Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks Post Game Recap April 17

Final Score: Boston Celtics 110 New York Knicks 118

Mike Woodson has stuck with winning the Atlantic Division as the goal for this Knicks team, and with the performance put on by the team tonight he is not alone.  The Knicks kept their division title hopes alive tonight taking care of business at the Garden.  The Knicks kept their hopes alive for the division and moved a full game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for 7th place in the Eastern Conference in the process. 

-Carmelo Stays Hot

Carmelo Anthony once again put on a show for the Knicks faithful at the Garden.  He kept up his average of 30 points per game since March 26th going for 35 points.  The more impressive stats are the team leading 12 rebounds and 10 assists Anthony added, going for his second career triple-double and first with the Knicks.  Anthony set the tone for the Knicks right from the start, scoring 12 points in the first quarter.

A key to his stat-stuffing game was his aggressiveness on offense.  Not only was he attacking the basket, but he was following his own misses and totaled four offensive boards for the game.  This enabled him to get easy put backs on his own misses and make sure to keep the Celtics out of striking distance, keeping the difference around 10 points the whole game.

Where Anthony made another big impact was on the defensive end of the court.  When the rest of the players on the roster see the superstar player giving it his all on defense, they will follow suit.  Players on the team look to Anthony for leadership and he has not disappointed since Mike Woodson has come on board. 

-Change of Pace

The Knicks seemed to never fully buy into what Mike D’Antoni was trying to get them to run while he was the head coach.  That is no longer a problem under Mike Woodson.  Mike Woodson and his players all agreed that the Knicks were settling to much Sunday night against the Heat, which resulted in a lot of deep contested jump shots down the stretch; which enabled the Heat to put the Knicks away.

If you look at the stats you will see the Knicks took 32 3 point shots tonight, which would constitute as deep jumpers much like against the Heat.  The difference tonight was they were in rhythm and the ball movement was more on point.  The thing that helped most was the utilization of the skip pass (passing the ball from one side of the court to the other over the defense, not going around the horn).  This threw off the Celtics rotations and left Knick shooters wide open. 

The Knicks tied an NBA record knocking down 14/21 3point attempts in the first half alone.  They finished the game an insane 19/32 from deep.  You would think the Knicks got lucky and were just knocking down shots, which may have been the case sometimes but they came into the game with a game plan and executed it excellently to throw off the Celtics. 

-Bench Play and Players Step Up

The Knicks bench came in and dominated tonight.  Paced by 3 point extraordinaire Steve Novak (8-10 3 point shooting) and J.R. Smith (8-16 FG 7-10 3PT FG), who each scored 25 points, the Celtics bench stood no chance.  The Knicks benched outscored the Celtics bench 55-2, giving the Knicks the edge they needed to get the victory. 

Not to be forgotten is the great play of Mike Bibby.  Bibby added a 3 pointer of his own and also contributed 5 rebounds and 6 assists.  It was easily Bibby’s best game as a Knick as he controlled the game throughout as Baron Davis again struggled tonight because of all his nagging injuries.  It was nice to see Bibby come in and play well as this has been a difficult season for him in New York.

The efforts of Tyson Chandler also can not go without recognition.  Along with his patented defense, Chandler added a big 20 points for the Knicks to go along with his 7 rebounds.  The Knicks again could not find one player to step up next to Carmelo Anthony; instead they found 3 as Chandler, Novak and Smith joined Anthony as the 4 Knicks to score 20+ points each.

Next up for the Knicks is a meeting with the New Jersey Nets Wednesday night.  It will be the last visit for the Knicks to New Jersey as they are set to re-locate to Brooklyn for next season.  The game starts at 7:30 P.M. ET and can be seen on MSG. 

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