|Andrea Bargnani, PF 35 MIN | 11-25 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 5 BLK | 1 TO | 25 PTS | +14
Bargnani was very competent in his role as a starting center tonight. But let’s apply context before we jump to any major conclusions. It was the Bobcats — 8 boards and 5 blocks aren’t exactly shocking. 25 points on 25 shots somehow amounting to a “breakout performance” is not a good sign.
But hey, he was okay! The defense was still not a thing — beyond the few times he was caught having to defend a guard on a switch and forced a long two. If anything, Bargs’ game tonight proved he’s best at the center.
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 39 MIN | 12-22 FG | 3-5 FT | 8 REB | 6 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 28 PTS | +16 Anthony reminded me, at times, of a child on offense: MKG hurt his wittle feelings by pwaing good defense on him and blocking his shot so he decided he needed to get back at that mean ol’ kitty and iso him at every opportunity. His shot is lookin’ better though, and the improved spacing helped bump up his efficiency and shot selection. On defense, he was pretty blech all night long. So why the high-ish grade? His work on the boards. That’s just flat out effort and he brought it.|
|Raymond Felton, PG 38 MIN | 6-17 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +17 We’re really going to need Felton to make a good amount of open shots this season. Or you know, at least more than a small fraction of them.|
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 22 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | +4 Timely pick-and-roll-bred threes, sweet dishing, a pesky steal. Oh oh oh, and ran a MASTERFUL pick and pop with Bargs all night long. What I love about Prigs is that I can copy and paste his section from former recaps and it’ll probably still apply.|
|Iman Shumpert, SG 39 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +3 Shump couldn’t really find open looks tonight, and thankfully he didn’t try to look for many of his own. He was very team-oriented, and worked his ass off on the boards. One issue: He didn’t quit gambling on the defensive end. With Chandler out, that play is riskier than ever and the fact that he went for those home-run steals so many times wasn’t exactly encouraging.|
|Kenyon Martin, PF 10 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +8 Did Kenyon things.|
|Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 8 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -7
Anything would’ve been better than that last game. I wanted to cry. We wanted to cry. STAT drew two charges, post-move’d his way to a nifty layup, and — more poignant still — threw down a one-handed slam. I loved every minute of it.
Oh, he was sort of kind of possibly horrible on defense.
|Metta World Peace, SF 29 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-1 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +4 Metta was pretty awesome tonight. He was a spark off the bench, quickly grabbing an offensive rebound and finishing it with a tough and-one. He took fewer iso-Metta shots — which was lovely to see — and did the right things defensively.|
|Cole Aldrich, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -3 /tumbleweed slowly rolls across empty western road|
|Beno Udrih, PG 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -2 Just handled the ball and was terrible on defense.|
|Toure’ Murry, SG 1 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -3 Checks in, drops a simple pass from Shumpert, gets scored on by Kemba Walker, gets rejected brutally by MKG. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!|
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 14 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -1 Splashed a couple of catch-and-shoot jumpers, at times was solid — and other times dreadful — on defense. Traveled on two consecutive possessions. He may be a JR Smith clone, but he also has a few years to figure out the better parts.|
|Mike Woodson Woody should be commended for his lineup management this game. For the most part. He did shy away from Melo-at-the-four and two-point-guards at times. BUT, the fact remains that he started both of those things — albeit reluctantly, and sometimes due to injury. BUT IT HAPPENED! Now there were some fundamental flaws in his coaching game tonight — allowing the Knicks to switch so often (shocking), letting Anthony isolate so much (shocking), stuff like that (shocking). Basically: Just because these things happen regularly, doesn’t mean we should just glance over it.|
Four Things We Saw
- As previously mentioned: boy oh boy boy did the Knicks switch the hell out of the joint tonight. This was a problem a few days ago as well, but tonight they got away with it because of Charlotte’s many unforced giveaways.
- The spacing and ball movement on offense were fantastic. Bargnani at center is the best Bargnani-related idea coach Woodson has come up with, and it helped the Knicks resolve their lingering offensive issues — at least for this game. Will it work for extended periods against good teams? Probably not. But we’ll take it tonight. New York also assisted on over half of their field goals, which was a nice touch.
- Don’t overreact to this game. Just don’t, please. It was the Bobcats. The Knicks made some of the same mistakes as last game, and their major correction — MELOATTHEFOUR — only went through because Tyson Chandler got hurt. The Bobcats had A LOT of unforced turnovers. Kemba missed A LOT of shots he’s been making his entire career. But the Knicks played well and won. So there’s that.