Friday, October 19, 2012

Knicks Blown Out by Raptors in Montreal

Friday, October 19 2012
Final Score: New York Knicks: 88 Toronto Raptors: 107
Knicks Blown Out by Raptors in Montreal
The Knicks struggled tonight against the Toronto Raptors, getting blown out most of the game after a very strong first quarter eventually falling 107-88 to the Raptors.  The Knicks struggled with continuity and had a lot of lapses on the defensive end, leading to easy baskets for the opposition.

Amar’e Stoudemire made his first appearance this preseason and played well in his return.  Stoudemire finished with 18 points and five rebounds and one block in 27 minutes. 

Stoudemire clearly needs to get his endurance up, as he had his shot blocked a few times as his left started to wane as the game went on but showed great burst when getting some rest as he had some monstrous dunks.  Stoudemire also had his jump shot working, scoring from multiple areas on the court.

Carmelo Anthony struggled with his shot tonight, going 0 for 7 from three point range and 8 for 20 overall.  Anthony was able to get to the line frequently, knocking down 8 of 11 free throws.  Anthony finished the game with 24 points, six rebounds and three assists. 

Anthony and Stoudemire need to step up on the defensive end, as offense is no longer the main problem with both of them on the court.  Anthony finished -18 tonight and Stoudemire -15, as the effort just was not where it needed to be tonight on the defensive end of the court. 

Raymond Felton really struggled tonight also; turning the ball over six times and being badly outplayed by Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.  With the point guard struggling, the offense was never able to get into a rhythm and was off all night.  The Knicks need to get back to the pick-and-roll offense, as at times they were very stagnant tonight and just hoisted jump shots from the perimeter.
Pablo Prigioni and Jason Kidd did have solid games in the backcourt off the bench, combining for nine assists and only two turnovers between them.  Prigioni also showed great effort on the defensive end, getting three steals.

James White was solid for the Knicks tonight too.  After a slow start, White got a talking to from the coaching staff and came back into the game with a sense of urgency and played with higher intensity.  White’s stats won’t jump off the stat sheet, as he scored six points and had two assists, but did play great on the defensive end.  If White can knock down the corner three point shot, he will have a valuable role on the second unit for the Knicks.

The glaring problem tonight for the Knicks was in the paint, as the Raptors outscored the Knicks 46-44 in the paint and out rebounded the Knicks 45-32.  The Knicks did not bring the intensity needed tonight, as the Raptors showed up and brought it to the Knicks.  The Knicks struggled to get second opportunities, as the Raptors attempted 19 more shots than the Knicks did.

Another big discrepancy in the game was in shooting percentages, as the Raptors shot 46.2 percent from the three point line, going 12 for 26 and the Knicks shot a putrid 5 for 27, good for 18.5 percent.  Perimeter defense is something that should be shored up once Ronnie Brewer and Iman Shumpert return from injury, but perimeter shooting can be a problem for the Knicks all season as Steve Novak is the only consistent threat the Knicks have from deep.

Next up for the Knicks is another game against the Celtics Saturday night at 7:30 P.M. in Albany, New York.  The Knicks lineup will have a different look to it, as many starters may not see the court at all.  Amar’e Stoudemire has already been ruled out of the game, as it is the second game of a back to back.

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