Knicks 99, Sixers 93

Philadelphia 76ers 93 FinalRecap | Box Score 99 New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 6-18 FG | 16-18 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 5 TO | 29 PTS | -14Another day, another 40+ minute game, but at least this one was a win.Anthony looked really good tonight in spite of the fact that his perimeter shot still wasn’t working. He was super-aggressive and made quick decisions on his post-ups, spinning and winning and grinning his way to 18 free throw attempts. This aggression led to a number of turnovers and Sixer run-outs, but overall, Anthony played did about the best he could to help the team win.

The oddity of Anthony’s box score numbers is that he was -14 on the game. However, this can largely be attributed to the fact that Anthony played most of his minutes with Shumpert and Kidd, who continued their awful play, rather than J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire, who were the MVPs of this game.

The one boneheaded decision by Anthony was his decision to slap Spencer Hawes in the back of the head after he Hawes had blocked him. Not only did it bring back memories of the famous “Carmelo slap and run” (I didn’t make up that name; google suggested I add the “and run” to the end of my search for “carmelo anthony slap”), but it also led to Tyson Chandler picking up his tenth tech of the season, only six short of a suspension.

Tyson Chandler, C 35 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-3 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +14Chandler took only two shots in 35 minutes as the Sixer defense repeatedly ignored Shumpert and Kidd in order to prevent Chandler from catching any lobs. In fact, both of Chandler’s field goals were put back dunks. He didn’t take a single shot within the offense.The difference between Chandler and Stoudemire’s offenses was put on display tonight, as Stoudemire’s ability and willingness to find shot opportunities off catches outside the restricted area resulted in a huge scoring night for him, whereas Chandler passed out on most of his paint catches.

Still, Chandler played some tough defense, blocking three shots (including a man-sized block of a Hawes hook shot early on), and his four offensive rebounds led to six points — what ended up being the margin of the game.

Jason Kidd, PG 26 MIN | 1-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -9He also only had one basket, a wide open layup on a nearly botched four on two, in seven tries. His other six attempts were all threes, and most of them weren’t very close (although not as far of as some of Felton’s tries). He does deserve kudos for nearly making a three late in the game, on an attempt wherein he probably could have blown one of his trademark kisses to the rim before shooting. He also had nine rebounds, so that’s good, I guess.There’s really not much more to say about Kidd. At least he took the shots the SIxers were giving him, unlike on some other nights. The guy is old, and after a renaissance of a couple years over in Dallas, he’s been in decline for years, so while it’s fair to be disappointed with his shooting, it’s not really fair to be surprised.

It might be time for Kidd to spend some time away from basketball and over on Clyde’s island in St. Croix. Maybe then he can play in the playoffs as he did in the first month of the season.

Raymond Felton, PG 36 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 14 PTS | -9Raymond was slightly better than he has been of late. He took the ball in the paint and finished relatively well, especially early on, and he took care of the ball. Like Kidd, he took the perimeter shots the defense gave him, and also like Kidd (although not as bad), he missed the bulk of them. He would have had several more assists if only Kidd and Shumpert made their open shots.In the end, the Sixer defense (what there was of it) marginalized Felton by taking away the pick and roll, going under most screens and cluttering the paint, forcing the Knicks to rely on Carmelo post ups, off of which Felton is just not a great option due to his ho-hum perimeter game.
Iman Shumpert, PG 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | 0This was Shumpert’s 16th game of the season, and the Knicks are now 2-5 in games where he’s played over 20 minutes, and 7-2 in games where he’s played under 20.Iman hasn’t been Iman on either end of the floor but especially on offense. Yes, he had a nice play, forcing a Holiday turnover early in the first, but he was also beaten backdoor by Jrue on at least two occasions. On offense, the Sixers mostly acted as though he wasn’t there, and Iman seemed to agree with them.

My take on Iman is that he’s maybe going through a bit of an identity crisis here. He’s made his living as a defensive player, and because of his stellar defense, coaches have been able to forgive his freewheeling (the nice way of putting it) offense. His defense is still good, but it’s not at the level it was last year. He can’t hang his hat on it, so to speak, and so he’s left to wonder who he is as a basketball player, and that self-doubt only compounds the problems. (/armchair psychology)

It’s time for Shumpert to go to the bench. Not only will it take pressure off of him, but after last summer, when the Knicks offseason signings (and non signings) made it clear that it was now or never for a championship run, now is just not the time to be trying to develop a guy who is coming back from an injury from which it can take years to fully recover. Add to that that a bench role would take some pressure off in terms of media attention and level of compettition, so it might be a quicker path to recovery.

