Raptors 96, Knicks 79

New York Knicks 79 Final
Recap | Box Score
96 Toronto Raptors
Carmelo Anthony, SF 30 MIN | 6-15 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 3 AST | 12 PTS | -19

Carmelo Anthony has the most wonderful shot-put in the history of basketball. For someone with such picture-perfect form, Melo’s hoists have been orbiting an entirely different cylinder lately. When he attacks the rim, he’s far more effective, but also far more prone to having his stuff snuffed or sent off the backboard. Still, at this point I’ll take Melo getting blocked over Melo finding new and inventive ways to brick a jumpshot. On defense, he continues to provide enough hope that he’ll become something akin to consistent on that end, despite the requisite lead-footed lapses.

Amare Stoudemire, PF 34 MIN | 6-12 FG | 5-11 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 17 PTS | -11

Remember when the biggest worry about Stat was how often he turned the ball over? I’m glad we’ve moved beyond that, and on to worrying about whether he’ll try an All-Star weekend-caliber dunk in a Playoff series warmup ever again. Amar’e continued with his uber-efficient shooting, but bobbled and blundered his way to four costly turnovers in the process.

Please note that the only reason he gets a team high D- is for a sequence highlighted by his blocking a helpless Calderon, and then getting a sweet dunk-resulting reward from Melo seconds later. That was seriously the only enjoyable sequence of the entire game.

Tyson Chandler, C 32 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -19

Look, everyone’s allowed to have a bad day. Here’s the thing though: When a guard at Fort Knox has a bad day, shit gets plundered. Basically, the Raptors did a much better job of putting Barnyarknee in situations where he was able to draw Chandler out of his comfort zone (roughly 12×19 feet, and generally painted), and hit at a far more efficient clip. Tyson did have a couple of eviscerating blocks, but neither spurred or sustained any kind of run. Contrarily, on offense Chandler bobbled a number of bullet passes (some impossible to catch, others eminently catchable) and, well, scored two points.

Landry Fields, G 22 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | -4

When was the last time Landry Fields hit two consecutive free throws? Over the millenia, the question has plagued basketball historians and degenerate sports bloggers alike. Sadly our society doesn’t afford the tools with which to answer this question. We’ll just say it’s 100 games. In a word, Fields’ shot looks…. windswept? Unfortunately, that’s something he’ll likely have to wait until the offseason to fix. As teams continue to give him space on the perimeter, slashing is only going to entail increasing degrees of difficulty.

Jeremy Lin, PG 26 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | -19

Awful, just awful. And that goes for Calderon too. Indeed, the point guard play was particularly craptastic tonight, with both Lin and his Iberian interlocotur struggling mightily from the field. The difference, of course, was Calderon’s 10 assists, and the relative shooting prowess of his on-point wingmen. For whatever reason, Lin either didn’t look comfortable probing the lane, or didn’t have any good opportunities to do so. Also: the fact that you won’t be whistled for body-checking Jeremy Lin. That kind of sets a tone, too.

Baron Davis, PG 22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 5 PTS | -1

His carry-to-technical sequence was pretty outstanding, in the same way that food poisoning is fairly outstanding. Baron Davis is the perfect example of a player who you pay so much attention to that you either forget or ignore the fact that, when he has a really, really shitty game, he also does a couple things really well. Given that the team shot a mere 38% from the field, Davis’ 8 dimes were, well, pretty much all 8 of those “things.”

Steve Novak, SF 25 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | -4

I’m not much of a gambler, but sometimes certain questions demand a gambler’s answer. My question? What’s the over-under on number of Steve Novak dunks for the rest of the season? It has to be 1/2, right? Seriously, how loud would you yell if Steve Novak flushed one?

Another five Novakaine treys — the entirety of the Knick bounty on that front, and most all of them clean looks — kept this game from getting completely out of hand, particularly in the second half. I think by now it’s safe to say that, when Novak retires, he could make a cool, easy living as a $10-a-game beer pong ringer.

