‘Melo can you hear me? If you can, know that the Knicks could really use you back as soon as possible. Last night’s offensive execution was awful, and it was highlighted by Felton’s off-night. The Knicks could not get the ball in the basket, but stayed in the game with their strong defense. The Bulls’ defense was easily the best the Knicks have seen, and it was evident by their season high 15 turnovers and season low 32% shooting from the field.
The Knicks are still at the top of the Eastern Conference, but now sit only a half game ahead of The Heat. Marco Bellinelli’s hot start, coupled with the stifling Bulls’ defense handed the Knicks their fifth loss of the year. The sad truth of last night’s game was that it is now clearer than ever that if the Knicks three pointers aren’t going in, then they will struggle to win games, especially without ‘Melo.
Field Goal Percentage: 32.1% (27-84)
Opponent’s Field Goal Percentage: 43.6% (34-78)
Three Point Percentage: 34.8% (8-23)
Opponent’s Three Point Percentage: 53.8% (7-13)
Free Throw Percentage: 82.1% (23-28)
Opponent’s Free Throw Percentage: 100% (18-18)
Rebounds: 47-40 (Knicks -7)
Points in the paint: 28-18 (Knicks -10)
Raymond Felton: (27 points, 9-30 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 turnovers) Felton is playing with a bruised left hand, and last night he made that clear. After starting the game off decently, Felton could not get a shot to fall in the second half. The Bulls were playing tight defense on the perimeter, and that opened up the lane for Felton to drive on the pick-and-roll, but his lay-ups weren’t falling. His rebounding and defense were a positive though. Grade: C+
Jason Kidd: (6 points, 2-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers) Kidd played one of his less effective performances of the season, and finished with more turnovers than assists. Kidd continued his hot three-point shooting, going 2-4 from beyond the arc. He also added 4 rebounds. Grade: C+
Ronnie Brewer: (0 points, 0-5 shooting, 2 rebounds, 2 steals) Brewer was a non-factor in the game against his former team. He played only 16 minutes on a night when the team was undermanned, which goes to show you how much Coach Woodson was looking for offensive players to contribute. Brewer played good defense, but last night we were looking for him to make some shots. Grade: C
Kurt Thomas: (6 points, 3-4 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist) Thomas played his best game of the season. His defense was solid all night long, and even had an epic block in the second half. Thomas was hitting his midrange jumper, which allowed him to reach a season high 6 points. Grade: B-
Tyson Chandler: (14 points, 4-8 shooting, 18 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers) Chandler continued his dominant play on both sides of the court. He grabbed 18 rebounds, 9 offensive. He was not as effective in the pick-and-roll due to the great defense played on the Bulls side, but he still was able to get his 3rd double-double in four games. Grade: A-
Rasheed Wallace: (6 points, 2-6 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers) Wallace has been playing well defensively all year, and that continued last night as he blocked one shot and had two steals. The issue comes on the offensive end, where his shooting has been erratic. He was solid from beyond the arc last night where we went 2-4. Grade: C+
Steve Novak: (7 points, 1-4 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist) Novak struggled to get open looks last night as the Bulls swarmed at him every time he touched the ball. He was 4-4 from the free throw line where he hasn’t missed one shot this year. He also continued his improved play on the defensive end getting one steal and securing 3 boards. Grade: C+
Pablo Prigioni: (0 points, 0-3 shooting, 2 assists, 1 turnover) Prigioni didn’t seem himself to me last night. He was out of control at some points, and maybe was thrown off by the excellent defense. He played only 10 minutes. Grade: D+
James White: (4 points, 2-3 shooting, 1 assist) White continued his decent play off the bench in recent games. Woodson has been going to him instead of Copeland (I don’t understand why), and he has produced. He plays solid defense, and has proved he can shoot when open. I doubt his minutes will stay at 12 when ‘Melo comes back. Grade: C+
J.R. Smith: (15 points, 4-14 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 turnovers) J.R. has been playing terribly ever since his red hot start at the beginning of the year. He continued his poor play with a terrible shooting night. He looked more out of control than usual, and couldn’t hold onto the ball, which resulted in a team-high 5 turnovers. Hopefully playing against his former team tonight will get some positive minutes out of him. Grade: C-
Chris Copeland: DNP – Coach’s Decision
Carmelo Anthony: DNP – Lacerated Finger
Marcus Camby: DNP – Plantar Fasciatis
The Knicks play the second night of a back-to-back tonight against the Denver Nuggets in New York.