|Carmelo Anthony, SF 36 MIN | 9-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 23 PTS | +16
With a quick move just 13 seconds into the game, Anthony was able to draw a foul. I was really pleased by this. I saw this as a sign that the Knicks were coming out as the aggressor. I was enthralled. “Hey, quick shots taken in rhythm and catching the defense off guard. Finally, we are getting back to what worked so well. We are going to make the most of these possessions. We are going to…aww hell, you missed the free throw!”Yes, the rest came true, but the missed freebies are really starting to annoy me.
|Ronnie Brewer, SF 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -2
Solid defense, didn’t get in the way, started each half with an open three that he was able to hit each time. We really don’t need much else from him with the 8 minutes a half he gets until Smith checks in.
|Marcus Camby, C 16 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0
Thank you for getting healthy. Please stay that way. You really don’t need to do much to out-produce Kurt Thomas of late, but 6 boards in 16 minutes will suit me just fine. Nice interior defense as well.
|Tyson Chandler, C 32 MIN | 3-4 FG | 4-5 FT | 14 REB | 4 AST | 10 PTS | +16
This rebound tap out thing he does should become a stat if it is not already recorded as one. He saves maybe two possessions a game doing that.
|Jason Kidd, PG 21 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | +1
Spoiler alert!So, you may have heard in The Amazing Spider-Man #700 Doc Octopus created a machine that allowed him to place his brilliant mind in Spider-Man’s super-powered body, and Spider-Man’s mind in Doc Octopus’s body. This launched a new series called Superior Spider-Man. I’d like to see if it is possible to place Kidd’s mind in Smith’s body thus creating Superior J.R. It would be one of the most amazing things basketball has ever known.
|Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +9
I can forgive Stoudemire for being a step slow, for not having his touch back, and for not having lift, but i can’t forgive him forcing the issue. Passing out of a situation where you are unlikely to create a good shot is the right thing to do. I’m not quite sure if this is due to Stoudemire wanting to force the issue, or just not yet knowing the offense. I’m going to go with the later because even without the ball he doesn’t seem to know where he needs to be on offense.
|Steve Novak, SF 22 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | +10
The Knicks are 7-0 this season when Novak hits 4 or more from deep. 7-8 when he hits fewer than 2. Clearly, the team is better off when Novak gets it going. So it would be nice if the coaching staff drew up a play or two for him. Novak doesn’t really run off screens to get open looks, he most waits for a late rotation. This may not be in Woodson’s playbook, but it could be worth a look.
|Chris Copeland, SF 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -2
Chris Copeland did his Bizarro-Chandler thing this evening getting nothing in the paint and everything from distance. Stop doing that.
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 27 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 9 AST | 6 PTS | +16
Prigioni reminds me of Rocky. Not the boxer, not the cartoon squirrel, I’m talking about the wrestler Rocky Maivia.Yes, before he became “The Rock”, Dwayne Johnson started off as the colorful doormat, Rocky Maivia. Maivia’s schtick was win or lose (mostly lose), Maivia had a smile on his face. Like Maivia, Prigioni kept on smiling through games as he turned over the ball, missed threes and lay ups, and got beat easily by just about anyone. But tonight Prigioni had reason to smile easily playing his best game of the season. I can ignore the 3-9 because his 9 assists to 1 turnover are far more valuable than his shooting stroke.
|James White, SG 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6
2 boards in 5 minutes. Well they don’t call him “flight” for nothing.
|J.R. Smith, SG 27 MIN | 9-17 FG | 1-3 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +27
When J.R. puts it all together, it really is an absolute joy to watch him play. Okay maybe not an absolute joy. He still gambles quite a bit on steals, and has this really bad habit of throwing his body into the people when going for a loose ball. But since there wasn’t much of that this evening, I can just enjoy the plus-27 the team enjoyed when he was on the floor. I can only hope that Kidd is pouring everything he knows–everything about basketball–into J.R. If that ever happens, J.R. Smith will possess The Power Cosmic. Maybe J.R. is on his way. Clearly he read the defense correctly when he flashed to the basket and pulled off this amazing dunk….um, anyone know how to insert a .gif into these recaps?
|Kurt Thomas, PF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
DNP Coach’s Decision.
And a fine decision at that.
|Rasheed Wallace, PF DNP SORE LEFT FOOT MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
Each time the Knicks win, I hear your name whispered in the breeze.
First of all, great call starting Camby over Thomas.Sure, it was the obvious call but Wood still had to make it. Second, it was great to see the Knicks get back to the the proper spacing and ball movement that created so many good looks. Making the right adjustments matter in this game.
Four Things We Saw
- The Knick offense looked its best when Pablo Prigioni was on the floor. Prigi Smalls showed a knack for speeding up the offense while keeping things under control. I think pushing the pace was a good idea against the Spurs since they showed very little speed on defensive rotations. The Knicks got off to such a great start to the season playing a slow, efficient pace. In recent games, the pace stayed slow but the efficiency wasn’t there. I thought Prigioni’s minutes woke up the team from whatever offensive doldrums they were mired in for the last 10 games.
- The best defensive showing in a while. There was a lot of effort and energy, hell even Novak had two steals.The Spurs did get a number of open jumpers, but in the early minutes of the third quarter, they lost interest in making them. The Spurs went 0-8 in the paint in the third, and only hit 5 shots from the floor. Kudos to the Knicks on doing something to bring that defensive rating down from the current 106.3 (20th).
- My oldest son is really into Legos. He has thousands of them. We spend hours following instructions in order to put together whatever castle, or vehicle, or city (yes, he got an entire Lego city from Santa) he has. Then after we have it all together and we are enjoying things, he wants to take it all apart to make something new. Well once that thing is down, there is little chance you can ever put it back together the way it was. You are sure to misplace a part or two, but you find a replacement and you move on.Two days ago, he asked me to make the Bat-Mobile. The instructions were long gone, and I had found maybe a third of the parts I needed from that bottomless Lego bin of his, but he loved the result. So did I. We called it the Black-Mobile.Limitations teach you how to get the most out of what you have. Even if you don’t have all the parts, you can find a way to make things work. The Knicks haven’t had all their parts this season, yet they are finding a way to make it work. They are learning things about who they are that will serve them well later in this season. I am really enjoying this season.
- And now, I give you, the Black-Mobile