Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers Post Game Recap March 21

Final Score: New York Knicks 82 Philadelphia 76ers 79 

It was an ugly game at times, but the Knicks were able to pull out another victory, defeating the 76ers 82-79. This was the closest contest since Mike Woodson took over as head coach, and the Knicks responded in a very positive way not getting down on themselves after relinquishing the lead in the 2nd half. This was also the most adversity the Knicks faced since Woodson’s hiring, shooting only 36.7% from the field. But they did not get down on themselves and let their defense lead them to a hard fought victory. 

-Defense Leads To Wins 

The Knicks showed a much improved intensity on defense compared to the last game against the 76ers. The 76ers missed their first 11 field goals, and finished the quarter shooting 3-17 for 17.6%. Unfortunately the Knicks offense was not much better, mustering only 19 points equaling a 19-11 lead heading into the 2nd quarter. 

The Knicks played great defense inside the arc, but outside the arc was a different story. The 76ers actually shot better from 3 point land, going 8-17 from deep for 47.1% compared to 21-58 from inside the 3 point line for 36.2%. Another great overall defense effort is what led to the Knicks victory tonight as the offense seemed to be slacking behind the defense for most of the night. 

-Dominance of the Paint 

The Knicks were able to dominate the paint against the 76ers tonight, getting easy baskets and cleaning the glass. Amar’e Stoudemire looks to really be rounding into shape, going for 21 points and adding 9 rebounds. The 76ers were unable to stop Stoudemire and the Knicks in general from getting to the paint and easy baskets. 

The Knicks attacking of the paint led to an edge in rebounding, points in the paint and free throw attempts. The Knicks held a 47-39 rebounding edge, 32-20 on points in paint and 28-18 on free throw attempts. 

-Down, but Not Out 

Through the first three quarters, Jeremy Lin struggled and was looking fatigued. He shot only 1-11 from the field and looked to not have any legs on the 2nd night of a back-to-back. But he showed up in the 4th quarter, going 3-6 from the field and knocking down a number of clutch free throws as well. 

Carmelo Anthony again struggled with his shot, going 5-15 from the field, but did not allow it to affect his defense. He again put forth the effort expected from someone of his superstar stature, playing stellar defense on Andre Iguodala throughout the game. As long as Anthony is happy and showing up on both ends of the court the results should continue to be positive for the Knicks. 
-Injury Concerns 

Right when the Knicks finally had their full squad with the return of Baron Davis, the Knicks suffered another injury tonight. Jared Jeffries was forced from the game in the 4th quarter because of a sore knee. He will be re-evaluated throughout the week and tentatively is being listed as day-to-day. Hopefully he is able to return quickly because he is a catalyst for the Knicks on the defensive end, but at the same time the Knicks will need him down the stretch of the season and in playoff time. 

Next game for the Knicks is on Friday night, March 23 at 7 P.M. ET in Toronto against the Raptors.

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