J.R. Smith, SG 23 MIN | 3-11 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS | -14

Are the rims 9’11” in China? Is that what this is? Because that’s the only logical explanation I can conjure for Smith’s hideous shooting of late. Either that or he’s really streaky, and will put up 37 and 19 in the next game. Nineteen of what, I’m not exactly sure. Maybe dribbles per quarter.

Jerome Jordan, C 3 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +4

Pro Tip: When you’re trying really hard to not get demoted to the D-League for the first time this year, it’s probably wise to not let James Johnson run past you for a thunderous garbage time dunk.

Iman Shumpert, G 17 MIN | 3-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | +2

Shump is one of the few players in the NBA for whom getting charged with a foul eight seconds after entering the game is a positive sign. His jumper is still hanging out with Melo’s a little too much, although he’s getting better at slashing decisively and effectively when given provided match-up advantages. Which, given his no doubt tremendous upsideability, should be often.

Josh Harrellson, F 7 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | 0

Hey wait a minute, that’s not Jared Jeffries!

Five Things We Saw

  1. Just so you get an idea of what the process for these game recaps typically looks like, here are my first few general bullets from the game notes:

    • 2 turnovers on first 2 possession, 3 turnovers in 2 minutes
    • Woodson with EARLY timeout,
    • Nice little bark session early, Bargs called for bad screen, melo clotheslines Calderon, who got up and acted as if someone had shot his mother,
    • 7 TURNOVERS IN THE FIRST $#%&*!@ QUARTER
    • 10 turnovers,

  2. Speaking of turnovers, the Knicks had 22 of them. Every type of turnover you can imagine, too: High passes, low passes, lazy passes, fly passes the other guy couldn’t catch, dribbling into a forest of flailing limbs, all of them. No double-dribbles though. Say, that reminds me of a video game us old folks used to play. It was called Double Dribble, and the graphics were outstanding*.

    *Basically it was 10 8-bit Rick Barrys running around and shooting everything like free throws.

  3. Speaking of free throws, the Raptors took nine more — and made eight more — than the Knicks. And while it doesn’t seem like connecting on even two thirds of those would’ve made the game any closer, there’s definitely a psychological difference in knowing you’re down 9, as opposed to being down 10, a deficit which the Knicks spent a majority of the time trying to rebound from.
  4. Speaking of rebounds, the Knicks had very hard time doing that tonight. The Raptors straight up out-hustled the Knicks on both ends of the court and boards, feeding off a crowd out in droves for foe’s blood. While the Knicks have been much improved on the glass of late, tonight’s drubbing proved ours wasn’t too keen a memory on that front.
  5. Speaking of memory, you have to think the Raptors remembered very clearly — and very bitterly — the night when Linsanity used the Tragically Hip Arena or whatever for its own crescendo. And the fact that Toronto has lost two nights previous on a 20-0 run at the horns of the Bulls probably didn’t help their mood, either. Whatever rage the Raps had built up, they took out on the Knicks — who failed to get back finally to the .500 threshold — doing so with a savage fervor designed to remind everyone that the men of March Madness aren’t men quite yet.
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Jim Cavan

Beyond his KnickerBlogger roots, Jim's work has appeared at ESPN.com, Grantland, The Classical, and the New York Times. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, entitled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.

18 thoughts to “Raptors 96, Knicks 79”

  1. If Melo’s wrist is still bothering him, then I guess it’s understandable, but it’s still pretty depressing (knowing we aren’t going anywhere this year). But if he is healthy, he has to take a lot of blame for these offensive struggles. Dude looks like more trigger-happy Landry Fields out there! At least Melo’s shots look like they have a CHANCE of going in though, can’t say the same about Fields. How can someone from Stanford not understand that shooting the ball in a straight line towards the basket (no arc) have basically no chance of going in? Just seems like he would at least try putting a little air under his shots.

  2. It seems like this team just can’t get everybody to play well at the same time. Getting everybody to play like crap at the same time, that’s no problem.

  3. For the division, we are behind the Sixers by 4 wins.
    For 8th place in the conference, we are only half a win ahead of Milwaukee.

