Sunday, November 4, 2012

Knicks Take First in Home-and-Home in Rout

Sunday, November 4th 2012
Post Game Recap
Final Score: Philadelphia 76ers: 84 New York Knicks: 100
Knicks Take First of Home-and-Home in Rout 
The Knicks continued their strong start to the season, showing people that Friday night’s victory over the Heat was no fluke in dismantling the 76ers 100-84 Sunday afternoon.  Granted, Andrew Bynum was not playing because of a knee injury and Jason Richardson went down with a twisted ankle shortly after tip-off, but a win is a win especially against a divisional opponent.  The Knicks moved to 2-0 with the victory, giving them their first 2-0 start since the 1999-2000 season. 

Carmelo Anthony once again led the way for the Knicks on the offensive side of the court, scoring 27 points.  This 27 was more impressive than his 30 in the season opening win against the Heat in my opinion though, as it was a much more efficient game for Anthony, as he went 10 of 18 from the field in scoring his 27, compared to the 10 of 28 it took for the 30 Friday night. 

Break the numbers down even more, Anthony was even more efficient; inside the 3-point line, Anthony shot nine of 14.  Anthony also grabbed six rebounds and showed supreme effort on the defensive end of the court causing multiple turnovers, getting one steal and two blocks of his own.

For at least one game, Anthony had a sidekick in the scoring department without Amar’e Stoudemire in the lineup.  J.R. Smith lit the 76ers up from all over the court en route to scoring 20 points on eight of 15 shooting. Coming off the bench in his sixth man role, Smith was on fire from deep knocking down four of his five attempts.  Smith also made his presence felt on the boards, securing a team high nine rebounds in the game.

Smith will play an integral part for the Knicks until Stoudemire returns, as he will be relied on as the second scorer to Anthony most nights.  Even when Stoudemire returns, Smith will have to keep the scoring up as the top option off the bench.
Smith is an x-factor for the Knicks this season, as he can either play the Knicks into or out of games any night.  So far, it looks like he will play them into more games than out, as head coach Mike Woodson seems to finally be getting to Smith, something no other head coach has been able to do thus far throughout his career.

For a second straight game and against another potential power in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks played stellar defense.  The Knicks held the 76ers to 84 points, the same amount they surrendered to the Heat Friday night.  The 76ers shot only 43 percent from the field and were forced into 18 turnovers.  The Knicks were precise with their rotations and played great help defense, constantly talking on the defensive end.

One player the Knicks did have trouble containing was Jrue Holiday, who went for 27 points, seven assists and two rebounds.  Holiday made a killing from 3-point range, going five out of six and 11 of 18 overall.  Holiday was not immune to the Knicks stifling defense though, as he did commit six turnovers.

For how well the defense was, the offense was just as much in rhythm.  The ball movement was on point, with every player willing to make the extra pass to get the best shot possible.  Nothing looked forced this afternoon, as the Knicks seemed to always have good looks at the basket and rarely forced a shot.  The Knicks ended up with 18 assists on 39 shots made but does not tell the whole story on how well they shared the ball throughout the game.

For the second straight home game, the Knicks faithful chanted Rasheed Wallace’s name and again they were rewarded with seeing him play.  Woodson summoned Wallace from the bench with just less than four minutes left and the crowd went nuts.  When he scored his basket, the crowd exploded into a frenzy.  It only means good things for the Knicks if Wallace is seen more and more on the court.

Next up for the Knicks is a quick turnaround, as the second game of the home-and-home will be played in Philadelphia Monday night.  The Knicks will then have three days off until playing against the Dallas Mavericks Friday night, by which time Marcus Camby is expected to be healthy enough to crack the rotation. 

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