Ben KopelmanEvery Knicks fan struggles with the optimistic angel on one shoulder (we got Eddy Curry!) and the ever-depressing devil on the other (we still have Eddy Curry??!!). After each week this season, we will offer up the positives and negatives of the last seven days in Knicks-land to help sort it all out and put your mind at ease.
Record during the week: 2-1
Game results: Win vs. Celtics (114-88); Win vs. Cavs (117-86); Loss vs. Heat (106-91)
Overall record / Games Behind: 19-28, 6 GB
Showing Up On Time: The Knicks yawned, stretched and crawled out of the gate for most of their games in 2013. The team rarely seemed ready, rarely looked sharp and rarely took a lead. The Knicks may have broken that ugly habit here in 2014. The team put up 31 first quarter points against the Celtics, and 38 against the Cavs, which marked the most points the team scored in a quarter this season. Despite a disappointing start against the Heat, the team’s taken a huge step in the right direction from how things were going earlier in the season.
J.R. Jr.: The hybrid of J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr., “J.R. Jr.” had a huge week for the Knicks. J.R. has played well since his public shaming, showing that he does remember how to play the sport with the orange ball and the baskets. His shots have been falling, but more importantly, he has been playing with his head more securely fastened to his shoulders. Ball movement is key to this team’s success and, for the first time in a long time, J.R. is playing like part of the solution rather than the problem. On the Jr. side of things, THJr. had his biggest NYC moment on Thursday night with his three-point shooting display against the Cavs. The kid is a natural scorer, and if he can learn to play solid, team defense, is going to have a place on this team and in this league for the next while. Only problem is, we now expect this type of production from these guys, so “J.R. Jr.” better keep it up.
On the Road Again: This week marked the end of the team’s eight-game homestand. While they showed flashes of righting the ship last week, the Knicks ended a mere 4-4 over that stretch and now play six of their next nine games away from MSG. Not that the team has been so good at defending its home court this season, but I think everybody was hoping for an above-500 run over the extended homestand.
Ron Artest: Remember when news broke that the Lakers were going to amnesty RonRon? Remember how excited we all got at the prospect that the Knicks had the inside track to signing him for pennies on the dollar? Amid a season of injuries, Artest has given the Knicks a whole lot of nothing thus far this season. Seeing him check into the game during garbage time of a blowout just proved how far he has fallen. Will he prove to be valuable in the second half of the season? Maybe. But thus far, he has done about as much as Chris Smith.
THE WALT CLYDE
Super Pick, Walt: With members of both teams in the arena last week, Walt picked the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl. “I like their defense,” he reasoned. Is this guy ever wrong about anything? Also, how jealous must he have been of Broadway Joe Namath last night? If only Clyde wore coats…
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