The Knicks didn’t have their best week of the season, as they won their first matchup of the week against the Lakers, then went on to lose three straight to the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets.
Going into the week, the Knicks had been playing some good basketball lately, and been finding different ways to win. The same was true about their matchup against the Lakers.
For this matchup the Knicks played a well-balanced game, making an impact on both sides of the court. Offensively they shot the three ball well at 45%. Defensively they were +10 in blocks, finishing with 10 compared to LA’s one.
This, like any other game, wasn’t perfect however as the Knicks relied too much on three-pointers. As a result they were outscored by 18 in points in the paint (30-48).
Kristaps Porzingis almost notched a triple-double including blocks, as he scored 26 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and seven blocks. Carmelo Anthony also almost got a triple-double with 13 points, seven assists and eight rebounds. Derrick Rose added 25 points.
For the Lakers, Julius Randle scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Luol Deng added 22 points and Lou Williams added 24 points, five assists and six rebounds off the bench. However, Williams wasn’t the only one to contribute off of the bench. The Lakers’ bench outscored New York’s 51-34.
At halftime the Knicks were only up one point 57-56, but had a strong 27-point third quarter to help them build on their lead.
The final score was 118-112.
The second matchup of the week for the Knicks was against the Phoenix Suns, which they lost by two points in overtime.
Neither team shot the ball exceptionally well from the field, as New York shot 39% and Phoenix shot 40%. Both teams shot even worse from behind the arc, as New York shot 35% and Phoenix shot 30%.
The two biggest factors that contributed to the Knicks loss was poor defense and giving up a lot of fast break points. All five of Phoenix’s starters scored in double digits and the Knicks got outscored in the fast break, 8-33.
Only two players on the Knicks had a good game on Tuesday, Porzingis and O’quinn. Porzingis scored 34 points, grabbed eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. O’Quinn scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds off of the bench.
For Phoenix, Marquese Chriss came up big down the stretch for his teammates, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Bledsoe also had a good game with 31 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
The final score was 111-113 after one period of overtime.
The third matchup was against the new-and-improved Warriors, who came out with the win.
This game didn’t go as most of you would have expected it to, with Curry and crew shooting lights out from behind the arc, and it being a blowout. Actually both teams shot the three ball poorly. New York shot 23% and Golden State shot 28%.
However, the three ball wouldn’t be the only problem for the Knicks. They were also -22 in assists with 19 compared to Golden State’s 41. The Knicks also couldn’t hit their free throws despite the Warriors sending them to the line quite a bit. The Warriors committed 17 fouls, resulting in only 9-19 shooting (47%) for the Knicks at the charity stripe.
However it is important to keep in mind that their was no Melo and no Rose in this game due to injury. To add to this, Porzingis had a poor shooting game with eight points on 4-13 shooting and 0-2 from behind the arc.
Coach Jeff Hornacek emptied out his whole bench for this game, and many guys off the bench contributed but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Golden State’s starters.
Kevin Durant had a near triple-double with 15 points, eight assists and 14 rebounds. Curry followed suit almost notching a triple-double with eight points, eight assists and 10 rebounds, despite only being 3/14 from the field. Klay Thompson also added 25 points. However the unlikely hero for this matchup was JaVale McGee, who is more known for his recurring role on “Shaqtin a Fool.” He scored 17 points on 8-10 shooting and was all business on this night.
The final score was 90-103.
The Knicks’ last matchup of the week was against the Denver Nuggets in Denver, who have been trying to turn their season around after coming into the game 11-16 and 5-7 at home.
Denver had a better shooting night than New York, as Denver shot 55% while New York shot 43% from the field. The Knicks were also -14 in rebounds (43-57) and -36 points in the paint (32-68).
Melo had 29 points, Porzingis added 22 points and seven rebounds and Willy Hernangomez added 17 point and 10 rebounds off the bench.
For Denver, Emmanuel Mudiay scored 22 points, and added five assists and seven rebounds. Kenneth Faried added 25 points and seven rebounds off of the bench. Lastly, Will Barton added 17 points and 8 rebounds off of the bench. This collect effort is what led to the win for Denver.
The final score was 114-127.