Editor's Note: My notes will come later, so check out Fuhry's for now.
Managed to see a good chunk of this one, so I'll offer up a recap here.
Knicks started decently, then looked like they were getting abused by Ben Wallace. In comes Hill at the end of the second quarter, and to my eyes he changed the tenor of the game with his energy and aggressiveness. He hit a couple of shots as the Knicks got hot in the second, and made a couple of mistakes there too, but in general, a positive experience. Chandler looked good in 1st half too, and the Knicks closed off the quarter pretty well to take a big lead. In the 3rd, the Knicks got a little cold and the Pistons stormed back - but the Knicks managed to only be down two to start the fourth. I had a feeling that they might have given the Knicks their best shot, and it kind of turned out that way.
Some notes about the Pistons: 1. Ben Wallace can still play. 2. Villanueva looked very impressive out there... but when the chips were down he didn't kill us. Maxiell looked better under pressure. 3. Austin Daye might have a Gallinari type of game if he can hit a three once in a while. 4. Rodney Stuckey took - and missed - a lot of shots. 5. The Pistons don't appear to have a very balanced team. Glad we're not them.
Now onto the Knicks: It looks like Chandler sat for good after a couple of turnovers in the 3rd quarter meltdown - but he had 6 rebounds and 4 blocks. I like. Duhon once again could not shoot at all. Though he did throw a sweet alley oop to Nate, he just did not look effective out there. He usually at least takes care of the ball, but he had 4 turnovers today. Not good. D'antoni stuck with Nate running the show through the entire 4th quarter, and Nate did a good job. He didn't throw any of those jump passes. In fact, he played it safe with his passes and let Lee and Jeffries help him create. He also hit some big shots, and I did not see any instance where he hurt us defensively. He was a weapon and not a liability tonight. Keep up the good work, Nate. Though, if you notice, without Duhon, Lee does not get nearly as many easy buckets - only 11 for him tonight. But with 15 boards, and 5 assists, I'll take it.
Midway through the 4th, it looked like the Knicks were going to run away with it as Gallo got hot - then the Pistons stepped up their D and Gallo missed one and all of a sudden the Knicks looked cold. In steps Jeffries with a couple of huge offensive rebounds, one where he was fouled and hit both (I let out a Marv "YES!" then) and one where he hit a little jumper from just inside the foul line. Good game from Jared from what I saw.
At that point the Knicks swarming D took over and looked good, especially Harrington. Loved his defensive intensity in the 4th quarter. Good game from Al tonight overall. After another difficult Maxiell bucket (Damn, that guy was tough), the Knicks came down needing a basket. Gallo looked timid but they got it to Lee who used his speed to get a step on Wallace and scoop it under for the and-1. Game. All Star move, David. The guy doesn't get intimidated or distracted - just plays his game. Despite not really hitting his longer jumpers and facing a lot of fierce pick and roll defense, and playing with 5 mostly tacky fouls, he was ready to do his thing and hit a big bucket at the end.
The Knicks got more efficient shooting tonight and played hard and pulled it out. Their turnovers were a little high, but the big problem I continue to see is allowing the other team to get offensive rebounds. The Pistons got 19 tonight. Granted, Ben Wallace is the master at that sort of thing, but the Knicks have to figure out a way to put a stop to that. The Pistons were 0-12 from downtown and had they hit a few of those the Knicks could have very easily lost this game.
But I'll take it. Good, entertaining win.