Friday, November 9, 2012

Knicks Grind Out Win, Continue Hot Start

Friday, November 09, 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: Dallas Mavericks: 94 New York Knicks: 104
Knicks Grind Out Win to Continue Hot Start
The Knicks entered the fourth quarter in a close game for the first time this season and came out with the same end result; a double-digit victory.  The Knicks were able to win a tough fought, grind it out game against a much underrated Mavericks squad, winning 104-94.  The Knicks are 4-0 for the first time since the 1993-1994 season when they started 7-0.  According to ESPN’s Stats and Info, the last two times the Knicks started a season 4-0, they won at least 57 games and went to the NBA Finals. 

Tonight was an impressive win for the Knicks because they got it done when they were not at their best.  They did not light it up from downtown like the previous three games, but the effort on the defensive end never gave up and is the reason the Knicks pulled out he victory tonight.  They got baskets when they needed them and played off of their defense, forcing nine turnovers while turning over the ball only nine times. 

Many of those timely hoops came from Carmelo Anthony, who had another strong game even with the Mavericks throwing everything and everything at him.  Anthony scored 31 points on 10 of 22 shooting all while enduring a mugging throughout the night from the Mavericks.  Anthony added seven rebounds and another two blocks, showing intensity on the defensive end again.
Anthony did let the refs and Mavericks get into his head a little bit, evident from the technical foul that was called on him but he was able to put it behind him enough to carry the Knicks in a hard-earned victory.  He also was able to do all this while in foul trouble for most of the game, playing only 29 minutes tonight.

With Anthony in foul trouble, the Knicks needed someone to step up and J.R. Smith rose to the occasion.  Smith continued his great start to the season, scoring 22 points and really picking it up when Anthony was forced to the bench in foul trouble. 

Smith scored nine points on three of five shooting in the pivotal third quarter with Anthony on the bench.  He also was flawless from deep, knocking down all three of his three point attempts.
Where Smith made a big impact was on the defensive end; he didn’t give in to either O.J. Mayo or Vince Carter, the top guns for the Mavericks tonight.  Smith added four steals and one block to his stat line on the defensive end. 

The Knicks endured their worst defensive quarter in the 2nd, giving up 34 points and allowing the Mavericks to take control of the game.  They didn’t control the game long though, as the Knicks came out with a vengeance in the second half and clamped down on the Mavericks.  The Knicks held the Mavericks to 13 of 37 shooting in the second half and only 37 points in total. 

Mayo had a strong game for the Mavericks, leading the way with 23 points and five of 10 shooting from beyond the arc.  Darren Collison on the other hand was shut down by the Knicks after having a hot start to the season, going one of eight from the field tonight with eight assists and four turnovers.
Ronnie Brewer continued to validate Anthony when he said Brewer was the most underrated signing this offseason, giving the Knicks the defense they expected when they signed him but also giving help in the scoring column and on the boards.  Brewer stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 13 points while adding eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block and no turnovers.  No turnovers are the most impressive thing here, as Brewer is just another piece of the puzzle to the Knicks better ball security this season.

Marcus Camby made his season debut tonight for the Knicks and picked up right where he left off in grabbing rebounds at a high rate.  Camby grabbed four rebounds and scored two points in his eight minutes of play, as head coach Mike Woodson has decided to go with Camby and Rasheed Wallace as his big men off the bench, pushing Kurt Thomas to a reserve role.

Wallace was the first big man off the bench tonight and played 18 minutes as he is still getting into game shape after being retired for the past two seasons.  Wallace finished the game with six points and six rebounds as he looks to be in position to get meaningful minutes off the Knicks bench.

The Knicks will have three days off before embarking on a stretch of eight out of 10 games on the road, starting in Orlando against the Magic Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M. ET.

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