Final Score: Knicks 105 Spurs 118
Another lackluster performance for the Knicks tonight in San Antonio. Right from the outset of the game the Spurs set the tone of the game behind the play of Tony Parker, who finished with 32 points and 6 assists. Parker was able to get into the paint at will and picked apart the Knicks, basically putting the game away with 23 first half points. The Knicks were able to make a couple of runs, but were unable to sustain anything worthwhile, leading to a lopsided win for the Spurs.
-No Defense For Knicks without Chandler and Jeffries
Tyson Chandler was a surprise scratch from the game tonight with a hamstring injury and Jared Jeffries sat out after sustaining a sore knee in the previous game in Dallas. Josh Harrellson picked up the start in place of Chandler. Without these two the Knicks lacked any intensity on the defensive side of the ball. The Spurs waltzed into the pain at will with the Knicks seeming to have no intentions of stopping them, evident by the 60 points the Spurs had in the paint. With Amar'e being the main guy on defense playing against the pick-and-roll with Lin, the Spurs were able to pick apart the Knicks. Amar'e on multiple occasions left Lin out to dry, giving Parker free lanes to the basket. The Knicks were also out-rebounded by 10 and could not match up with the intensity of the Spurs.
-Lack of Offensive Cohesion
Carmelo Anthony bounced back from one of his worst performances against Dallas with a 27 point effort to lead the Knicks. Jeremy Lin chipped in 20 and Amar'e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith both scored 18, but you never would have guessed it from watching the game. The Knicks shot 42.7% from the field compared to the 54.1% shot by the Spurs. The Knicks were never able to build a consistent attack on the offensive end, relying too heavily on jump-shots. They are at their best when they are attacking the basket opening up easy shots for Stoudemire and Anthony. One positive was the Knicks were able to convert their forced turnovers into baskets, scoring 24 points off 17 Spurs turnovers compared to the 11 points scored off 10 Knick turnovers for the Spurs.
-Another PG Controversy on the Horizon?
While Jeremy Lin did score 20 points, he again struggled with his floor game only having 4 assists and finishing the game with -12 (second worst on the team behind Stoudemire who had -21). While Baron Davis did not score, going 0-7 from the field, he did hand out 8 assists off the bench finishing the game +3. Once Davis gets back into game shape and gets more into the flow of NBA action his shooting should improve, which in-turn means more points for the Knicks. Once that happens, if it ever does, there could be very real chance of him supplanting Lin. Whether it is the players they are surrounded with, or the fact Lin is playing real minutes for the first time in his NBA career, the Knicks seem to be a more cohesive, well oiled machine when Davis is running the show.