overall, scoring 14 of those points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks attempted to take over the game. The same story rang true tonight that has throughout the season though as Hardaway Jr. did not help anywhere else in the game outside of scoring, showing that the rookie still has a little ways to go before being a player the Knicks can count on night in and night out.
Pablo Prigioni was given the keys to the team for most of the second half and he did everything he could to get the team going. He finished with a season high 10 assists as he was able to get the ball into his teammates hands in good positions for them to score. His play kept Raymond Felton on the bench the last of the game as Mike Woodson decided to ride the hot hand.
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The defense on Zach Randolph was great for the Knicks tonight. The Grizzlies’ big man was held to 13 points on 6-11 from the field as Tyson Chandler was able to keep him contained throughout the game. He had eight rebounds as well, as both totals fell short of his season averages. On the night the Knicks battled on the boards, actually out rebounding the Grizzlies 39-38 in the game.
The comeback came up short but the second half the Knicks showed what kind of basketball they are capable of playing. They fell down by as many as 18 but were able to get back into the game in the second half. Some credit needs to be given to Woodson, who stuck with the players that were giving him positive results, benching two starters, Felton and Iman Shumpert, the entire fourth quarter in favor of Prigioni, Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith.
After setting an All-Star game record with eight three point makes Sunday night, Carmelo Anthony could not find his shot against the Grizzlies. Last season this was a game Anthony would coax a victory out for the Knicks as his teammates stepped up when needed but tonight he fell short. Anthony shot 8-22 overall from the field, but struggled with his jump shot, going 1-5 from the three point line and 5-8 from the foul line. He did grab 11 rebounds to lead the team, but it was disappointing he was unable to get his shot to fall after such an impressive showing Sunday, albeit against much less defensive pressure.
When you have two starters basically being benched during crunch time it’s never a good thing. Players not used to playing extended minutes are asked to do more than usual and it makes things difficult on the coach. Constant lineup changes and a rotation still not set after the All-Star break are not a good combination. Tonight Felton and Shumpert were not helping the team and found the way to the bench, missing all eight of their three point attempts combined. Their time with the Knicks could be coming to an end soon with the deadline approaching Thursday and the Knicks looking to upgrade the backcourt.
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You can add another player to the list of players to go off on the Knicks out of nowhere, as Mike Miller lit the Knicks up tonight. Miller has battled numerous injuries over the past couple seasons but found the fountain of youth against the Knicks, going 7-11 from the field overall and 5-7 from the three point line for 19 points. He was not the only Grizzly player to take over late in the game, as Mike Conley showed why he is one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA. Conley took over in the fourth quarter, scoring eight points with two assists and a steal. He showed like many before him this season that the Knicks sorely need an upgrade at the guard positions.