Sorry this didn’t come out earlier, but here are my belated thoughts on Knicks-Celts pre-season game #1 (they play again on Sunday in the neutral territory of Hartford, Connecticut):
-Many questioned whether Amar’e Stoudemire was worth the $100 million contract, and so far he’s been a man amongst boys. He had another insane evening where he shot nearly 70% from the field, plus he got to the free throw line an impressive 15 times. In just 27 minutes. However, again the rebounds were anemic at just 5. But he did also get 2 blocks, so at least he’s looking to protect the basket a bit more than he has the last couple of years. Warning, most of the rest of this post is negative after this.
-Timofey Mozgov played well as the starting center, with the main issue again being fouls, as he notched four in just 15 minutes. That ain’t gonna get it done.
-Raymond Felton logged the most time at 28 minutes, during which he logged a respectable 6 assists, but negated that by coughing up the ball three times during that short span. Plus once again his shooting was godawful. Basically, he’s playing like a Duhon.
-Danilo Gallinari’s shot clearly stayed in Italy, as once again he stunk it up from long distance, hitting just 1 of 6. Hopefully his shot won’t stay abroad permanently and has merely taken an extended vacation in Italy because it missed real homemade Italian food like Momma Gallo makes.
-Wilson Chandler actually shot 2-for-3 from distance, continuing a nice run from three-point land. Maybe he can actually do a good job at the shooting guard spot. Likewise Bill Walker kept up his torrid pace, hitting 3-of-6 from out there too. Me likey.
-Anthony Randolph still has yet to put it all together. Okay, he hasn’t even put some of it together. He shot 33% and had 5 turnovers in just 20 minutes. I’m getting more and more concerned that this kid ain’t gonna figure it out.
-Though the Knicks lost again (101-104), as mentioned in my post on the relevance of pre-season games, just looking at the win-loss column tells a poor story. The Celtics played three of their big guys (Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce & Ray Allen) from 37-41 minutes. Of particular importance was that those guys stayed in until the very end of the fourth quarter, while we had long since rested our starters (none of ‘em even came in during that final quarter). Not only were we playing backup folk, we even had some of our backups to our backups, closing it out with the likes of rookies like Landry Fields and Andy Rautins. Heck, if Rondo, Allen and Pierce couldn’t defeat Toney Douglas, Rautins and Fields, then they should’ve gotten their 2008 championship rings taken away.
-That said, we did luck out that Kevin Garnett got two techs in the first quarter and was tossed. And if Amar’e hadn’t gone crazy, we would’ve been slaughtered. Despite the joke above, I’m not worried about Gallo finding his shot again. However, if neither Felton or Randolph get their games together, we’re gonna need Stat to go crazy every single game just to be competitive. That ain’t good.