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 22 MIN | 9-10 FG | 4-6 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 22 PTS | +1022 points in 22 minutes on 9-10 shooting. I know you can read those stats just above this text, but I thought you should read them again. Stoudemire was huge tonight, and for once, the +/- numbers, which haven’t been so kind to Stoudemire this season, bare it out. Stoudemire was +10 on the game, second only to Chandler among those who played over 20 minutes. If you exclude the minutes he shared the floor with Anthony and just look at those during which he was the primary option on offense, Stoudemire was +20 in only EIGHT MINUTES!!!”That’s sick!” you’re saying under your breath right now, and I agree with you.

Yes, the Sixers were slow on defense having played in Philly one night earlier, and yes, they also saved Thaddeus Young, who gave Stoudemire a lot of trouble last year, to defend Anthony (god knows why since he seemed to bite on every Anthony head fake), but this was a magical night for STAT nonetheless.

Steve Novak, SF 19 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +20Steve Novak played the most non-blowout minutes since early January.Steve Novak only took two shots in those minutes.

Steve Novak had the highest +/- on the team.

Yeah, he rode Stoudemire’s coattails, but you could also argue a big part of Stoudemire’s huge night was the fact that with Novak as his running mate, the paint was overflowing with red and white. Teams have to guard Novak, which is more than can be said for several other players in the Knick rotation.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 13 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +13Prigioni’s was serviceable tonight. The Holiday matchup kept his minutes down, but he and Stoudemire continued to exhibit the chemistry that we first saw in the preseason. He too couldn’t make a shot, except for the one where he was sort of cowboy kicking to his left and tossed it towards the basket as the shot clock was expiring. That was nice.
J.R. Smith, SG 36 MIN | 5-12 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +5Smith saved this game. His stats don’t suggest a wonderful performance, but the three consecutive fourth quarter threes stymied a Sixer run and just about sealed the victory. What was more remarkable about Smith’s performance though was the energy he played with on defense.Smith stopped a layup by Jeremy Pargo with a chase down block; his ball pressure and then deflection on Evans early in the fourth led to a Knick runout and kept the lead in double digits; and his offensive rebound after the Sixers had cut it to five with a minute left, were all huge plays that could not have happened if not for J.R. playing in turbo mode for most of the not.

Smith’s early season defense was a huge part of the team’s early run. He’s one of the only players the Knicks have who can cover ground quickly, making him crucial if the Knicks ever hope to control penetration (something they didn’t do all that well tonight, but still).

Kenyon Martin, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | I enjoyed watching Kenyon laugh as Spencer Hawes and Tyson Chandler went after each other.
Mike WoodsonWhy did Woodson take Stoudemire out after his fifth foul? He was dominating, and odds were he wasn’t going to get back in the game anyway (he didn’t). Just a thoughtless decision that could have cost the Knicks the game. Also, again, Anthony plays 40+ minutes. If he’d kept STAT in for two more minutes, the Knicks quite possibly would have been up twenty, and Melo would have played 32 minutes instead of 40.This game didn’t offer Woodson too many chances to mess things up, but Woodson is just a bad in-game coach. In fact, he’s a bad between game coach, too, but that’s for an entire article. He seems pretty good at motivating guys, but he has no ability to think outside the box.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Spiro Dedes, who has a beautiful voice and a lovely goattee, took the shoving match between Chandler and Hawes as a chance to blah blah blah for about ten minutes about how Chandler’s decision showed the Knicks had fight and toughness and were going to turn things around. Blah. Blech.The Knicks are a saucy team. Especially recently, they seem to cherish the opportunity for the sideshow garbage, whining to officials, talking trash to other players… Some guys know how to use this stuff as motivation, but outside of Sheed, who can trash talk all he wants in my book, the Knicks’ trash talk often seems born out of bogus machismo. It’s not a game wherein they’re trying to play the officials for calls or get into their opponents’ heads. For them, their manly pridefulness is more important than winning basketball games, and when it’s challenged, their focus shifts to defending it rather than defending the rim or taking smart shots. Rather than winning. Maybe they choose that that path because it’s easier to win a barking match (or at least to feel as though you’ve won) than to win a basketball game.So Spiro, I respectfully disagree with you and your goattee. The Knicks could use some training at the Tim Duncan school of basketball. You win these fights by unsubscribing from them and leaving your opponent feeling helpless and childish.
  2. For a game between two of the slower paced teams in the league, this sure was a fast paced game. My quick and probably incorrect calculation puts the pace at 106, about sixteen possessions faster than the Knicks and Sixers average. It seemed to work to New York’s advantage, too. When they were scoring well, it seemed to usually come off a miss and a push, with the team getting it to Stoudemire or Melo for a quick score before the Philly defense could set.This may have only been effective due to the Sixers’ tired legs, but it’s worth exploring given how challenging scoring has been for New York against the better defensive teams.
  3. This win was nice as it broke the losing streak, and there were certainly some positive signs, but to put it in context, the Knicks were home. They were playing a team on the second night of a home/away back to back. They were playing a team that had lost four in a row and was nine games under .500. They only won by six points. If this was November, we would have called this win ominous.
  4. The Knicks continue to give up easy shots in the paint at an alarming rate. The Sixers had 36 FGAs in the paint. The Knicks were simply fortunate that they only made 44% on those shots, a number that is completely unsustainable, especially against better offenses. We also continued to see open threes, but again Philly mostly failed to capitalize. There were streaks were the Knick D truly was stifling, especially late in the 3rd and early in the 4th, but that can be said of just about any team. The sum total of your performance is what matters.
  5. Tonight’s game was not unlike the Knicks performance over the last couple months. They had streaks of great play, but they did not play consistently, and with a team made up of so many role players — guy’s with no ability to freelance on a broken play or cover for a bad rotation — execution is critical to the team’s success. However, unlike the past couple weeks, at least tonight’s game was a win. Maybe that psychological boost will lead them to extend the good play across more than 5-10 minute stretches. Also, hopefully Kidd gets his shot back, because without that, this team will never be more than just above average.

