Post Game Recap
The Knicks were outmatched in every facet of the game Sunday afternoon as the Thunder defeated them handedly 112-100. The Knicks had a strong first half but closed poorly and the poor play carried over into the second half when the Thunder took control of the game. A game that was billed as a battle between two of the top scorers in the NBA fell short of expectations and judging from the score you know which team’s big scorer it was. The Knicks will look to finish on a high note heading into the All-Star game Wednesday night against the Sacramento Kings at
. Madison Square Garden
Player of the Game: Jeremy Tyler
Pablo Prigioni was once again on the court when the Knicks were at their best Sunday afternoon. Prigioni finished with five points, four assists, one rebound and one steal in his 22 minutes. The pick-and-roll game he runs with Tyler and Amar’e Stoudemire is a thing of beauty as he gets both plays into exceptional spots to score the ball. When Prigioni is on the court good things happen for the Knicks. He was also the only starter without a negative +/- ratio against the Thunder.
|Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo|
Stoudemire gave the Knicks another strong effort off the bench. He scored 16 points and grabbed four rebounds in 26 minutes. The lineups to start the second and fourth quarters that consist of Stoudemire, Tyler and Prigioni have been some of the best recently for the Knicks. They not only produce on the court but they score enough to give Carmelo Anthony some much needed rest. Stoudemire and Tyler make for a potent big man combination off the bench scoring and now even in the rebounding department.
Raymond Felton’s stat line will pop out at you tonight as he put up some gaudy numbers. Felton was the leading scorer for the Knicks Sunday afternoon, putting up 16 points. He also added seven rebounds, seven assists and one steal to fill out his score sheet. The numbers tell a much better story for Felton than his play actually was.
The Knicks defense was pitiful against the Thunder tonight. They showed no heart on the defensive end and even less resistance in attempting to stop them from scoring. The Thunder shot 54.8 percent from the field overall and 44.4 from the three point line. It was an attack that came from all angles as the Thunder had five players score in double figures led by 41 from Kevin Durant. The Knicks did not make life very difficult on Durant tonight as he went 12-22 from the field, 4-7 from deep and attempted 18 free throws, making 13.
|Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo|
One reason for the easiness of the 41 that Durant scored, and the monster stat line he put up that included 10 rebounds and nine assists, was the Knicks game plan put together by Mike Woodson. Woodson used undersized players against Durant all night, leaving J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert go guard him most of the game. It was easy pickings for Durant as he easily could rise and shoot over both players. The Knicks game plan to double-team in poor areas also made it easy for the nearly seven-foot Durant to see over them and hit his teammates for easy baskets. It was a poorly constructed game plan for the Knicks that the Thunder picked apart easily and efficiently.
On the contrary the Thunder had a game plan put in place by head coach Scott Brooks and they executed it to perfection. The result was Anthony having one of his worst shooting games of the season, going 5-19 from the field (1-5 3pt, 4-5 FT) for 15 points. The Thunder played a triangle defense at times against Anthony, daring him to pass the ball and he did as he registered five assists. The only problem was he didn’t score enough to get the Knicks over the hump. If Anthony makes his normal allotment of shots the Knicks most likely go onto win this game, but credit the Thunder with putting forth a great game plan and executing it as well as they did.