Since this worked out well last time, I’m going with my game notes again.
Duncan & Lopez trade baskets to start the game. A battle of the fundamentalists.
Porzingis on Aldridge. Lama backs him up & Zinger goes for a non-shooting foul. This should be fun to watch. I’m having flashbacks to a skinny Camby going against Tim Duncan and David Robinson.
Zinger then gets the ball from Calderon & does as smooth of a finger roll as you can expect from a 20 year old 7-3 footer.
Loose ball rebound tapped to Jose by Porzingis. He’s everywhere right now.
After the time out from the Spurs, (guess who?) Porzingis knocks down another three. For a few minutes, the future is now!
Duncan gets Kristaps on the low blocks. The savvy veteran draws a foul & Zinger is headed to the bench with two whistles. Good teams do smart things. The Spurs knew the rookie had one foul and as soon as they had this matchup they got the ball to Tim.
Lopez tries to post up Duncan, and ends up shooting a 10 foot hook shot. With all this low-post work, I’m feeling like it’s the 90s again. Queuing up Sublime for halftime.
The Dr. Jekyll of Derrick Williams seems to have shown up today.
Oaq hits a jumper from the free throw and he’s 3-3.
Williams has Duncan on him & tries some shake & bake, but the jumper hits iron. Annnnnd now he’s Mr. Hyde.
Duncan steals the inbounds pass. Good teams … smart plays.
Leonard blocks ‘Melo and takes it away, kinda how you’d play with your pre-teen nephew. ‘Melo doesn’t run back on defense (so the over/under was game 4). Instant reply shows it to be clean.
Robin Lopez takes 3 attempts from 3 feet to finally get a bucket. Strangely I’m OK with that.
Porzingis uses his length to swat Tony Parker’s layup into the camera row.
Porzingis boxes out & gets a rebound. These two plays show his potential as an all-around player. The ability is certainly there.
Good play by Porzingis denying the baseline, forcing a turnover.
And Zinger reaches in for his fourth foul. Back to the bench…
Robin Lopez gets the ball at the arc & the Knicks spend what seems like 28 minutes to find an open player as the Spurs deny the ball. They actually convert on this play, but this is indicative of San Antonio. They are so good at taking you out of your offense.
Oaq with a great back door play to Grant for a dunk. Exploiting the weak side of the triangle.
Oaq steals the cross court pass, but the Knicks can’t convert. Clyde mentions that it feels the Spurs have dominated the game, but the Knicks are only a run away from being back in it. Sure, and that mouse just needs to scamper out of the snake’s grip to run away…
Another nice slashing score by Grant.
Then one by Lance Thomas.
And then Melo impersonates a bowling ball to get to the line.
Annnnd the Knicks are almost back in it 70-65. They end the quarter with a nice defensive sequence.
Knicks hit two quick baskets and are only down by 4!
Grant drives & gets the whistle. He’s been slashing to the hoop this game…
Galloway with a nice drive & a high (so high) layup off the glass.
Zinger with a quick jumper from 10 feet.
Carmelo trips over an already fallen Kristaps, and the rookie isn’t getting up. I think Zinger just broke his neck.
New York had a hard time scoring. You might think they’re having a bad shooting night, but this is the Spurs. They’ve made an art form of forcing opponents to take lower percentage shots. I honestly don’t think New York has missed many open jumpers, or at least not more than normal. They’ve just had a lot more shots that either had a hand in the face, were off-balance, came from the Spurs taking away their first option with ball denial, etc.
As I said yesterday there were lots of positives to take from this. Porzingis showed a variety of ways to help the team. Galloway & Grant were effective, each in their own way.
One thing I didn’t mention is Carmelo Anthony. He had an awful shooting game (4-17, 19 points), but so did everyone not named Jerian Grant (5-8, 12 points). At this time we’ll tip our hats to the Spurs defense and Kawhi Leonard.