2012-13 Game Thread: Knicks vs. 76ers

[Editor’s note: We had multiple game threads up earlier, but they’re now consolidated, just so we can either rejoice or weep all together in one tidy e-place.]

Tonight’s game is big in so many ways. First off, most importantly is that the Knicks have lost four straight games so it is certainly always good to get a win when you’ve lost so many games in a row.

Secondly, this should be the introduction of Kenyon Martin as a Knick. With the Knicks’ lack of frontcourt depth (with Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace being out), Martin might play a very important role for this team. We’ll get our first look at him tonight (presumably).

Thirdly, the Nets (who sit a game behind the Knicks in the Atlantic Division) host Memphis tonight at the same time that the Knicks play the Sixers. A Nets loss and a Knicks win would be big.

Finally, the Bulls are in Oklahoma City tonight to face the Thunder. The Bulls are a game and a half back of the Knicks. The last time that the Knicks gained on two teams trailing them was, well, some time ago.

Let’s go Knicks!

 

Thomas B. adds:

In film school you learn to tell a story in a basic three act plot. The first act sets everything up, introduces you to the protagonists, and gives you just enough reason to root for them. The second act is the point where the protagonists are at their lowest point. They face a seemingly insurmountable foe and it seems that all is lost. In the third act, the protagonist overcome the adversity in a creative way.  It’s a story we’ve seen many times.  And those who tell that story best are being honored tonight.

If you split the NBA season into three parts of 27 games each (I know it should be 27.3 but lets just count the games against the Bobcats as the remainder we throw out), we are just about at the end of the second act with the 53rd game of the season, and boy boy does it feel like the lowest point. The Knicks are on a season high 4 game losing streak. The sharp shooting, crisp passing, and solid team defense of the first act all but gone. Don’t lose hope Knick faithful because the team can get an early start on the third act tonight with a home win against the Sixers.

Let our triumph over adversity begin. Your in-game thoughts here.

Knicks Morning News (Sunday, Feb 24 2013)

  • [New York Daily News] Back on Syracuse campus, Melo in rare class (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 05:30:03 GMT)

    Carmelo Anthony, who led the Orange to the 2003 national championship in his only year on campus, had a large replica of his No. 15 jersey retired to the rafters of the Carrier Dome Saturday during a ceremony at halftime of Syracuse’s game against Georgetown.

  • [New York Daily News] Kenyon vows to bring Knicks energy, not temper (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 03:31:23 GMT)

    The Knicks have had some games this season when they’ve lost their composure and focus, and so now they’ve brought in a veteran player who is the first to admit, “I’m a hot head a little bit.â? Sounds like a perfect fit.

