In Game 1 of the Knicks-Celtics playoff series last season, the Knicks allowed only 25 points in the second half. In the long, storied history of the Celtics franchise, 25 points was the fewest the team had ever scored in the second-half of a playoff game - until Game 2 of the series, when New York's defense held them to just 23 points. For those readers who attended the University of North Carolina, and are thus unable to do basic math (I'm looking at you, Raymond Felton), this means that in four quarters, the Knicks allowed only 48 points to a playoff team with multiple future Hall of Famers. On Tuesday night, the Knicks allowed 51 points in one quarter to a lottery team giving big minutes to Ryan Kelly.
Last week's Wonder Room covered four straight dominant victories, including a win over the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference. Over the course of that spectacular 10 day stretch, the Knicks went from 3.5 games back of Atlanta...to 4 back. This week's Wonder Room covers a one point win over a team in the midst of the longest losing streak in NBA history, a blown 16 point halftime lead against a lottery-bound team missing its All-Star point guard, a historically bad defensive performance against the worst team in Lakers history, and a near-collapse against another lottery-bound team missing its star point guard. Over the course of this lackluster 7 day stretch, the Knicks went from 4 games back of Atlanta...to 1.5 back. Basketball can be a funny sport sometimes.
Player of the Week -
J.R. Smith Carmelo Anthony
On Wednesday night J.R. Smith tied a Knicks record with 9 three pointers, including several clutch ones to stop a furious Kings rally, en route to 29 points. It was the 65th time in NBA history that a player has made 9 three pointers in one game, and the first in which that player did not lead his team in scoring. Carmelo Anthony outscored Smith 36 to 29. Prior to Wednesday, the closest anybody came to outscoring a teammate with 9 threes occurred March 17, 2011, when Toney Douglas had 29 points and Melo had 28.
While Anthony did not hit 9 threes on Wednesday, he did reach a three point milestone of his own that night. Anthony's fifth and final three pointer of the game was his 158th three of the season, breaking his previous career-high of 157, set a season ago. Melo is the first player in Knicks history to have back-to-back seasons with at least 150 three pointers made, although J.R. should join him in that category by the time next week's Wonder Room is written (he has 144 this season after making 155 a year ago.) In non-three pointer news, one week after passing his idol Bernard King on the all-time scoring list, Anthony passed John Stockton for 40th all-time. With 10 games left in the regular season, he is 209 points away from 20,000 for his career.
Opposing Players of the Week - Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman, Jodie Meeks, Ryan Kelly, Wesley Johnson, Kendall Marshall, Xavier Henry, Nick Young, Kent Bazemore
These nine players combined to score 51 points in one quarter. They made 19 of 26 shots from the field, including 12 in a row at one point. Had this shot gone in, they would have scored 54 points in one quarter:
The Knicks, who ended up losing the game by 31 points, became only the second team in the last 20 years to allow more than 50 points in one quarter. The other team to do so was the '10-'11 Nuggets, on November 9th of that season against the Pacers. That team, which starred Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith and was missing Kenyon Martin that night due to injury, was outscored 54-27 in the third quarter. They ended up losing that game by 31 points.
Bluecheese's Rambling Stat of the Week - (WARNING! May not end in a coherent thought)
On Friday night, Jeremy Tyler, Shannon Brown, and Toure' Murry each had a plus/minus of -13 in less than four minutes of playing time. It was the first time that multiple players on the same team had such a low plus/minus in so little playing time since January 19, 2013, when Joel Freeland and Nolan Smith each went -17 in 2:37 in the Trail Blazers 110-104 loss to the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova had 14 rebounds for the Bucks in that game, becoming the first Milwaukee player with 14 rebounds against the Trail Blazers since Terry Cummings in a 124-120 loss on February 22, 1987. Terry Porter had 24 points and 17 assists in that game. It took another 15 years for a Bucks opponent to match Porter's single-game numbers. On February 13, 2002, Andre Miller had 27 points and 19 assists in a Cavaliers 115-107 victory. In another game that night, the Mavericks lost the Trail Blazers 114-103. It would only take another 10 months for Dallas to score exactly 103 points against Portland, as they next did it in a 103-88 win on December 4, 2002. In another game that night, the Magic beat the Knicks 87-85. Lee Nailon came off the bench for the Knicks that night. In 4 minutes of action, Nailon recorded a plus/minus of -12. It was the lowest plus/minus recorded in 4 minutes or fewer in Knicks history...until Jeremy Tyler, Shannon Brown, and Toure' Murry all went -13 in just under four minutes on Friday night!
Last Week in Jared Jeffries History
March 21, 2002 is probably the greatest night of Jared Jeffries's basketball career. That night, Jeffries scored 24 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead his 5th seeded Indiana Hoosiers to a stunning 74-73 Sweet 16 victory over number one ranked Duke, a team that boasted six future NBA players (Carlos Boozer, Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy, Daniel Ewing, Dahntay Jones, and Jay Williams.) Two days later, Jeffries led Indiana to an 81-69 win over Kent State, who was led by future NFL great Antonio Gates, to send the Hoosiers to the Final Four. Would Jeffries lead his school to a National Title? Find out on next week's edition of Last Week in Jared Jeffries History.
Last Week in Jared Jeffries Shot Tracker History
JJST Memorial Fun Fact of Whatever Time of Day the Article in on the Front Page of P&T
Amare Stoudemire made 10 FGs against the 76ers on Friday and every single one of them was assisted. It is the first time a Knick has made 10 FGs in a game, with every single one assisted since Stoudemire did it on January 27, 2011. Like Friday night's win over Philly, that game was also a Knicks victory in which they scored 93 points. Only one other Knick has had a game this century in which he scored at least 10 FGs, all of which were assisted: Kurt Thomas, who somehow managed to do it on five separate occasions.
Bluecheese Answers Your Questions
In this new segment, I will attempt to answer a question posed by one of you. This week's question comes from tkow:
While it's not an exact answer, I have compiled what I hope to be a comprehensive listed of all non-rookies who exceeded their career-high by at least 20 points in one game. David Thompson holds the record, exceeding his NBA high by 29 points by scoring 73. However, he did spend time in the ABA, where he may have scored more than 44 in one game. There is no doubt about the second player on the list, Tony Delk, whose career-best 53 point game was 27 points more than his prior high. Here's the full list:
David Thompson* - 73 points on 4/9/78. Previous Career High: 44
Tony Delk - 53 points on 1/2/01. Previous Career High: 26
Willie Burton - 53 points on 12/13/94. Previous Career High: 28
Terrence Ross - 51 points on 1/25/14. Previous Career High: 26
Phil Chenier - 53 points on 12/6/72. Previous Career High: 29
Phil Smith - 51 points on 1/8/76. Previous Career High: 27
Acie Earl - 40 points on 4/12/96. Previous Career High: 16
Wilt Chamberlain - 100 points on 3/2/62. Previous Career High: 78
George Gervin* - 63 points on 4/9/78. Previous Career High: 42
Fred Brown - 58 points on 3/23/74. Previous Career High: 38
Movie of the Week - Staying Alive
I'll say it again: the Knicks allowed 51 points in one quarter to the worst team in Lakers history. The lost to a Cavs team missing Kyrie Irving and nearly lost to a Sixers team in the midst of the worst losing streak in NBA history. Yet they still gained 2.5 games in the standings on the Hawks this week. For once, I'm stumped. I have no idea how it's possible, but the Knicks chances of making the playoffs are somehow, like the name of the Golden Globe nominated song from this Saturday Night Fever sequel, far from over.