On Sunday Afternoon, at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (32-17) were defeated by the Los Angeles Clippers (36-17), by the score of 102-88. Box Score
Raymond Felton scored 20 points on 9-18 shooting from the field. He had five assists and two rebounds but also turned the ball over four times.
Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith were a combined 5-18 for 15 points off the bench. They had nine rebounds, four assists and five turnovers combined as well. They were a total of -37.
Jamal Crawford led the Clippers in scoring with 17 points on 12-22 shooting from the field off the bench. Chris Paul, in his second game coming back from his injury scopred 25 points 10-17 shooting with seven assists and six rebounds.
Anthony and Felton scored 62 points on 23-44 shooting while the rest of the team scored 26 points while shooting 10-30.
The Knicks turned it over 16 times and in their past two losses have turned it over 33 times.
The Clippers bench outscored the Knicks bench 48-15.
The Knicks only made seven three pointers while the Clippers made 10.
The Clippers had 21 assists while the Knicks only had 11.
The Clippers out-rebounded the Knicks 43-35.
Thankfully the Knicks wont be moving to the Western Conference any time soon.
The Clippers, as healthy as they have been in a long time, today showed off just how much of a threat they can be in the NBA this year. The bench was unstoppable with Jamal Crawford and Eric Bledsoe leading the way and then Chris Paul down the stretch helped to put the game away.
Much like what Minnesota tried to do the other night, playing Rubio-Barea-Ridnour, the Clippers played Paul-Crawford-Billups in the fourth quarter and the Knicks could not handle the small lineup and let the game get away.
I don’t think the Knicks played well enough at all to deserve this game, even though they had a lead early in the fourth. It was pretty much Carmelo Anthony, a little of Raymond Felton and nothing else. J.R. Smith was pretty much a non-factor, Stoudemire was ok at best and the rest of the starters, Chandler, Shumpert and Kidd had 11 points total.
This was a tough game to watch and I believe showed a lot of the flaws in the Knicks game and what we have seen way too much of since the great start to begin the season. Poor defense, too much reliance on Carmelo to bail them out on offense, struggles with an uptempo style and slow starts to quarters that force them to play from behind.
Here are some other thoughts on today’s loss.
– Amazingly enough, Grant Hill, rose from Grant’s Tomb and actually kept Melo in check after he went off in the third quarter and with everyone else struggling to score, it was going to be nearly impossible for the Knicks to win.
– The combination of Bledsoe and Crawford really pounded on the Knicks all afternoon. The bench play could not have been any worse for the Knicks in comparison to what the Clippers bench brought today.
– Raymond Felton played a tough game and was the only one that was helping Melo on the offense, but a still hurting Chris Paul is still leaps and bounds ahead of him. I’m not exactly shocking the world with that statement, but the break can really help Felton get healthier himself. He should be better when his finger wrap is removed during the break.
– All that being said, after Felton went down with what was called whiplash, to come back out and still play aggressively was impressive. Felton will never quit, that is for sure.
– Shumpert is struggling to return from his injury, but he needs time to get back into rhythm. Adrian Peterson spoiled sports fans by his amazing return from an ACL tear. But even he took some time to get going too. Shumpert wont be an MVP like Peterson, but we got to be patient with him and give him a chance after the break to prove he can get back to where he was before the injury.
The All-Star break coming up is a good thing for the Knicks because the time off will do this team a lot of good. The defense needs to get a serious re-evaluation. The down time will give Felton, Shumpert and STAT a chance to continue to get healthier and we may, let me stress MAY get to see Rasheed Wallace come back as well.
At 32-17 the Knicks are still living off that 18-5 start, going 14-12 since then. The problems we are seeing are not isolated as they have been consistent for a while. I have confidence that Mike Woodson and the players can get it together, because if they don’t, things are going to get dicey very quickly.
Coming up next the Knicks will play their final game before the All-Star break against a team in their division that they have not played yet this season as they take on Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors. The game is on Wednesday at 7:30 pm and can be seen on MSG.