I took a break from posting the last fews days because I did a mini breakdown of the rest of the Knicks season. Valid questions back then were : Are the Knicks gonna make the playoffs? Is Amare Stoudemire back for real? Did Mike Woodson get fired yet? Is Tim Hardaway Jr. better than Iman Shumpert? While the answer to some of those questions are up in the air, I’ll take the first one. No. Why? Let’s look at my predictions for last week’s games:
|Record* (Conference Rank)||Prediction||Result|
|Tomorrow||@ Warriors||45-27 (6)||W- with Bogut and Lee sidelined, Knicks win the boards. Curry too much to handle for Felton, gets a near trip/double.||W 89-84 – Knicks still got outrebounded. Klay Thompson couldn’t hit a jumper. Curry still cooked Felton.|
|Mon, Mar 31||@ Jazz||23-50 (13)||W – Utah’s playing for the lottery. Hardaway Jr. and Melo combine for 50+||W 92-83 – Melo and Hardaway only combine for 44 pts. Big third quarter (31-10) for NY seals the deal.|
|Wed, Apr 2||vs. Nets||38-33 (5)||W – Knicks come back to MSG in a slow-paced nail biter.||W 81-110 – Knick jump out to a 63-38 halftime lead, and never look back. Melo had 23/10.JR Smith shoots 6-12 from 3|
|Fri, Apr 4||vs. Wizards||37-35 (6)||L – John Wall torches Felton all night. Knicks get crushed on the boards 55-38, thanks to Gortat, Nene and Trevor Booker||L 89-90 – Melo hurt his shoulder again: 10 points, 9 TO’s. Brad Beal cooked every one who guarded him, hit the dagger with 20 sec left.JR shot 8-16 from 3 (see a trend?)|
|Sun, Apr 6||@ Heat||49-22 (2^)||L – After a string of close games, the Knicks have no energy left and give up a huge 4th quarter to LBJ in South Beach. DWade sits.||L 91-102 – Knicks came out hot. Then LeBron reminded everyone why he’s LeBron (38-5-5). Knicks only score 14 in the 3rd. DWade sat.JR 10*-22** from 3 *Knicks Record ** NBA record|
Sunday’s game was a microcosm of every game the Knicks have played the last couple of months. Here how it goes:
- Get a big lead by playing staunch defense and passing the ball
- Stop playing D for one possession, blame teammates
- Isolation basketball for a mid range jumper
- Repeat steps 2-3 til the fourth quarter
I’ll save the “i told you so” for the end of the season, but its looking like the beggining of the end in New York. Things to consider heading into Friday:
- Shouldering the Burden: Melo’s right shoulder bruise cant be ignored. Anthony is averaging 11.5 points per game on 29.6% FG, 12.5% 3FG, and 5 turnovers per game since hurting it against Washington. He’s only gotten to the FT line 5 times in those two game. Someone other than JR has to pick up the slack.
- 3arl Smith the 3rd – JR Smith won irrelevant stat of the night Sunday (to the distaste of Amare Stoudemire).
https://twitter.com/nbastats/status/452893616638550017 The frustrating part about having a chuck on your team lies mostly in the quality, not quantity, of shots. Eventually bad shots fall, and it “justifies” every shot they take after. Smith is on a hot streak right now, averaging 29.3 pts per, on 47.8% FG, 48.0% 3FG in April. Best part? He averaging 8 threes a game on 16.7 attempts in that stretch.
- Enjoying the Ride The Knicks’ bench has regressed since the All Star break. Before the break, they averaged 34.3 pts, good for Top 10 in the league. Since then, they dropped to seventh worst. They’ve only play a minute less, yet their stats have fallen steadily across the board. If the Knicks want to make the playoffs, Shumpert or Hardaway are need to produce.
Unless the Hawks really really really don’t want to make the playoffs, this is it for New York. The Knicks can go undefeated but I see them falling to Chicago. Atlanta has two expected W’s against the Bucks and Celtics.
The team that traded its draft pick this year for Melo may end up losing both this summer.