For your in-post game thoughts.
Update: Just made the 90 minute trek back to Columbia, SC from the arena in Charlotte. A handful of random thoughts. I suspect that most of these have been covered to some degree in the comments but I’m too tired to look through them right now :)
1. Tough night for Gallo — 2 of 9 and a -6. He got to the line and hit the boards, but this was definitely a night when his “move without the ball!” critics got an eyeful. During more than one key fourth quarter possession, the other four Knicks were in motion throughout while Gallo stood almost completely still in the corner. He matched up on Stephen Jackson for much of the evening, and Jackson was noticeably physical with him. On the flip side, Gallo (with a little help from his friends) forced Jackson into a difficult shooting (7-20) night. But then again, his huge turnover in the 4th and subsequent failure to close out on DJ Augustin late–which he then compounded by failing to keep him from chasing down a miss and laying it in–made D’Antoni about as mad as I’ve ever seen him. I don’t chalk this up to anything more than a tough night against a difficult matchup. It doesn’t diminish his recent play, which has been fantastic.
2. Felton — It’s difficult to imagine that he could have started the season shooting much better from the field (.591 TS, not counting tonight’s 9-18), and I can’t even remember when the Knicks were a competent fast breaking team. Trading off some pick and roll prowess for better run breaks may not be so horrible. BUT… when Felton’s shooting starts to come back to earth a bit (he’s a career .497 TS) it’d be nice if ol’ Raymond has started throwing bounce passes that come up more than six inches off the floor. It’s like he puts topspin on those things.
3. Fields — 3-5, 10 boards, 2 steals. YAWN. Moving on. Nothing to see here. His two turnovers were both charges, and both calls seemed a tad ticky tack.
4. Ill Will — He had a nice night behind the arc. I was definitely thinking, “No. No. No…. Yes!” on at least three of his makes.
5. The Bench — We outscored them 37-18. Charlotte’s bench is awful. It makes sense that D’Antoni is settling on his rotation. I have no issue with that fundamentally, but I was a little surprised that Randolph couldn’t get in this game based on matchups with Charlotte’s thin bench. Mozgov was a +10 tonight. So I can’t complain. But Charlotte’s +9 on the boards helped them climb back into the game. Randolph could have helped with that.
All in all though, no win is too small to keep and anytime you win a back-to-back against the same team it’s no small feat.
Happy Thanksgiving Gang!