Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks Post Game Recap March 20th

Final Score: Toronto Raptors 87 New York Knicks 106 

Another night, another win for these new look Knicks. The Knicks ran their winning streak under new coach Mike Woodson to four games, blowing out a lifeless Raptors team. Can you say Woodsanity? The Knicks are currently riding their longest winning streak since the emergence of Jeremy Lin in early February, which they would eventually stretch out to 7 games. With the win the Knicks reclaimed sole possession of 8th place in the Eastern Conference, and are rolling going into a huge game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Steve Novak said, “I think over the past four games we have come together as a group. I think you can see the amount of fun we are having.” That is a good indicator of how much the Knicks team 

-Balanced Attack 

The Knicks beat the Raptors with contributions from everywhere. It was a very balanced attack on offense from the Knicks, with four starters scoring in double digits. Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler each had 17, Jeremy Lin chipped in an efficient 18, and Amar’e Stoudemire led the way with a dominant 22. 

Amar’e Stoudemire continued his improved play under Mike Woodson, adding 12 rebounds to go with his 22 points. Stoudemire is not the only person who seems to have improved his play, as Carmelo Anthony also looks like a new man. 

Part of this resurgence can come from an ultimatum of sorts that was placed down from the coach. "We know what we've got to do to [is] win," STAT said. "Coach Woodson put that ultimatum on us for us to go out there and play hard. We know how great we are from a personnel standpoint. It's just a matter of playing that way. We all want to win a championship. That's the ultimate goal for us. We've got to take it one step at a time and try to continue to improve." 

-Deceiving Stats 

The Knicks held the Raptors to only 87 points for the game, but they seemed to lack the defensive intensity they had had since Woodson was hired. They allowed the Raptors to shoot 47.8% from the field, but did lock the Raptors down from the 3 point line. The Raptors ended the game shooting 15.4% from the 3 point line, going 2-15. 

For stretches they just seemed to get a little lackadaisical, allowing the Raptors to hang around, for example when they knocked the Knicks lead down to 8 with 7:45 left in the 4th quarter. The Knicks were able to put the brakes on a Raptor comeback, dropping the hammer on them shortly after that comeback attempt. 

The Knicks have a huge game Wednesday against the 76ers in Philadelphia at 7 P.M. ET. This will be their first high pressured game under Mike Woodson, as the 76ers are the current Atlantic Division leaders. 

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