  • [New York Post] Winding Euro tour led Copeland to Knicks (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 04:14:42 -0500)

    Give Chris Copeland a whip and fedora and you could call him the Knicks’ Indiana Jones. The rookie’s journey to basketball’s premier stage took him across Europe, an adventure that included stops on four different Euro teams, all in a quest to find his personal Holy Grail â?? a…

  • [New York Post] Martin joins Knicks eager to change his bad reputation (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 04:22:46 -0500)

    After officially signing his 10-day contract with the Knicks and practicing for the first time with the team yesterday, Kenyon Martin declared he plans to change the negative perceptions about him. The Knicks could use a change in public opinion right about now, too.
    The Knicks are in free fall…

  • [New York Post] Melo elated as ‘Cuse hangs number (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 04:21:17 -0500)

    SYRACUSE â?? Ten years ago, Carmelo Anthony watched and wondered as a Syracuse jersey was lifted to the rafters. Yesterday, it was his turn.
    “I remember being here when Sherman [Douglas] got his number retired and wondering what was going through his mind and how it felt,â? he said. “And to…

  • [New York Post] Woodson weighs tweaks to starting lineup (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 01:32:22 -0500)

    Mike Woodson was non-committal about his starting lineup for tonight’s game against the 76ers, though the coach said neither the lineup nor the rotation is causing the Knicks’ struggles. “That’s not beating us,â? Woodson said yesterday. “[Friday’s loss to Toronto] was a tie score after the first…

  • [New York Post] Home’s where the heart of the problem is (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 01:27:43 -0500)

    When Mike Woodson took over as Knicks head coach last March, one of his first priorities was to protect home court. “We can’t let teams come in here and think they can beat us,â? Woodson said repeatedly about playing at Madison Square Garden.The thinking is if you win…

  • [New York Times] Clippers Rebound With Big Win Over Jazz (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 07:27:38 GMT)

    The Los Angeles Clippers registered a comprehensive 107-94 win over the Utah Jazz at the Staples Center on Saturday to rebound from their thrashing at the hands of San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Get 1st Sweep of Jazz Since ’78-79 Season (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 06:03:50 GMT)

    Caron Butler scored 21 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rode a big third quarter to a 107-94 victory over Utah on Saturday night, completing their first season sweep of the Jazz since 1978-79.

  • [New York Times] Horford’s Late Bucket Lifts Hawks Over Bucks (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 04:13:14 GMT)

    Al Horford’s hook shot with 5.9 seconds remaining lifted the Atlanta Hawks a 103-102 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in a game that was close throughout.

  • [New York Times] Miami Heat’s Streak Reaches 10 (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 03:54:42 GMT)

    LeBron James’ 35th career triple-double helped the Miami Heat cruise past the 76ers in Philadelphia.

  • [New York Times] West, Pacers Earn Home-And-Home Sweep of Pistons (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 03:10:16 GMT)

    David West scored 16 points and Paul George added a double-double to help the Indiana Pacers easily beat the Detroit Pistons for the second time in as many nights with a 90-72 victory Saturday.

  • [New York Times] Wizards Fend Off Rockets’ 3s for 105-103 Win (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 03:03:59 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (AP) â?? Bradley Beal scored 21 points, and Emeka Okafor had 17 points, 11 rebounds and made the go-ahead free throw with 5.2 seconds remaining to help the Washington Wizards overcome the Houston Rockets’ 3-point barrage for a 105-103 win on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Speights, Irving Lead Cavaliers Past Magic 118-94 (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 02:48:44 GMT)

    Marreese Speights scored 18 points, Alonzo Gee added 17 and the Cleveland Cavaliers used a big fourth quarter to run past the Orlando Magic 118-94 on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Nuggets End Road Woes With 113-99 Win Over Bobcats (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 02:45:46 GMT)

    JaVale McGee had 17 points, including seven dunks, and the Denver Nuggets snapped a four-game road losing streak with a 113-99 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Kenyon Martin Welcomes Opportunity to Show He Can Still Play (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 02:44:41 GMT)

    At his first interview, the Knicks’ Kenyon Martin acknowledged his fiery temper but spoke of his passion to play.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Salley Offers a Healthy Assist (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 00:32:47 GMT)

    John Salley, a 6-foot-11 power forward and center, became a vegetarian in January 1991 after he felt he had to make changes in his lifestyle.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Do Warriors Have a Secret Weapon Up Their Sleeves? (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 00:27:21 GMT)

    Wearing the unusual uniforms, Golden State won for the first time in 17 games with the Spurs, but the outfits attracted some derision.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks Insider: Kenyon Martin tough on defense (Sun, 24 Feb 2013 00:35:00 EST)

    The Knicks already were the oldest team in the league, and they got older at the trade deadline.

  • Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Feb 23 2013)

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Notes: Awful third; Gay's big day (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 00:31:51 EDT)

    The Knicks dropped a 100-98 heartbreaker to the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on Friday thanks to a disaster of a third quarter and big contributions from Raptors Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry down the stretch. Losers of four straight, they are just one game up on the Brooklyn Nets for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.
    Rudy Gay’s big night: When the Knicks played the Raptors before the All-Star break, they held Gay to 11 points on 4-for-21 shooting.

  • [New York Times] Jack Powers Warriors Past Road-Weary Spurs (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 08:03:39 GMT)

    Jarrett Jack came off the bench to score 30 points as the Golden State Warriors rallied past the road-weary San Antonio Spurs for a 107-101 overtime victory on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Warriors Rally Past Spurs 107-101 in OT (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 08:01:10 GMT)

    Maybe these new-look Golden State Warriors are winners after all.

  • [New York Times] Kobe Scores 40, Lakers Hold Off Blazers 111-107 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 07:57:50 GMT)

    Back on the court after days of mourning, the Los Angeles Lakers grinded out a gritty win thanks to a vintage performance from their biggest star.

  • [New York Times] Raptors 100, Knicks 98: Rudy Gay Lifts Raptors Over Knicks (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 05:28:23 GMT)

    The Knicks held a lead midway through the fourth period but lost their fourth straight game and fifth in their last six.

  • [New York Times] Rockets 106, Nets 96: Jeremy Lin and the Rockets Defeat the Nets (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 05:25:26 GMT)

    The Rockets outlasted the Nets, who were without Joe Johnson, in a game that was a sprint all the way to the end.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Josh Smith Leads Hawks Over Kings With Defense (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 05:20:39 GMT)

    Josh Smith, who remained in Atlanta after being discussed in possible trade talks, came through on defense to help the Hawks stop the Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Snap 3-Game Skid, Beat Minnesota 127-111 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 05:04:16 GMT)

    With All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant leading the way, the Oklahoma City Thunder can outscore any team in the NBA on any given night.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Kenyon Martin and a Question of Trust (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 04:49:38 GMT)

    The Knicks need Kenyon Martin’s rebounding, defense and passion. But Martin, a veteran forward, has also been known to alienate those around him with his words.

  • [New York Times] Green Scores 31 Points as Celtics Rout Suns 113-88 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 04:48:59 GMT)

    Jeff Green scored 31 points in his first start of the season and the short-handed Boston Celtics routed the Phoenix Suns 113-88 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Gasol Helps Grizzlies Past Magic 88-82 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 04:09:54 GMT)

    Marc Gasol had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Zach Randolph added 16 points and 14 boards, and the Memphis Grizzlies beat the short-handed Orlando Magic 88-82 on Friday night for their sixth straight victory.

  • [New York Times] Farma Shows NBA Class in Efes Win (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 04:09:48 GMT)

    Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar showed the benefits of his extensive NBA experience by giving Anadolu Efes Istanbul a thrilling 63-60 Euroleague win over the competition’s six-time winners CSKA Moscow on Friday.

  • [New York Times] Carter 3 Lifts Mavs Over Hornets, 104-100 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 04:04:02 GMT)

    Vince Carter capped a 22-point performance with a 3-pointer that gave Dallas the lead with 6.5 seconds left, and the Mavericks held on for their third straight victory, 104-100 over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Judge Clears Legal Hurdle to Seattle Basketball Stadium (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:39:38 GMT)

    A Seattle judge dismissed a lawsuit on Friday that sought to block plans to build a $490 million stadium south of downtown, clearing a major hurdle for an investor group aiming to bring back the city’s sorely missed basketball franchise.

  • [New York Times] Hawks Pull Away Late, Beat Kings 122-108 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:18:46 GMT)

    Al Horford led Atlanta’s balanced scoring with 24 points and the Hawks overcame a slow start to beat the Sacramento Kings 122-108 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: For Kyrie Irving, a Milestone Week (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:12:21 GMT)

    Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving provided a glimpse of the future during All-Star weekend and his subsequent performances.

  • [New York Times] Rockets Beat Nets for 13th Straight Time, 106-96 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:10:05 GMT)

    James Harden and Carlos Delfino each scored 22 points, and the Houston Rockets tied their longest winning streak against any opponent by beating the Brooklyn Nets for the 13th straight time, 106-96 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Rudy Gay Scores 32, Raptors Beat Knicks 100-98 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:09:58 GMT)

    Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18 and the Toronto Raptors beat New York 100-98 on Friday night, handing the slumping Knicks their season-worst fourth straight loss.

