(Eds. Note: This recap will be particularly short due to B.O.B. staff writer Adam Garnett’s more in depth follow up later on tonight. Enjoy them both.)
The New York Knicks and the Utah Jazz: two teams who symbolize the vast spectrum of unfair disparity currently existing between small and large market NBA franchises. When the current CBA expires and both parties are drawn to a negotiating table, if you’re the players, I don’t think bringing a tape of tonight’s game would play out in your favor. New York, two pricey superstars and all, thoroughly dominated the Jazz, playing them like a fiddle to the tune of a horribly mismatched 131-109 blowout—the Knicks hit the century mark with two minutes left in the third quarter. Also, Andy Rautins played…and scored!. It’s games like this that should motivate the Eastern Conference’s top four teams to position themselves away from facing New York in the second round. Now here’s a brief little breakdown of how some Knicks performed. Needless to say I could sum it up in one word: Well.
* Sometimes I think Carmelo Anthony doesn’t make the right basketball play. Whether it be an extra pass to a wide open shooter in the corner or driving into a double team and forcing up a tough shot. Then I realize he’s Carmelo Anthony and he can shoot whenever he damn well pleases. Anthony scored 34 points on 12-16 shooting. He made 4 threes and absolutely dominated every poor defender Utah threw at him. Consider his migraine left in Atlanta.
* Amar’e was equally ridiculous. In 24 minutes, STAT scored 31 points on 12-15 shooting. He only had four rebounds, but that was probably due to the fact that New York missed a total of 3 shots. Also, Stoudemire was on the receiving end of a few pick and rolls with Carmelo. Nice to see that.
* It’s obvious Toney Douglas has a green light, and this fact should make fans a little nervous, but when he’s on, as he was in the first quarter, scoring 12 points on 4-5 from the field and 3-4 from deep, he’s a very useful and important player. He hit 5 threes on the night and notched all 20 of his points in the first half.
* Landry Fields needs to patent his jump stop.
* This game got so out of hand that in the fourth quarter Shelden Williams had enough confidence to not only catch the ball, but dribble it between his legs. Jaw dropping. Williams played over 25 minutes and scored 13 points; both might be career highs. (Just kidding, Shelden!)
* With the score 87-62, Jared Jeffries chased down an errant Shawne Williams jumper, corralling it at the baseline and slamming it off a Jazz player’s leg. That’s what he’s here for. Offensively he really, REALLY struggles—Jeffries missed a bunny in the second quarter and struggled to even catch an entry pass on several occasions. He was the only Knicks player who didn’t score and in all honesty he should refrain from shooting. Even though this makes the Knicks play teams four on five on one side of the floor, they can afford to do so with all that offensive firepower. He’s a hustling machine and is playing to his strength, which is crucial.
* Heading into tonight’s game, Utah’s strategy was to pound it inside with their two solid rocks: Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Unfortunately, only Jefferson showed up, scoring a game high 36 points and grabbing a game high 12 rebounds. Elsewhere in Utah’s starting five, Raja Bell and Devin Harris had a combined 2-14 showcase. This might help explain the loss.