OK let’s get this over with. That’s not only how I feel now, but I how I felt when watching this game. Not for the whole game, mind you. New York tied the game at 35 in the mid 2nd quarter. But the Clippers would go on a 10-0 run, and expand it to 20 points in the third quarter. Essentially for the last 30 minutes of game time, Los Angeles led.
The Knicks didn’t have a bad shooting night, as their 53.1% eFG would attest. Instead the New York defense was the big letdown. The Clippers shot a sizzling 59.9%, and that was enough to propel them to victory. Six players from the visiting team had 16 or more points, and only Baron Davis (16 pts, 17 fga) had more points than shots attempted. However, the Clipper point guard did have 16 assists.
Some quick notes:
Mozgov played well on offense. He had 18 points on 8 of 9 shooting. It seemed like almost all of them were dunks as his teammates found him in the paint time and time again. He showed improved hands and a good sense around the rim. Timofey was active on the offensive glass as well.
Whatever Mozgov gave the Knicks on offense, he gave up on defense. DeAndre Jordan matched him with an identical shooting night (8-9), and like Mozgov he got most of his points in the paint, including a few alley-oops. Jordan exposed a weakness in Mozgov’s man defense, especially in handling a quicker center. The Knick center did block a shot at the end of the first half, so he wasn’t a complete minus on defense. Given what Mozgov was giving the Knicks earlier this year, I’ll take a draw at the center spot.
Danilo Gallinari shot 3 of 13, including 1 of 8 from downtown. However he made all 14 of his free throws and ended with 21 points. He excels at getting to the line, which helps on the nights when his outside shot isn’t sinking. On one drive had a nice no-look feed to Mozgov on the baseline, something you’d like to see more from the forward.
Amar’e was limited to only 27 minutes, due to early foul trouble. At one point he twisted his ankle, and lay on the court for a few minutes. Stoudemire played immediately afterward, so hopefully there are no lingering ramifications from the play.
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