Saturday, April 21, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Post Game Recap April 20

Final Score: New York Knicks 90 Cleveland Cavaliers 98

The Knicks had a chance to take advantage of losses by teams ahead of them in the standings tonight and were unable to do so.  They came out flat and were unable to recover against a lowly Cavaliers team in Amar’e Stoudemire’s return to action after missing the past 13 games.  The Knicks will now have a difficult time overtaking the Boston Celtics or Orlando Magic to improve their playoff seeding.  A win by either team or loss by the Knicks will lock them into the 7th seed at best. 

-Lack of Urgency

The Knicks came out flat and complacent against a lottery bound Cavaliers team after learning about their playoff spot being locked up the night before.  That was the feeling that head coach Mike Woodson took out of the game.  "I've seen this happen over the years that I've been in this league," Woodson said.

"You clinch a [playoff] spot and it's like a sigh of relief and they stop playing. And then they think that they can gear it back up. There's nothing about tonight's game that I liked at all." 

Tyson Chandler chalked up the game to players feeling fatigued and tired.  Whatever the reason behind the lackluster performance, the Knicks need to turn it around and come out ready for their next game Sunday afternoon at the Atlanta Hawks. 

-Out Hustled and Muscled

The rebounding numbers were absurd in the game tonight.  The Knicks got out rebounded 52-32, getting beat to all the loose balls by a Cavaliers team that has nothing to play for but come out with more energy than the Knicks.  The domination did not stop there for the Knicks, as they were outscored 42-28 in the paint by the Cavaliers. 

One glaring stat when looking at the final score sheet is how badly the Knicks frontcourt was outplayed.  Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony were out rebounded by the smaller and less talented Cavaliers front court of Antawn Jamison, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Parker 19-12. 

You know it was a tough night for the Knicks when your backup point guard is your leading rebounder.

-Showing Up in Short Notice

With Baron Davis being a late scratch due to the stomach flu, Mike Bibby was thrust into action on short notice.  The short notice did not seem to have a negative effect on either Bibby or his backup for the night Toney Douglas.  Bibby scored 12 points and added four assists.  Douglas added six points, six assists and a team leading nine rebounds off the bench. 

-Gotta get the cohesion and rhythm back

Right from the start you could tell something was a little different about the game than it had been in the last few weeks. With the return of Amar’e Stoudemire there will be a period of time they will need to work the Kinks out. Stoudemire struggled for most of the night being plagued by foul trouble.  He managed as many field goals as fouls (five). 

The Knicks tried to work Stoudemire into the offensive flow early and often, but was unable to get anything going.  It seemed to also ruin the offensive games of everyone but Carmelo Anthony, who scored 11 of his 12 points in the first quarter.  Anthony only had 1 attempt after halftime, sitting the whole 4th quarter as the Knicks were unable to mount much of a comeback.

The Knicks have three more games on the season to figure things out with Stoudemire returning from injury.  The first game is Sunday afternoon in Atlanta against he Hawks at 1:00 P.M. ET.

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