After a thriller last night against New Jersey, the New York Knicks took the court against the Philadelphia 76ers sans Amar'e Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler and got thoroughly outclassed in a game you wish you missed. Bless your heart, though, if you stuck through this game without losing much interest because this was an incredibly uninspiring effort. In fact, I believe smart phones and the mobile web were invented for games like this.
A few notes after the jump.- As noted, the Knicks played without three of their starters - or what we believe will be their starters - and fielded a lineup of Raymond Felton, Toney Douglas, Bill Walker, Anthony Randolph and Timofey Mozgov. That might be all you need to know.
- The offense was desperately seeking an option without Amar'e but no one filled the void so Felton and Douglas settled for three's off a single pick from Mozgov in the first quarter. Felton wanted to get it inside but Jrue Holiday had something to say about that. Dude's pretty wingspanny and gets over screens which made it difficult.
- The Sixers love to force turnovers and run it which they were able to do fairly often early in the game. If they couldn't force the turnover, they were knocking balls lose or out of bounds which was ruining all of the Knicks' fun.
- Tony Battie of all people got his Ronny Turiaf on and intimidated people in the paint defensively, powdersmack'ing everything around the rim. He finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in the first quarter which was pretty balling for a young guy, let alone Tony Battie.
- Timofey Mozgov's jumper wasn't falling but he was the beneficiary of some attractive interior passes and had couple of nice dunks. You see it in all of his pictures but he likes to hang on the rim like he's on a set of monkey bars. Seems like a whimsical experience but it isn't conducive to getting back on defense. He did play extended minutes tonight, though, and only had four fouls in 36 minutes so he's getting there. He even played 22 of the first 24 minutes and didn't slow down despite the quick pace. Maybe D'Antoni was just testing him or maybe it was cause Amar'e was out but he looks ready for that much playing time.
- Raymond Felton didn't really step up the way you'd like with so many of the offensive weapons sitting out but there were instances where the Sixers were on a run and he slowed it down and got to the free throw line which helped him finish with 16 points. He can control the offense like this if he wants to but I don't think he really wants to. He only finished with one assist but, like I said, Jrue Holiday didn't cut him any slack.
- Those assists Felton didn't get went to Toney Douglas instead who was able to get inside a little more easily. He ended up with 9 assists but had a ghastly shooting night going 1-10 from deep.
- Anthony Randolph straight up shouldn't create offense for himself. He keeps trying those stepback jumpers that just aren't falling. He's most effective cutting or filling a lane for a catch at the moment. I'm looking into it.
- Bill Walker may have been the biggest head scratcher tonight. We've been waiting for him to miss a shot all preseason and he might have gotten them all out of his system in one night. I don't usually make up names for fake stats like Basketbawful does but in the first quarter he had a Wilson Chandler which is a corner three that hits the side of the backboard. Then in the third quarter he decided to launch it every time he caught a pass on the perimeter. Not sure what was going on there. Maybe he's that confident or maybe he's been working on them so much that the muscle memory is just uncontrollable at this point. He finished 2-8 from downtown.
- The only Knick to really get anything going was Landry Fields who was all over the place as usual. He was cutting backdoor for easy baskets. He took Andre Iguodala off the dribble. Got a couple of threes. And he filled the stat sheet like you expect him to at this point. He's got too many people with tenure in front of him at the moment but we all know he deserves burn.
- BTW if the Knicks were slipping in quietly through the backdoor, the Sixers were just walking through the front, hogging the couch, kicking their feet up, and changing the channel while the Knicks were too timid to say anything.
- The only other note I have is that I thought the Sixers arena mic'd the rims really loudly but then I saw a shot of the empty seats and figured it out.
That's all for tonight, friends. The Knicks finish up the preseason on Friday at Montreal to take on the Raptors. ZOMG OPENING NIGHT IS IN A WEEK!!1!