With their win tonight, the Pistons pick up their first victory of the season, leaving just the Sixers and Lakers as the only winless teams, so that’s a big feather in the Knicks’ cap.
With their loss, the Knicks sit at 2-3 and have lost two consecutive games. If that trend continues for the rest of the season, they will finish at 2-80, which will be the worst record in NBA history (assuming the Sixers and Lakers eventually win three games).
Here’s what happened:
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 39 MIN | 5-21 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 8 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | -3Rough night for Melo. His 5-for-21 from the floor only saw the blow softened by Josh Smith’s 2-for-17. It was not exactly a night of shot-making. Carmelo went without scoring from the floor in the first half for the first time since 2012, and you can’t really even give him much credit for “defending” Josh Smith. The best thing you can say about Melo was that his defense was poor enough to encourage Smith to keep shooting, which I suppose in theory would benefit New York in the long run.|
|Samuel Dalembert, C 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -8Dude needs to stop shooting, yo.|
|Jason Smith, C 26 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 17 PTS | -8This is one magnificent son of a bitch. He was by far the best J. Smith on the floor, and while he’s not a rookie, and thus can’t match Wes Unseld’s feat of winning Rookie of The Year and NBA MVP in the same season, at least he’s proving himself to definitively be New York’s best two-way big man and will almost certainly make Andrea Bargnani irrelevant. Although, these *are* the Knicks, so…|
|Shane Larkin, PG 32 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | +5It was too bad to see how bummed Larkin was after the late turnover that put the game out of reach. It was a bad ending to what was otherwise a half-decent game – he played more minutes in the second half following Prigioni’s injury than they were probably expecting him to and he didn’t exactly crap the bed. The loss wasn’t Larkin’s fault, it was the whole “falling behind by 18 thanks to getting out-rebounded by 12 despite playing big the whole game” thing.|
|Iman Shumpert, SG 36 MIN | 5-13 FG | 1-2 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +3He played a few spot minutes at point guard and didn’t suck, and his shot looks a lot better than it ever has. So at least he’s got that going for him? Uncharacteristically poor defense tonight – he lost Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a few times early for open threes.|
|Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 22 MIN | 7-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +8Not a terrible game from Amar’e, but his as-usual piss-poor defense and rebounding cropped up at the worst possible time – needing a stop late, he got isolated against Greg Monroe, and Monroe made him look silly with an up-and-under that pushed the Detroit lead to seven with just over a minute remaining. If the Knicks get a stop there it might be a different result.|
|Cleanthony Early, SF 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +3He played well late. #NailedIt|
|Quincy Acy, SF 14 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 0 PTS | -6I don’t have much to say about his game tonight, but his after-practice shooting contests with Samuel Dalembert must take forever.|
|Travis Wear, SF 5 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3He played basketball.|
|Cole Aldrich, C 11 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +1He also played basketball.|
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6I am going to hunt D.J. Augustin down and make him pay for what he did to my Pablo. If Prigioni misses a day of practice Augustin should be suspended for the year and face criminal charges.|
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 27 MIN | 8-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +3His shooting stroke is on point but things like “dribbing,” “passing,” “rebounding,” and “playing defense” largely remain foreign concepts. It wasn’t exactly a shock that he was gunning in a game where his father is the assistant coach and I can only imagine a large contingent of family and/or friends were in attendance. But he got results, so you can’t exactly kill him for it.|
Fisher has looked like a competent coach over the first two weeks of the season, which, after last season, is roughly a 7000 percent improvement over the previous head coach. He made the most of a bad situation – Carmelo wasn’t making shots and Prigioni’s injury threw an already-thin backcourt (sans Earl) into a bit of havoc, but they were still able to make a game of it in the second half. It would have been nice to see the Knicks play small a little bit more, considering that despite playing big they were getting killed on the boards anyways (although there’s something to be said for the fact that the perimeter depth wouldn’t allow for it, given the aforementioned injury to Pablo and suspension to J.R.) and they were having trouble defending the three point line. But still, not terrible.
Three Things We Saw
- Tonight’s game was way too last year-ish. Inexplicably stagnant offense early, inexcusably terrible defense against a far-too-predictable offense, a furious rally late, only to come up short thanks to a handful of classic blunders.
- It bears repeating – Josh Smith was 2-for-17 from the floor and the Knicks still managed to lose.