Their winning streak may have been broken on Thursday but it didn’t take the New York Knicks long to get back on the winning track with a 101-91 win on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After a tight first quarter, New York broke the game open in the second and opened up a comfy advantage with a 13-0 run. The Cavs never sniffed the lead after that and led by 20 at one point in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks were once again playing short handed and had to go small by starting Chris Copeland at center, but it didn’t matter as both Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith were outstanding.
New York shot 51 percent from the floor and 36 percent from behind the arc and limited the Cavs to only 43 percent shooting on the night. Despite being very small, the Knics held their own on the glass, only being outebounded 46-44 on the night. The only negative was that the ball didn’t move tht much as the Knicks had only 15 assists on 40 made shots.
With that being said, let’s tke a look at how each Knicks player graded out in Friday night’s win.
Pablo Prigioni (3 points, 1-of-2 shooting, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block)
Prigioni played 35 minutes and while he scored only three points, he was very effective moving the ball and on the defensive end of the floor. The Knicks are 14-1 with Prigioni as the starting point guard and he did the little things to help the team win once again. Grade: B
Raymond Felton (7 points, 3-of-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block)
Felton wasn’t as aggressive as he stepped back and let Smith and Anthony carry the load. He did contribute a bit in other areas, grabbing four boards nd dishing out four dimes, but Felton has not had back-to-back games with more than 10 points in the month of April. Grade: C+
Iman Shumpert (8 points, 3-of-11 shooting, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block)
Why was Shump on the floor for 36 minutes in what amounted to a petty meaningless game? He shot the ball poorly, but made up for it by being a beast on the glass. Of his 11 boards, three of them came at the offesive end. He also dished out a few assists and played pretty solid defensively. Grade: B+
Carmelo Anthony (31 points, 12-of-24 shooting, 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals)
While ’Melo is busy trying to win the scoring title, what has gotten into him in terms of rebounding? Anthony had another aggressive day on the glass and grabbed 14 boards (seven offensive) and had a pretty dominant night, even though he sat the entire fourth quarter again. Grade: A
Chris Copeland (12 points, 5-of-9 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 2 steals)
It’s not good when your starting center grabs one rebound, but give Copeland credit for competing hard, playing well out of position. He scored 12 points, but provided energy and finished with a plus-17 rating, which says alot about his performnce. Grade: B+
Solomon Jones (0 points, 0-of-0 shooting, 1 rebound)
In his Knicks debut, Jones played 12 minutes, grabbed a rebound and turned the ball over twice. He didn’t attempt a shot, but Jones isn’t here to score the ball. However this isn’t China and I’d like to see more from him in terms of rebounding and playing defense. However I will cut him a break with his grade since it was his first game. Grade: C-
Steve Novak (3 points, 1 -of-7 shooting, 1 rebound,1 steal, 1 block)
Novak struggled from the field, going just 1-of-7 in 25 minutes. Otherwise he didn’t do much to contribute to the win. Grade: D
Jason Kidd (6 points, 2-of-3 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist)
Kidd knocked down a couple of threes and grabbed four rebounds, finishing with a plus-15 rating, the third best on the team. It was a typical Kidd-like performance as he impacted the game without necessarily putting up big numbers. Grade: B
James White (0 points, 0-of-0 shooting)
White only played five minutes and somehow finished with a minus-nine rating. But mst of that was a result of the Cavs cutting the deficit during garbage time so I won’t penalize him too much. Grade: C-
J.R. Smith (31 points, 13-of-16 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block)
Simply outstanding. Just when you thought the old J.R. was returning after a rough night on Thursday, Smith turned in an extremely efficient performance, which included making his last 12 shot attempts. Grade: A+