"Final Tape" | Knicks vs. Grizzlies (W 108-101)

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"Final Tape" | Knicks vs. Grizzlies (W 108-101)

Postby H20Knick » March 27, 2013, 10:21 pm


The New York Knicks opened the game on a tear highlighted by the exuberance of the reborn Iman Shumpert. Shumpert opened the game up nailing 3s, taking it to the basket, leading the break, and doing everything that made us drool about him last year. JR Smith distributed well AND attacked the paint, Novak hit 3s, and the Knicks had their best offensive half of the year.

And then the second half happened. Foul after foul after foul, culminating with Marcus Camby losing his cool on a horrible loose ball call(Marc Gasol CLEARLY shoved him on the ground), leading to an ejection that the Knicks couldn’t afford with KMart sitting on the bench with 4 fouls.

Enter Chris Copeland. He’s had some good games and some bad ones (last night, for starters). He came in and hit 2 big buckets to halt the Grizzlies momentum during their 3rd quarter comeback. JR Smith and Kenyon Martin would halt the Grizzlies next run late in the 3rd quarter. But the Grizzlies, led by the quickness of Mike Conley and the shooting of Jerryd Bayless, made one last push in the 4th quarter, cutting the lead down to 5 points with 1:38 remaining. The Garden crowd came alive and Felton-Kidd-JR-Melo-KMart were tasked with bringing home the W….

Felton lowers his head, penetrates to the basket, and kicks it out to Jason Kidd, for THREEEEEE, GOOD!!!! And he’s fouled!!! (He missed the free throw, but that’s not the point). (Enter diatribes about the 2pg lineup). The Knicks would try to throw the game away AGAIN after Melo followed up a bad miss with a bad foul. Luckily, a solid Ray Felton made his free throws, went after loose balls, and helped the Knicks finish the roller coaster ride with a victory.


Welcome Back, Iman!
Iman’s blistering first half was absolutely awesome. He seemed to have twice the energy that anyone else on the court did and at halftime indicated that he was going make teams pay for forgetting him in their focus to shut down JR and Melo. 3-3 from deep, 1-1 midrange, 1-1 layup…in the FIRST QUARTER. He cooled off in the second half, but his coming out party sparked the huge lead the Knicks built in the first half.

JR Smart aka Earl Joseph aka Sooo Riiiiight
Before I talk about his effort to pass tonight or his work getting to the rim, I want to highlight JR’s work boxing out. Whether it was ZBo or Marc Gasol (who he drew a loose ball foul on) or a guard, JR Smith found a guy to put his body on, leading to 4 offensive rebounds and 7 total. For the second time in a row, he was our best offensive weapon, shooting 10-18 from the floor, tallying 35 points. He’s been so much smarter, so much more efficient, and so much more effective since Carmelo has come back. His heady play has been a huge factor in this run. First Knick to have back-to-back 30 point games off the bench since my main man Al Harrington did it in 2010.

KMart and Melo Defending Zbo and Marc.
Going into the 4th quarter, Zach Randolph had 3 points. Yes, 3. 21 minutes, 1-3 FG, 3 rebounds. Carmelo and KMart (with help from some heady quick doubles from Kidd) did a fantastic job of keeping ZBo from getting in rhythm (absolutely critical to slowing the Grizz offense, as we learned last time we faced them). Gasol finished 4-7 for 13 points and only 5 rebounds. Just great work by those two defensively, and overall good team effort on the glass to overcome a major size disadvantage.


2nd Half Collapse
“What happens when the shots stop falling?” Well, simple. Why not just go inside? Just, whatever you do, don’t stop playing defense. Unforutunately, the Knicks broke every rule of Lead Holding 101. They fouled over and over and over again in the beginning of the 3rd quarter. They went back to their old isolation tactics. They turned the ball over. They lost their composure with Camby and Melo getting techs. They let Jarryd Bayless go off. They couldn’t buy baskets. It was something that Knicks fans have seen way too much of in the last decade. D’antoni’s Knicks repeatedly did this and Woodson’s have picked up in their honor. The Grizzlies are a good team, so you knew they would make a run, but you don’t expect a 30 point lead to be cut in half in 6 minutes, or end up being 10 only a few minutes into the 4th.