  • [New York Times] Wizards Nearly Blow Big Lead, Beat Nuggets 119-113 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:06:44 GMT)

    The Washington Wizards put on one of their best offensive shows of the season Friday night, putting seven players in double figures while taking down another contending team with a 119-113 win over the Denver Nuggets.

  • [New York Times] West Helps Pacers Rout Pistons 114-82 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:04:10 GMT)

    David West scored 18 points, George Hill had 15 and the surging Indiana Pacers beat the Detroit Pistons 114-82 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Balanced Scoring Leads Bulls Past Bobcats 105-75 (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 02:54:57 GMT)

    Taj Gibson scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting and the Chicago Bulls beat Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats 105-75 Friday night.

  • [New York Daily News] Melo struggles in 4th as Raptors hand Knicks fourth straight loss (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:04:12 GMT)

    With Carmelo Anthony struggling in the fourth quarter and Tyson Chandler missing a key free throw in with 21.4 seconds remaining, the Knicks losing streak reached a season-high four games as the Raptors hung on for a 100-98 victory.

  • [New York Post] Woodson criticizes Melo following loss to Raptors (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 06:12:04 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? Up is down. Down is up in the Knicks’ shattering world.
    After the Knicks suffered their season-high fourth straight loss last night in Toronto, coach Mike Woodson took Carmelo Anthony to task for not being aggressive enough offensively in the final minute as he was outdueled by Rudy Gay…

  • [New York Post] Anthony: Ex-teammate Martin an asset if â??locked in’ (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:50:50 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? Carmelo Anthony was concerned about Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald making a change to the roster, saying at one point, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”But the star forward couldn’t dispute a minor tinker at Thursday’s trade deadline because the Knicks, who have…

  • [New York Post] Lin-ning situation: Jeremy thriving with Rockets (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:39:42 -0500)

    It was only a year ago Jeremy Lin was at the center of the American sports universe, going from a player on the verge of being cut for a third time in a single season to scoring 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in the span of a…

  • [New York Post] Slumping Knicks keep finding ways to lose (Sat, 23 Feb 2013 03:07:35 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? Mike Woodson didn’t want to wait until today to view the final minutes of last night’s game against the Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Soon after Toronto had claimed a 100-98 victory, Woodson headed straight to the locker room and turned on the video to review the…

  • Raptors 100, Knicks 98

    Magic.

    When you have it in basketball, magic can make the fleeting sublime seems permanent and the ball borderline sentient – its path through the basket more a matter of gravity than chance. Magic turns mere men into agents, of a calling and cause at once closer to god and further from us.

    But what happens when the magic runs out?

    To which church do we turn when the cottage comes down?

    In the bosom of what brothel wench does one bury his head when the switches and double-teams have singed his soul?

    Towards what port does one steer a wayward ship, when its highest mast meets mayhem in a gale?

    From which grain of grit are we to mold a defense capable of playing a full 24 seconds without bailing the other team out?

    To where does one retreat when even an earnest effort on D includes Kyle Lowry and Rudy Gay having at you like snacks they just grab from the cupboard at will before their parents come home?

    Down the standings, for starters.

    The ‘Ptors handed the Knicks a 100-98 loss on Robert Randolph, the team’s fourth straight and 14th in their last 28. Toronto, meanwhile, has won six of their last seven, proving once and for all that Andrea Bargnani secretly owns the team.

    Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay scored 32 points each, shooting a combined 22-47 and exchanging a few big buckets down the stretch.

    Unlike in the Indy Inquisition (it’s the best I could do), the Knicks started the game engaged and enraged, as Earl Monroe might have to start saying if Clyde never comes back – a sluggish first quarter was quickly covered up by a second rife with perimeter clampdowns and terminated possessions.

    Unfortunately, the Knicks offense wasn’t much better, dependent as it was on timely spurts from J.R. Smith and that seems like the right place to end that sentence.

    Despite connecting on 10 three-pointers – the Knicks were November-0 when hitting as many prior to tonight – New York’s offense never assumed a consistent flow, and many possessions ended accordingly, either in turnovers (16) or horrendous shots (thousands).

    For Melo, a rough start from the field (1-5) became a brief photonegative of the torrid starts of yore, with his 17 first half points being the chief impetus for a 51-48 halftime lead. He cooled off quickly down the stretch, however, missing wide-left on the Knicks’ last-ditch attempt at a tie in the game’s closing seconds.

