In bullet point form. Boxscore here: http://www.nba.com/games/20071011/TELNYK/boxscore.html?gamestatus=3
- To start the game, the Knicks defense was pretty bad (Marbury, Crawford, Richardson, Lee, and Randolph). Zach was pretty poor on the block, getting muscled by Marcus Fizer. According to my notes, Fizer got the better of Randolph on offense a few times. On one play Zach bit on a crossover 15 feet from the basket, earning him a needless foul. Randolph wasn’t the only New Yorker that performed poorly on defense. Knick guards really didn’t fight through any screens. In contrast, in the first quarter one Maccabi Tel Aviv player went above a double screen (set by Lee & Randolph) and stayed with Marbury. The only Knick I saw to go over a screen was Fred Jones.
- I have to say I was impressed by Jamal Crawford. While he did launch one of his trademark “crossover-step-back-threes”, he consistently took the ball to the hoop. If Crawford uses his deceptive dribble to get to the paint consistently, as opposed to hurling off balanced jumpers, he may become a more consistent scorer.
- The Knick offense, aka the Quick, seemed to be more fluid. There were some good give & go plays, and there was more passing the ball. It may have been the absence of Curry holding the ball in the post, but hopefully Isiah has refined his offense in the offseason.
- The Knicks ran a full court press to end the first half. I would love to see this team press/trap more, especially with the second unit.
- Chandler reminds me of Lee and Sweetney in their rookie campaigns in one respect: all looked lost on defense. Chandler seemed to switch to the wrong player a few times. In one of the in-game interviews, David Lee was talking about how he doesn’t have to expend so much mental energy on defense because of his experience. It seems that it does take some time for some rookie forwards to learn the defense.
- Jared Jeffries seemed less timid. On one play, he grabbed an offensive rebound, shifted his weight and shouldered up against his opponent, and confidently made a layup. He didn’t play much, but he seemed more comfortable. Let’s hope it lasts (if he makes the team).
- The Knicks went small a few times. One lineup had Nate, Crawford, Collins, Jeffries, & Rose; another had Chandler at power forward and Lee at center. I didn’t see any big lineups.
- Rose saw a lot of playing time. Even guys that play half way around the world don’t bite on his head fake. I wondered the whole time whether Isiah had him out there so long to see if he was useful in consideration of cutting him, or if Zeke wanted Rose to be ready for the next season. After yesterday’s game I think the latter is true.