The Knicks got exactly what they needed. A win. It wasn’t all pretty but it got the job done. I liked the style of basketball Carmelo Anthony played last night. He looked like he kinda sort of cared on the defensive end and on offensive he was aggressive in taking the ball to the hoop. Melo took a season high 18 free throw attempts last night (making 16 of them). This goes to show you that his mentality was to attack the basket off the dribble, rather than jack up three pointers all night. He had a team high 29 points, but he shot a measly 33% from the field. On the other hand, Amar’e Stoudemire was clearly the player of the game. He had a season high 22 points on 9 of 10 shooting from the field. His field goal percentage this season (56.9%) is well above his career average (53.4%), and he is dominating inside the paint offensively in his role off the bench. If the Knicks want to contend in the Eastern Conference this year, they need Amar’e to continue to his efficiency on the offensive end. As far as the Knicks defense goes, they looked like they played with more energy and intensity than we’ve seen in the recent past. However, this team lacks that killer instinct that say a Kobe Bryant has. They found themselves sitting on a 20 point lead early in the 3rd quarter, and they simply didn’t go for the jugular. I would have loved to see them blow the 76ers out last night. It would have sent a statement to the rest of the league, and would have built their confidence beyond belief. The Knicks let off the gas pedal and let the 76ers back in the game. This game shouldn’t have been nearly as close as the final score would indicate. Now, the Knicks did win 99-93, but I would have liked to see them hold the 76ers to under 90 points. The Knicks also continue to lack any type of consistency from their “shooting” guards. Shumpert’s intensity was up on the defensive end last night, which was great to see. However, he is clearly still out of rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. He is not 100%, and he has no lift on his jumper. I was watching the game last night and thought to myself, man it would be nice to see Iman Shumpert throw down a ferocious dunk and get the fans up out of their seats. He does have amazing hops and is extremely athletic, and I look forward to seeing him get back to form and contributing on both sides of the ball. As for Jason Kidd, have you ever seen a veteran player in his 19th season look more uncomfortable shooting a basketball? I mean when he is WIDE OPEN he doesn’t even want to shoot it. However when he does decide to jack up an occasional shot, his legs flail out like Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Kidd did grab 9 rebounds last night and play decent defense, but if he is going to be the Knicks starting 2-guard for the foreseeable future he needs to start hitting some shots. The problem the Knicks had last night in closing this game out was their inability to guard quick point guards (nothing new there). Jrue Holliday carved up the Knicks, scoring at will. He ended up with a game high 30 points. The Knicks won the ball game, but they are lucky the game ended when it did. If the game were just 3 minutes longer, I guarantee you they would have lost. They need to carry some momentum from this win into their next game. They will remain at home, but have a tough match-up against the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night. Tune in to MSG @ 8:00 P.M. this Wednesday night to watch the Knicks continue their winning ways, hopefully.
Published by Dave Ettinger
I think, I say it. You may not like it, but I'll always be honest. I'm a walking oxymoron; an objective fan. Yankees, Knicks, Jets, and Islanders. You can find me on the DaveTalksSports Podcast every morning during my commute home from CBS Sports Radio Headquarters. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel; DaveTalksSports. You can also like my Facebook Page at www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports or follow me on Twitter @DaveEttinger2. View all posts by Dave Ettinger