    He even held the follow-through.

    The game was close from tip to buzzer, with neither team enjoying a lead greater than 13 and both showing the ability to cover ground quickly in stretches throughout.

    The Knick offense remains a shambolic shadow of its halcyon self, but by far the most disconcerting trend – more obvious than the Bubonic Plague at this point – is the #@$!%^USgVODaf GGA KLRJG:LSGJD ; SWITCHING!, which the Knicks once again wielded like a limp dick in a sword fight.

    J.R. Smith’s relatively disaster-free night (19-4-4 on 12, mostly reasonable shots) proved a couple things: 1) J.R. Smith is still capable of playing good basketball, and; 2) Even if he went out last night, he probably forgot to exchange the currency ahead of time.

    A Cossack-vicious throw down off a sweet Melo feed aside, Tyson Chandler might as well have had eggbeaters for hands for much of the game – at least on offense. For someone who routinely rises above some of the world’s most monstrously huge people to grab a rebound, Chandler has a tendency to treat offensive passes in traffic like balls of spent uranium covered in Vegemite.

    But credit Tyson also for helping establish something resembling a defensive presence during the second quarter – by far the Bocker’s best effort on that end since…. I can’t count that low – while contributing a pair of vicious blocks (DECEASED: Gay, Valenciunas) that had the considerable Knicks contingent in attendance being generally obnoxious, I’m sure.

    With the Nets falling at home to the ascendant Rockets (Jeremy Lin is better than Raymond Felton), the Knicks stood pat in the Atlantic and still hold a one-game lead over their cross-river rivals.

    That, unfortunately, is bound to be the silver lining in what was yet another skull-crushingly brutal Bocker performance. That’s how low we’ve come.

    Actually, this is how low we’ve come:

    Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 10.12.32 PM

    Seriously. Someone consciously took the time to create a new Twitter account, just to tweet that. And a few hundred other no doubt awful things that disappeared – along with the account – after I asked him what he’d do if someone I knew had IP tracking software.

    Why?

    Because we’re not allowed to criticize Raymond Felton?

    Because we think that giving up open three pointers is something that happens when you double team off of bad switches?

    Because when Kurt Thomas asks you during a presser (or a funeral – doesn’t really matter which as long as you shut up and listen) how you’re tweaking the starting lineup, and then you don’t tweak the starting lineup, we worry what’s going on in the clubhouse? Because Kurt Thomas deserves answers?

    Because some of us think there’s such a thing as lazy chemistry?

    Because that person is an asshole. Plus maybe some of those other things.

    This much is clear: The Knicks have been found out. The offensive poise and patience that marked the season’s start, and the wins that woke in tow, have fallen by many a wayside. Fatigue, distrust, confusion – there’s likely a dash of each in this crap casserole, and a great many more unnamed.

    Whether Woodson can rein it in, who #@$&!%& knows. There’s certainly something to be said for having the ears – and the respect – of dudes with millions on the line. If nothing else, Woodson has that with these mysterious, mercurial Knickerbockers.

    But that’s a far cry from having a plan – a plan to salve, if not solve, the switching issue. A plan for Iman Shumpert and Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin for crying out loud. Something to juice the nerves and spark the offense. A move to shame us as well as shake us. A real game-changer….

    …Oh, right, almost forgot: Amar’e Stoudemire had 16 points on 10 shots with six rebounds in 27 minutes. Forgot about that….

    Sorry, which panic level were we on?

    2012-13 Game Thread: Knicks @ Raptors

    If ever there was a time for a statement game, this would be it. The Knicks lost to the Raptors right before the break in one of the ugliest games of the season and then followed that up by being absolutely destroyed by the Indiana Pacers in the first game of the second half. If there’s still some fight left in these Knicks (and I certainly believe there to be), they will exact their revenge on the Raptors tonight. You have to believe that Melo will be ready for Landy Field’s defense tonight and will torch the former Knick.

    But, I guess, the proof is in the proverbial pudding. So we shall see!

    Let’s go Knicks!

    Knicks Morning News (Friday, Feb 22 2013)

  • [New York Times] Heat Win Ninth Straight, Tighten Grip on East (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 06:33:38 GMT)

    The Miami Heat tightened their grip on the Eastern Conference by routing the Chicago Bulls 86-67 on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Beat Clippers 116-90 for 5th Straight Win (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 06:27:43 GMT)

    Tony Parker scored 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs led all the way in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 116-90 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory and first over the Clippers this season.

