Well there are no ties in basketball so one team’s losing streak was going to end, for joy it is the Knicks that get back in the win column.
Okay so it’s hard to convey sarcasm without the benefit of tone. I’m glad the Knicks won. I am pleased to see them get a break out shooting night as a team. The Knicks overcame a flat start (14 1st quarter points) and put up 99 points over the last 3 quarters of the game. The Knicks put up a 60.5 eFG% paced by 27 each from Stoudemire (11-19) and Gallinari (4-8, 3-5).
Gallinari amasses his total by hitting 16/17 free throws, far and away the most from him this year (it’s 1am, I’m not checking it right now but it does sound right). Gallinari did put the ball on the floor a few times to draw contact. He also let the King defenders just run into him on at least two set three point attempts. Good for him. I’m not banking on this becoming the norm for Gallinari, but as good as he is from the line I wish he would draw this sort of contact more often.
Stoudemire played well and mixed things up between the drives and set shots. His 10 rebounds and 2 blocks–one helping slow a King 4th quarter push–contributed to the win. I should be happy with Stat. He had a reasonable 3 turnovers. He only took one bad shot that I recall, and he had a perfect pass to a cutting Landry Fields for an easy two. So why am I not pleased? Well, Stoudemire still isn’t setting decent picks. He barely initiates contact with the man he is to screen. This doesn’t let the PnR develop as it should and it doesn’t take the defense off balance the way a good pick should. Also when the Kings made their 4th quarter push, they did it with rebounding. Stoudemire didn’t box out well. This allowed DeMarcus Cousins and Carl Landry to get a few easy rebounds. I know I’m nit picking here but we cant rely on a 60% eFG every night. Furthermore, we won’t play young teams with zero interior defense every night. This team will struggle if it does not commit to rebounding and keeping turnovers down.
The Knicks had more turnovers (18) than assists (14). Felton’s 5 was no shock, but Fields’ 4 did raise my eyebrows. I notice all of Felton’s during the game, but really only one of Fields. I guess its that Fields does so many other things well (6/6 ft, 5 rebs, 2 assists, great cuts to the basket) I tend not to focus on the turnovers or the -2 +/-. Anyway, 4 turnovers is unusual for him and no cause for alarm just yet.
Toney Douglas looked like TDDWTDD tonight. Chandler took a back seat to Stoudemire and Gallinari on offense which I think is a good thing. Have you noticed that D’Antoni’s roation is getting shorter? Only 4 reserves tonight with two reserves combining to play 18 minutes. Mozgov got 6 minutes and Walker 12 minutes. Mason and Randolph logged DNP-CD’s.
I don’t know yet if Randolph is out of the rotation, though I questioned how long D’Antoni would use a player that can’t contribute on offense. Randolph’s 27.6 eFG% and 32.5 TS% makes me pine for the days of the Jeffrightened. With the Kings’ small front line, the Knicks could get by without Randolph’s length, but the team will need Randolph’s size and rebounding (18.4 Reb-r, 12.1 per 36 min leads the team) if Mozgov is limited to less than 10 per game. So either Randolph needs to improve his shot or there must be a modification to the D’Antoni rules. Somebody wake me if either of those events comes to pass. And you really will have to wake me because I’m turning in.
Good win and good night.