Knicks Hang 132 on the Grizzlies
Well, you lose some. You win some. When you score over 100 points, you win them all. When you score less than 100 points, you lose them all. This seems to be the way this Knickerbockers squad is built.
The shots fell tonight for the Garden-grown squad down in Memphis tonight. Boy, did they ever. The Knicks hit a franchise-record 19 three pointers en route to putting up the highest single-game score of any team thus far in the 2008-2009 season.
Thoughts on the game:
-Wilson Chandler was a beast. He got to the rim. He hit three pointers. And he missed just one shot on his way to scoring 27 points. Before the game MSG aired a thirty-minute show about Bernard King and a game like this for Chandler can't help but make me think of No. 30.
-Jamal Crawford is no longer hot. He's just a top-flight shooter. He's not a reckless gunner anymore. Fingers crossed. He shot 50% from the floor tonight (and scored 25) and is shooting 50% from beyond the arc so far this season and has 25 makes from three, which early on is tops in the Association (a handful of guys are trailing with 18 made 3s). Crawford's shooting 30 for 58 in the team's last three games. So, if you're in a fantasy hoops league you should try to trade for him.
-Juxtaposing tonight's win with last night's loss it's clear that it's all about the rims. If the iron is kind than the other team will eventually be far behind. With Zach Randolph at center, and three guards on the floor a lot of the time, this team is all about jump shots. The offense is predicated on moving the ball around the perimeter and shooting early and often if anyone has an open look. The Knicks missed makeable shots last night and couldn't grind out half-court sets when they needed to. Tonight the second, third and fourth quarters were blurs of made shots from all around the floor and the other team couldn't keep up or slow the game down enough to slow down the Knicks. When we make shots we win. For better and for worse (and last night's loss to the Spurs is a stark reminder of the latter), this team is that simple right now.
-D'Antoni tightened the rotation, not getting Mardy Collins and Anthony Roberson any run until the game was already in hand in the fourth quarter. I like the counter intuitive strategy of shortening the bench on the second night of back-to-back games. It forced the team to get rolling together in spite of any fatigue whereas moving guys back and forth to the bench may have made it harder for them to loosen up and heat up. Moreover, Collins shouldn't be in the rotation anyway. He is a homeless man's Duhon. And, if Duhon is, at best, a poor man's Chauncey Billups then maybe Mardy is a third-world Billups. Regardless of his socio-hoopanomic status, Mardy doesn't need to play in non-mop situations since the Knicks have Duhon, Crawford and Nate all playing big minutes and capable of running the point. Roberson is a different story, but shouldn't really be playing every night in the first half of games unless things have gone awry. He's best viewed as poor-man's Eddie House. He should be the Plan B spark-plug for night's when Robinson isn't catching fire. Roberson went 3 for 3 from deep in his limited minutes.
-The Knicks now have two road wins this season as compared to eight all of last season. Through 8 games they've got 25% of the road wins they accumulated through 82 games last season. These wins are the key to staying close to the .500 mark and keeping relevant in the East as long as we can. Which will hopefully be all the way through the third and fourth weeks of April.
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