What. A . Nail-biter. With less than 4 seconds on the shot clock, and ‘Melo in the locker room with a lacerated finger, J.R. Smith took a fadeaway at the buzzer to win the game. The Knicks started off nicely, specifically Carmelo Anthony who scored 20 points in the first half, but the Bobcats fought their way to a nice lead in the second half. The Bobcats out-rebounded the Knicks 50-36, which clearly shows what the Knicks’ biggest weakness is.
The Knicks did not play well tonight, but good teams win even when they play badly. ‘Melo kept the team afloat by scoring 20 points on hot shooting (3-3 from beyond the arc), but after halftime Bobcats’ coach Mike Dunlap had his team double ‘Melo, and he went 0 for his next 8 shots. Raymond Felton had a solid game after bruising his hand against the Suns on Sunday. He finished with 17 points, 9 assists, and 0 turnovers. Chandler added another monster performance to his hot streak he is on, finishing with a season-high 17 rebounds and 18 points.
The Bobcats played hard all game long, and had a chance to win it up until their last possession resulted in a turnover. Kemba Walker had a double-double as he scored 25 points and dished out 11 assists. Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon also performed well off the bench adding 35 points together. Coach Dunlap made great adjustments in the second half that turned the Knicks offense to ice, but the Knicks finished the game on an 8-0 run.
J.R. Smith played terribly offensively all game. In 32 minutes, he went 6-16, scoring 13 points. Smith shot 1-9 from beyond the arc, and he certainly wasn’t shy about continuing to shoot them. Smith redeemed himself though. After helping to force a turnover, Felton passed to him on a 2 on 1 before Smith dribbled out and a timeout was called. After the timeout, J.R. took the ball himself to the left, and leaning back he drained the jumper as the buzzer went off.
The Knicks shot only 31.7% from the 3-point line, 42.4% from the field, they were out-rebounded, out-assisted, and their star player was in the locker room getting 5 stitches on his finger. But. Good teams don’t lose games that they must win, and when you are playing a team under .500 you must get the W, (Are you listening Miami?). The Knicks closed out the game nicely, and added a 1/2 game between them and the now second place reigning champions.
Tomorrow night the Knicks will face a big test in Miami. It will be the second time the Heat and Knicks face each other this season. The Knicks won the first game at home, but the Heat are undefeated on their home court, so this will be a completely different ball game. The Knicks have been rolling against lesser opponents as of late, and if they could beat the champs tomorrow it will send a message that they are serious contenders in the East.