You know the story. After a tough loss in Atlanta, downtrodden and tired, the Knicks returned home and--won wire-to-wire against a much better team? What? Indeed, New York dispatched the Pistons with gusto yesterday afternoon. In fact, if it weren't for a full-scale collapse in the third and fourth quarters, tonight's game might've been as much a blowout as last January's Knicks-Pistons matchup in New York.
In the first half, Chris Duhon relocated his mojo, and worked the screen and roll with all his friends to lead by as many as 29 at one point. The Pistons couldn't open shots, and on defense, cared not to chase Du around the key or close out on Harrington and Q behind the arc. The Knicks also got a slew of foul calls, and seemingly every 50/50 loose ball went their way, which was a product of their simply trying harder than Detroit. Their problem was compounded by Rip Hamilton getting himself ejected for a blatant, childish shove of Jared Jeffries after a foul call.
In the second half, things got ugly. New York put up just 39 points in the final two quarters while Tayshaun Prine summoned the doubble consonnant sqquad- Walter Herrmann and Arron Afflalo- to help in his crusade to spoil my day. Luckily, a couple timely threes from Wilson Chandler and Quentin Richardson, as well as some unfathomable Piston misses on wide-open attempts saved this one for the good guys.
With Nate Robinson back2rehab, the Knicks once again played seven guys. Tim Thomas and Jared Jeffries played twentyish relatively unproductive minutes each, meaning the starters got quite a bit of court time. Check out some of these lines:
|Wilson Chandler, SF||41||6-13||2-6||3-3||1||7||8||2||1||0||1||3||17|
|Al Harrington, PF||34||7-14||4-5||0-0||1||5||6||2||0||1||4||5||18|
|David Lee, PF||38||4-8||0-0||4-5||5||14||19||3||0||0||4||4||12|
|Chris Duhon, PG||48||8-14||3-5||6-6||0||5||5||9||0||0||2||1||25|
|Quentin Richardson, SF||37||7-14||3-7||6-9||0||5||5||3||1||0||2||2||23|
That's pretty heroic output from every starter. Duhon played the entire damn game! It's impressive, but Du's probably breathing a sigh of relief at these rumors that Donnie Walsh is ready to use his trade exception from the Renaldo Balkman deal (whatever that is) to dig up a bench guard (via The Knicks Blog). For one game, though, the undermanned lineup really held its own. Tomorrow night's matchup is in Chicago with the Bulls. We'll talk before then.