    For the remaining schedule, we still have two games against Milwaukee, and one against Boston.

  4. So I just got back from watching that Hungry Games movie (don’t ask) and I saw some garbage on espn about the non-novaks going 0-19 from 3. That can’t be true, can it?

  5. Truly terrible shooting game. Novak was the only one making the 3s, should get a D- at least. Otherwise we would be the New York Bricks.

  6. The Bucks won by 20, and yet look at their starting back court.

    Ellis: 4-12 (plus 5-10 from the line!)
    B. Jennings: 6-14

    I think we’re going to see a lot of games with results like that, and the Bucks won’t be playing Charlotte in those other games, so they could be in trouble.

  7. I hope they were able to spend the night in Toronto to enjoy Yonge St. so they can get this game out of their system, but they probably flew out tonight. This was just the classic let down game that every team has.
    I see a massacre over the Pistons coming, assuming Jelo can hang with 76 year old Tayshaun Prince.

  8. “Iberian interlocutor”. Great stuff Jim after such a debacle. On a side note, I’m really concerned that the Knicks supposedly weren’t prepared for the zone defense. I get that they were off and could not shoot themselves out of the zone, but not to be prepared… The zone is not exactly some new fangled little known alien mind control device powered by the Northern Lights. We’ve all seen or played on high school/college teams that have deployed a zone. They even play it in some Rec leagues. Can you imagine even a high school coach admitting that he didn’t practice zone busting. Seriously, are other professional NBA teams unprepared to battle a zone? To me, this is more of the same lack of preparation that we have come to expect. How can you ever effectively execute at this level without preparation?

  9. daJudge:
    “Iberian interlocutor”. Great stuff Jim after such a debacle. On a side note, I’m really concerned that the Knicks supposedly weren’t prepared for the zone defense.I get that they were off and could not shoot themselves out of the zone, but not to be prepared… The zone is not exactly some new fangled little known alien mind control device powered by the Northern Lights.We’ve all seen or played on high school/college teams that have deployed a zone.They even play it in some Rec leagues. Can you imagine even a high school coach admitting that he didn’t practice zone busting.Seriously, are other professional NBA teams unprepared to battle a zone?To me, this is more of the same lack of preparation that we have come to expect.How can you ever effectively execute at this level without preparation?

    I know we tend to try and make sense of every microcosm of every game, but I think this is simply a case where we can note that the Knicks shot 37% on the road, ie: terrible.

    Occasionally you have a stinker in which you can’t hit the broad side of a hockey rink with a zamboni, and you lose to a team who does slightly better than that. That’s what happened.

  10. All that effort and the victory against the 76ers are now obliterated! Against Philly it was painful to watch as well; it was an ugly game, but the Knicks won. Against the Raptors the Knicks looked like the good old D’Antoni team. Shots didn’t fall, while the commitment to D was part-time at best, and the energy was very low. Now is the time for Woodson to show that he won’t let the team slide again.

  11. what a pathetic display…

    are we headed for another ridiculous losing streak? after the Pistons it gets kinda rough, with Milwaukee, Orlando, Atlanta, Cleveland, Indiana, Orlando again, Chicago back to back and Milwaukee…

    this will be the defining stretch of the season, and needless to say, I’m not confident.

    by the way, Carmelo’s TS% is now .494 for the year, which is kinda like a much worse Paul Millsap.

  12. Bruno Almeida:
    what a pathetic display…

    are we headed for another ridiculous losing streak? after the Pistons it gets kinda rough, with Milwaukee, Orlando, Atlanta, Cleveland, Indiana, Orlando again, Chicago back to back and Milwaukee…

    this will be the defining stretch of the season, and needless to say, I’m not confident.

    by the way, Carmelo’s TS% is now .494 for the year, which is kinda like a much worse Paul Millsap.

    Besides confidence, Melo has conditioning and weight issues as well.

  13. ROUGH: Besides confidence, Melo has conditioning and weight issues as well.

    which is like, totally ok, because he gets paid the MLE right?

    oh, damn.

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