  • [New York Times] Cheerleader Makes Front-Flip Half-Court Shot (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 05:37:19 GMT)

    Let’s see LeBron James do this.

  • [New York Times] Heat Defeat Bulls (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 05:28:00 GMT)

    LeBron James scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lift the Miami Heat over the Chicago Bulls.

  • [New York Times] On Basketball: Older Players the Knicks Could Have Added by the Trade Deadline (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 04:09:13 GMT)

    The Knicks, who started the season as the oldest team in N.B.A. history, just got older, by adding the 35-year-old forward Kenyon Martin. Here are some players the Knicks could have added who go way back.

  • [New York Times] Magic Trade Redick, 2 Others to Bucks (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 04:07:02 GMT)

    When he first took over as Orlando’s general manager this past summer, Rob Hennigan was adamant that it would take a deliberate process to rebuild the team following the decision to trade All-Star center Dwight Howard.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Add Kenyon Martin at N.B.A. Trade Deadline (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 03:23:43 GMT)

    Ronnie Brewer was traded to Oklahoma City, and the Knicks agreed to terms with Kenyon Martin, 35, who was expected to sign a 10-day contract this weekend.

  • [New York Times] Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Remembered at Service (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 02:57:59 GMT)

    Magic Johnson considered himself to be the adopted son of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss. Shaquille O’Neal hailed Buss for his foresight, while Kobe Bryant cited Buss’ ability to convince people to believe in him. Jerry West remembered a party-loving Buss who never went to bed, making it easy to be the first one at work in the morning.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Trade Deadline â?? Teams Deal Sidekicks, but Stars Stay Put (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 02:04:30 GMT)

    Two dozen players changed teams at the N.B.A. trading deadline, but no full-time starters were dealt, with J. J. Redick the most prominent player traded.

  • [New York Times] NBA Trade Deadline Features Only Minor Moves (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 01:01:03 GMT)

    The only trade involving Dwight Howard came last summer. The potent scorers that moved did so long ago.

  • [New York Times] Big NBA Names Stay Put on Dull Deadline Day (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 00:45:41 GMT)

    The big names rumored to be on the move at the National Basketball Association’s trade deadline went nowhere on Thursday as teams opted for tweaks over blockbusters.

  • [New York Daily News] Make room for Kenyon: Knicks deal Brewer to Thunder (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 06:36:48 GMT)

    The Knicks took yet another gamble on an injury-prone player on Thursday by signing Kenyon Martin, the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NBA draft and former Net, to a 10-day contract. The move came after the Knicks traded the Ronnie Brewer to the Thunder for a second-round pick and a trade exception.

  • [New York Daily News] Raissman: Woodson’s free pass may soon expire (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 04:06:50 GMT)

    MSG Network’s cameras lingered on Mike Woodson standing courtside Wednesday night in Indiana, exposing facial expressions normally not associated with a fearless leader. This was the face of a coach with intense media scrutiny in his future.

  • [New York Post] GM gets Martin, says Knicks can win it all (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 03:56:10 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? Knicks GM Glen Grunwald’s work is done. But are the Knicks done, too?
    Grunwald said he has built a team with a chance to break the club’s 40-year championship drought despite evidence to the contrary amid its recent doldrums. Grunwald did his final minor tinkering Thursday to…

  • [New York Post] No reason to believe Woody can turn ’em around (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 03:35:26 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? We already know Glen Grunwald isn’t the type of general manager who courts attention or is prone to hyperbole. Heck, the guy acts as if he’d rather have root canal than speak publicly about the status of the Knicks.
    So we weren’t expecting he’d be…

  • [New York Post] Knicks staff fed up with Smith’s antics (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 03:03:12 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? J.R. Smith’s act is starting to wear thin on the Knicks’ coaching staff.
    Coach Mike Woodson, Smith’s most ardent supporter, ripped his sixth man and the club in general for losing their composure in Wednesday’s 125-91 disgraceful loss to the Pacers.
    Smith attempted to bait…

  • [New York Post] Starter-turned-benchwarmer Brewer traded to Thunder (Fri, 22 Feb 2013 02:50:38 -0500)

    TORONTO â?? Amid injuries, Ronnie Brewer began the season as a starter and played a nice role in the Knicks’ 18-5 start. But soon he lost confidence in his 3-point shot and slid from starter to 15th man.
    Thursday Brewer got his wish as he was dealt at the trading deadline…