Friday, March 16, 2012

Knicks continue great play in first game of two against the Pacers


The Knicks looked great again in Mike Woodson's second game, and first real test as head coach. New York played solidly throughout the game and easily cruised past the Indiana Pacers 115-100. The Knicks strong defensive play against a talented team is a good omen for them and their playoff potential. Because of the blowout, coach Woodson was able to rest his starters and spread out the minutes among the bench. The Knicks, as a team dominated the Pacers in most significant stat categories but most notably in defense. The Knicks out-rebounded the Pacers 44-39, forced 18 turnovers, and had 11 steals. The Knicks also had 22 assists.

The Knicks will have a chance to put on another strong performance as they go on the road to face Indiana again in the second part of a back-to-back. The game will start tomorrow night at 7pm.

Game MVP: Tyson Chandler (16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks)

Positives:

  1. New York looked fantastic defensively. The Woodson system allows players like Tyson Chandler to really show off their defensive prowess. Chandler had 4 blocks and 7 rebounds in only 26 minutes. Offensively, Chandler was extremely productive, scoring his 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting.
  2. The Pacers are much better than the Blazers, but the Knicks still looked as dominant. New York held the lead for the entire game, and finished up 15 points. At one points they led by 30.
  3. Carmelo Anthony played very unselfishly recording 5 assists in only 22 minutes.
  4. Jeremy Lin had a much better night tonight then in the first Mike Woodson game on Wednesday. He only played 25 minutes as result of the blowout but scored 13 points and dished out 5 assists.
  5. J.R. Smith continued his good shooting that started during his performance on Wednesday. This is a great sign for Smith who has been struggling for the team since returning to the NBA from playing in China during the lockout.
  6. Most of the Knicks, and all of the starters had a positive +/- led by Chandler who finished +23.
  7. The Knicks continue to be extremely strong at drawing charges.
  8. The blowout allowed the Knicks to flex their bench and rest their starters. This is a big help for the team on the second half of the back-to-back games. Especially considering the Pacers don't have quite the depth that the Knicks have. It is also a good sign that the Knicks' bench is still playing well following the D'Antoni departure.
  9. The Madison Square Garden crowd was into the game from the opening tip-off. It was a much better atmosphere in comparison to the previous game that started off somewhat somber following the resignation of Mike D'Antoni earlier in the day. The crowd tonight had fun. Cheering on the defense during the very first possession, going crazy for Steve Novak, and demanding Mike Bibby in the final period. The Garden crowd is a great energizer for the team, and will be a playoff asset if the Knicks are able to finish the season well and keep the good atmosphere around the team.


Negatives:

  1. -Knicks were, again, throwing lobs and shooting threes late in the game when they had a comfortable lead. It wasn't quite as bad as what they were doing against Portland but it might be incentive for the Pacers tomorrow night.
  2. -Amare Stoudemire is still looking a little lackluster around the rim. He was 3 of 9 from the field tonight and had problems finish at the rim especially in comparison with Chandler. He hasn't been calling his own shoots this season as much, and show some hesitancy.
  3. Anthony shot poorly in his limited minutes and also had problems finishing

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