Melo’s shooting woes continue
Another awful shooting night for Melo. That’s 3 straight rough nights for him. He took some ill-advised shots tonight and pretty much missed them all. Hopefully he can find his touch against the Bobcats Friday or the Celtics Sunday, because we need him in MVP form for the Heat on April 2 and going forward.

Woodson’s 4th quarter substitutions
I absolutely understand the merits of a 2pg lineup when you’re trying to maintain a lead in the 4th quarter. I also completely appreciate what Jason Kidd was bringing next to Ray Felton. However, Jerryd Bayless was almost singlehandedly bringing Memphis back, and it sure would’ve been nice if Shumpert (a big reason we had the lead to begin with) could’ve gotten a chance to shut him back down. For a guy who’s allegedly a “defensive” coach, it pains me to see him making offensive substitutions over defensive ones.

The Refs
The refs helped bring Memphis back into this game, and if I said what I wanted to say about them, David Stern would fine me.


The Knicks didn’t finish the game nearly the way we would’ve liked. After the best first half we’ve seen, it would’ve been nice to see them put an entire game together against a great team like the Grizzlies, but a WIN is a WIN. Defending your home court against a great western conference team when you just beat the Celtics the night before? That’s what I’m talking about. Protect this house.
Words can’t describe how great JR Smith was tonight. There’s nothing better than when JR Smith has a great game, not because he made his impossible shots, but because he took and made shots that weren’t impossible, created for others, got more possessions by pulling in offensive rebounds, and, bewilderingly, acting as a calming force for the team.


Friday night, the Knicks will be at home, trying to push the win streak to 7 against the Charlotte Bobcats. One of this year’s highlights was undoubtebly JRs buzzer beater against them early this season. Hopefully, JR’s greatness continues. The battle for the 2 seed goes on.
Fort Knox. Hard Knox. Knock Knox. It doesn't matter. Hall of Fame in 20.

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Re: "Final Tape" | Knicks vs. Grizzlies (W 108-101)

Postby Naan » March 28, 2013, 1:41 am

Earl is on a tear. I loved every moment of the first half. The momentum definitely shifted in the Grizzlies favor as the refs started getting on Camby's case. Luckily the Knicks did not settle for threes or iso plays when things were going wrong and continued to play the team game with the great ball movement that got them the lead in the first place. There were also a lot of little things to get excited about: Novak's activity (i.e. hustling for loose balls, incorporating the step back jumper), the team's willingness to defend and foul hard (K-Mart foul on Conley led to 2 missed FTs!), Kidd finally finding a suitable role, etc. Prigioni had some rookie moments, like passing instead of shooting when the shot clock was winding down, though he's probably more upset about it than me. I had absolutely no idea why Shumpert did not play in the fourth quarter until there was one minute left, especially with how well he was doing. That's the only major problem I had with this game. Hopefully the Knicks can finally advance past a 6-game winning streak against the Catbobs.
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Re: "Final Tape" | Knicks vs. Grizzlies (W 108-101)

Postby spree#8 » March 28, 2013, 8:21 am

My internet connection broke down, so I wasn't able to catch this one. Should I be mad because of the missed first half or glad because of the horrible second? Anyways, great recap! And for sure I'm glad that J.R. was J.R. Smart once again. Who is that guy and where did he come from?
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Re: "Final Tape" | Knicks vs. Grizzlies (W 108-101)

Postby Koopa Troopa » March 28, 2013, 9:42 am

wait how does earl joseph turn into jr? guess it sounds cooler than EJ Smith
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Re: "Final Tape" | Knicks vs. Grizzlies (W 108-101)

Postby Mr. Glass » March 28, 2013, 9:44 am

Koopa Troopa wrote:wait how does earl joseph turn into jr? guess it sounds cooler than EJ Smith

Mmmmm, E&J.
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