Knicks 109, Warriors 105
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 10-26 FG | 13-15 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 35 PTS | +11If you’re in the “Melo needs to be our primary creator” camp, this may have been your favorite performance by him in some time. On a night when the jumpers were (mostly) not falling, he broke down the defense off the dribble, got to the line a ton, and mixed in some filthy post moves and breathtaking passes. Bullied smaller guys, went around slower guys, drove with his head up ready to see cutting teammates, hit a gorgeous baseline fadeaway to make it a two-possession game in the final minute. Solid defensive effort as well. Good marks all around and only a cold night on jumpers kept it from being a singularly great performance.|
|Tyson Chandler, C 42 MIN | 5-9 FG | 6-7 FT | 28 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 16 PTS | +8Speaking of singularly great performances, everything we love about Tyson Chandler was on display tonight. A smash here, a swat there, screens and cuts aplenty and, my goodness, the rebounding. He hit double digits in the games first 7 minutes and didn’t look back, completely controlling the glass and, by extension, the game at both ends. Lost in the confusion generated by the Stephen Curry Pain Tornado was the fact that the rest of the Warriors offense was actually pretty brutal — Curry had 54 points on 35 possessions used (154 O-Rating, not so bad) while the rest of the team had 51 on 59 (86 O-Rating). Chandler’s switching, contesting, and ball-hawking was a major factor there. If the rest of the Warriors offense had been even mediocre, Curry’s night for the ages would have stood up. Chandler was the biggest reason it didn’t.|
|Jason Kidd, PG 19 MIN | 0-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2Read all about Kidd’s performance here.|
|Raymond Felton, PG 39 MIN | 3-10 FG | 2-6 FT | 4 REB | 4 AST | 4 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +11Shot poorly and ceded the evening’s playmaking responsibilities to Carmelo Anthony so in terms of offensive value, not so much. On the other end, was the main culprit in the stunning amount of space that Curry continued to have on pull-up threes, even as he registered heat check readings a couple degrees north of “Fires of Mount Doom.” Why did he play 39 minutes when he wasn’t being utilized in the offense and was overmatched in his attempt to check the Warriors sole offensive threat tonight? That’s a great question. But just at the moment when his matchup on Curry seemed most likely to give the game away, he came up with a vicious block on a long jumper and then a game-icing steal in the dying seconds. Waddle waddle. Woof woof.|
|Iman Shumpert, PG 22 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 6 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 2 PTS | +12Had some very clean looks on jumpers tonight and didn’t even come close to knocking them down. His dribble penetration looked good but his inability to finish confidently (aside from a nice roll off a pretty Eurostep on his lone make of the evening) rendered it largely moot. Now shooting 19% in his last 5 games and in real danger of dropping below 30% on the season. Needs to be put in position to be an impact defender to have value because he’s a weight around the neck of the offense right now.|
|Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 20 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | -4Another night with a great FG% and a bad +/-. In isolated games that’s a pretty meaningless statistic but as a trend it certainly suggests some measure of defensive liability, an inference supported by the eye test on this night. Still, I’d say a little more good than bad for STAT.|
|Kenyon Martin, PF 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -10A 5 trillion with a -10 for K-Mart in his Knick debut. Actually liked what I saw from him on defense — he may prove our only option that combines iron in the low post with any kind of mobility, although that distinction likely says more about our motley crew of frontcourtsmen than about Kenyon himself. Let’s go with a cautiously optimistic B- here. I’m interested in seeing more.|
|Steve Novak, SF 9 MIN | 0-4 FG | 3-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -7Hey look it’s like we always say about Novak, he can’t make any outside shots but you know he’ll always get to the line.Please stop getting beat on defense and then compounding the error with horribly lazy-looking recovery fouls.|
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -7Played a little at the two tonight and hit an open three. I’d imagine that even the most ardent Felton supporters would have a hard time justifying the 80/20 split in minutes between he and Prigs.|
|J.R. Smith, SG 35 MIN | 10-19 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 26 PTS | +4As well as Melo played and as much as Chandler dominated the paint, Hurlin’ Earl brought this thing home. Shot 6 of 11 from deep on a night when the rest of the team (5 for 23) couldn’t establish much of an outside presence, had two late go-ahead makes, and turned it over only once on 21 used possessions in 35 minutes. Long live Good J.R.|
|James White, SG 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 0The only noticeable thing he did was decline to put up a full-court heave at the end of the first quarter, presumably to protect his Field Goal Percentage. Pro tip, Flight: that’s gonna be the best look you get a lot of nights. Don’t be that guy.|
|Chris Copeland, SF DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS | There was a role for him tonight. Didn’t love the DNP.|
|Mike WoodsonI don’t think there was much we could have done about Curry tonight but he really did have a lot of space on too many of those pull-up threes. It’s not like it should have been a surprise after about a quarter and a half of this one. I know he doesn’t like to cross-match but Curry is a particularly bad matchup for Felton and if the worst outcome of using Shump on Curry is that Harrison Barnes might torch us then I’m willing to take my chances at least for a little while. Minute management at the point also wasn’t great. Not a horrible night but if Curry makes one more three and JR misses one, he has some tough questions to answer in the post-game presser.|
Four Things We Saw
- You basically have to be in open denial at this point to not feel like the Knicks’ postseason is going to end at the hands of a quick ballhandler. It’s nice to think that Shumpert will emerge as a panacea to our defensive woes but Woodson isn’t an idiot and the fact that after 2 months he still won’t use him on a player like Curry might be telling us something about how ready he is. I’m not taking anything away from Steph — he was absolutely sublime and would have gone off against basically any team in the world tonight — but the fact that we just concede that nights like this are the cost of doing business is a total bummer. It’s a point guard league and we can’t defend them.
- David Lee almost certainly swings this game if he’s not suspended — Golden State had absolutely zero inside presence on offense and were unable to hinder Chandler from controlling the glass on both ends. Given the decisiveness of those two factors, you would think Lee would have been worth at least the 4 point that made up the margin.
- It’s funny: we usually get a lot of iso-Melo in late game, hero-ball situations but it seems to me that the best time for it is actually right out of the gate. When he starts the game with an obvious mismatch — like he did tonight against Draymond Green or, more notably, a couple of weeks ago against Blake Griffin — a few strong drives and some physical post play can put an opposing player in quick foul trouble. I like iso-Melo early as long as we move away from it once the mismatch is corrected.
- Obviously Curry deserves more of a write-up but what is there to say, really? He just made all his shots. It was like Davidson’s Elite 8 run all over again. I watched the game with a Warriors’ fan friend who, about 5 three-pointers into this one, said without a hint of irony, “I’m really happy they chose him over Monta.” Crazy that it was ever a question and seems crazier by the day.