The Knicks got into some hot water in the first quarter, but had a magnificent second quarter. Carmelo Anthony was breathing fire en route to 22 first half points, so logically, he didn't score again until midway through the fourth quarter. The Knicks are now 0-2 on Friday nights this season. Robert Randolph in full effect. The Knicks were probably going to lose anyway, but Lance Thomas made a pass much too low to Porzingis for the second consecutive game. For the second time this season the Knicks squandered some glorious play against the number one contender. They'll need to figure out what's working and flip the right switches sooner than later. Tonight it's a wrap though.
- Kristaps Porzingis was very active early crashing the glass on both ends, but looked somewhat flat on defense. It's possible he was trying to stay away from fouls as he didn't get one until the fourth quarter. Unfortunately he went under some screens on Kevin Love, and generally felt passive until he switched onto a guard. It is so seriously awesome to watch him stand 8 feet away from a little guy and keep him in check. The youngster looked pretty ok on offense. His best play was a right block sky hook that Clyde said he "spanked off the glass".
- In one offensive sequence, Jose Calderon was unable to force the issue to find Porzingis, who was being guarded by Mo Williams underneath the hoop. That's preposterous. Just lob it over the top. You could have even turned him instead of leading him. You just have to be willing to take a chance on that pass and fling it to the open space. The play resulted in one pass and a flat-footed Robin Lopez hook shot from about eight feet out. Calderon had four turnovers, which is highly uncharacteristic for him. There's no excuse here, though.
- Melo's only first quarter miss was a wild 29-footer to beat a bossy shot clock. And he was just astonishing in the first half. The thing that excited most is Carmelo starting to make the unexpected aggro-skip passes to Porzingis. Last time we saw that type of stuff Steve Novak was on the the other end. 8-11, 22 points in 18 first half minutes to go with 3 assists, and a wonderful block that led to a transition three.
Melo block & trey pic.twitter.com/jhojLWTd01— oakley & allen (@oakleyandallen) November 14, 2015
He shot 1-9 in the second half bee tee dubs.
- Langston Galloway drew an offensive foul on Kevin Love 3 seconds in to his first stint on the floor. It was Love's second, and he took an early seat. Lang struggled shooting at first but continued to do the little things that make him fantastic-- boxing out bigs on switches and cannon-balling into a pool of rebounds. Six bounds total, but not much in the way of counting stats. Had a juicy little rabbit under his left eye late in the game. Don't recall how he got it.
- Knicks did an excellent job running the Cavs off the 3-point line, making them into shaky penetrators and rush job passers. I guess that's a result of quality rim protectors backing up the perimeter defenders. Close out over the top!
Conversely, New York did a really wonderful job driving and kicking, then swinging it around the horn to find the clean looks.
- The Knicks bench struggled to score tonight, but pushed tempo and forced the Cavs to foul a little bit, getting to the line a bunch early in the game. They had more free throws in the first half tonight than they did in the entire game against Charlotte. An 82% free throw shooting team needs to apply more pressure in transition and whenever driving opportunities present themselves.
- Derrick Williams was a main catalyst jacking up the tempo. His propensity to push off of misses helped get him energized. The vibrations flowed through him and he got after it on defense, even packing a feeble Kevin Love turnaround in the paint. Six shots at the line and a couple steals, too. Sadly, Derrick hasn't been able to turn that corner for a quality regular season contribution.
- Arron Afflalo punished Mo Williams and Matthew Delladova on post ups. Expect plenty of that from Afflalo. He's the best non-Melo post option the Knicks have. Still working his way into things. Shoots on the way down sometimes. Not gonna hit a ton of shots that way.
- Lou Amundson continues to inject adrenaline into the Knicks bloodstream. He had a fantastic block and ponied all over the floor making his minutes count. Even found himself in the game during crunch time, kiddies!
The Knicks petered out when the game was on the line. Coach Derek Fisher does not seem entirely clear who should be in the game down the stretch. If I may make one suggestion-- as a strong Lance Thomas supporter-- please don't let Lance inbound the ball for crucial plays out of time outs when the game is on the line (Kyle O'Quinn, pretty please). I know thats not what did them in, but it's still aggravating. Alright, no sense in crying over it. Next game is a winnable one against the Pelicans, and Anthony Davis is questionable.