Tuesday, March 6, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Dallas Mavericks Post Game Recap March 6th

Final Score: Knicks 85 Mavericks 95 

The Mavericks had complete control for most of the game from start to finish. The only time the Knicks showed any life was the start of the 4th quarter when they went on a 15-0 run to take a 1 point lead behind the shooting of Steve Novak (13pts 4-10FG 4-8 3pt 3 Reb), defense of Iman Shumpert (3 steals) and the aggressiveness of Amar’e Stoudemire The Mavericks quickly responded with their own 14-0 run behind Dirk Nowitzki (28 pts 8-18FG 12-12FT) and Jason Kidd (16 pts 4 Reb 5 Ast) to put the game away. It was a tough game to watch as a Knicks fan outside of that 6 and a half minute stretch. The rest of the game was sloppy and uninspiring for the most part. 

-Technical Fouls 
The Knicks were whistled for 3 technical fouls in the game tonight while the Mavericks had one of their own. J.R. Smith, Tyson Chandler and Mike D’Antoni received them for the Knicks, and Dirk Nowitzki received one for the Mavericks. Technical fouls have been a problem for Tyson Chandler, who has racked up 10 thus far this season. It is something to keep an eye on for the remainder of the season, because if Chandler reaches 16, a mandatory game suspension is put in place. He is then suspended one game for every 2 technical following the 16th. The technical foul was all you really heard from J.R. Smith tonight, as he had another lackluster game off the bench. 

-Wear and Tear Becoming Evident 
Jeremy Lin did not have a bad game tonight, finishing with 14 points 7 assists and only 2 turnovers, but it was a struggle at points. He shot only 4-13 from the field, floating out towards the perimeter and not attacking the basket as much as Knicks fans are accustomed to seeing. He took multiple hard hits while driving to the basket, which could have played a part in him playing more on the perimeter. For the Knicks to succeed, they need Lin to continue breaking down the defense and attacking the paint, not shooting 3 pointers. This was the 3rd game in a row that the team played in a better rhythm with Baron Davis running the point instead of Lin. Davis was the one leading the team during the ferocious comeback to start the 4th quarter. 

Carmelo Anthony struggled again tonight, scoring only 6 points on 2-12 shooting from the field, 0-3 from 3 point and 2-4 from the foul line. Melo did have 8 rebounds, but only 1 assist. He showed aggressiveness in the 1st quarter, attacking the basket trying to get involved in the game but it did not show any results. At one point in the game, he looked more interested in carrying a conversation with Shawn Marion than the actual game, which resulted in one of the 16 Knicks turnovers (Melo threw an inbounds pass without looking, instead jawing with Marion. The result was a Jason Kidd steal.). For the rest of the game he looked disinterested and did not seem to care much about the outcome. He could be seen standing around just watching his teammates play. He took only one shot in the 4th quarter and was more than willing to become a spectator. Like everyone else, Melo needs to start developing chemistry and finding his niche with this new look Knicks squad. It would also be great to see Melo and Amar’e play well on the offensive end of the court in the same game. 

-Back to His Old Ways? 
One bright spot for the Knicks tonight was Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire had a strong performance, showing some of the old bounce he had and finishing above the rim. He finished with 26 points on 10-18 field goals and 6-8 from the foul line to go along with 7 rebounds. "I went back to the old STAT, played uptempo basketball." Stoudemire said. Stoudemire provided the Knicks with timely buckets and also provided some unexpected defense. For a good part of the game, Stoudemire took it upon himself to guard Mavericks star and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki. The game plan had originally called for defensive minded Tyson Chandler to guard Nowitzki, but Amar’e told the coaching staff he wanted to do it before the game started. Amar’e took Dirk out of his game for a large portion of the contest, even causing Dirk to uncharacteristically lash out at the referees, resulting in a technical foul. In my opinion, this was Stoudemire’s most complete game of the season because he had an impact not only on the offensive end of the court, but the defensive end of the court as well. Hopefully this is a building block game for Amar’e and he can continue dominating teams through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. 

Next Game: Wednesday March 7th @ San Antonio Spurs 8:30 ET

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