Review: Portland Trail Blazers 104-97 New York Knicks
The Knicks were coming off a great performance against Golden State, while the Blazers were attacking this East coast road trip with a purpose, to prove that Portland could win road games. Everyone expected Portland to impose their will on the Knicks. Except for one thing nobody saw coming, the Knicks played defense!
- The Knicks were rotating on defense, Q took two charges, the Knicks won the turnover battle and the points off turnover battle, and pretty much had an answer for most of what Portland wanted to do, unless Portland wanted to get someone a three pointer in the corner. The Knicks had little interest in defending that. And the major factor that kept the Knicks from being up by about 10 points going into the 3rd quarter was Portland's offensive rebounding, the Blazers won the O glass 15-7, and the Knicks closed that gap late in the game.
- Yes, I just said the Knicks could have led the Blazers by 10 after 3 if they could have pulled down some O boards. You know me. I'm a fan but no homer. But the Knicks were playing that well outside the O glass. And don't forget, the Knicks were up 4 to start the 4th. The Knicks were up 9 with 2 minutes to go in the third before Portland took over.
- Chris Duhon had himself a game. 23 points and 13 dimes, and even contributing 5 boards. 7-14 shooting for the Knick point guard, and he really did get hammered on a couple drives down the stretch where he missed the shot and did not get the call, so it could have been better. David Lee was the other Knick bright spot from the starters, with a 19 and 13 game.
-Tim Thomas put up a stunning 14 points in the first half, but sadly finished the game with 14 points. Q could not get it going from long range. Wilson Chandler had another bad game, and is looking like he is a very streaky player at this point in his career, but at least he is still trying to be a part of the offense, he will grow in my opinion, I have faith in his game.
Preview: New York Knicks (+15) at Cleveland Cavaliers, Wednesday 7:00 pm ESTThis is going to be one annoying game. Defensive Cleveland fans are going to cheer LeBron and boo the Knicks non stop, trying to match the level of passion the basketball mecca New York City gave Lebron back at the World's Most Famous Arena Madison Square Garden last week. Also annoying is the fact that the Knicks match up horribly with the Cavs. The Cavs have far too much size for the Knicks, who are 15 point dogs tonight and will again lack the services if Nate Robinson and Cuttilo Mobley. This game could be a disaster.
Knicks-centric stats match-up:Again: Since the Knicks are a team that runs the D'Antoni offense, posting typical team offensive/defensive stats is pretty silly. I will use offensive and defensive efficiency, a.k.a. how many points a team scores and allows per 100 possessions. Hopefully this will give people a better idea on how teams will stack up against the unique style the Knicks offer.
Knicks on offense:
Knicks offensive efficiency: 104.3 points/100 (14th in the NBA)
Cavs defensive efficiency: 99.1 points/100 (5th in the NBA)
Knicks on defense:
Cavs offensive efficiency: 111.8 points/100 (1st in the NBA)
Knicks defensive efficiency: 107.7 points/100 (26th in the NBA)
Psst! Hey Donnie Walsh!This is the section where I usually will take the Knicks next opponent and suggest a legal NBA trade that is feasible for both teams and achieves the Knicks primary objectives moving forward, which are to move Eddy Curry, move Jared Jeffries, or maybe get something for Marbury. These are by no way rumors or even .0001% likely to happen, this is just me having fun, and will hopefully spur a bit of discussion.
How about this one, Cavs fans?
Knicks get Wally Szczerbiak (13.7 million/1 year)
Cavs gets Eddy Curry (9.7 million/3 yrs) and Nate Robinson (2 million/1 year)
Cleveland, you want scoring this season from the 2, and some more assists from the 2, and a guy that can take the game over if LeBron is on the bench? Well just trade for Nate Robinson. And ignore the part where Eddy Curry eats up all your future cap room.
The Cavs, specifically LeBron's supporting cast, are going to want to come out and stomp a mudhole in the shorthanded, tired Knicks to get back at the Knicks fans for doing exactly what Knicks fans were supposed to do as smart basketball fans last week. Ben Wallace will probably find a way to score a double double. Duhon played 44 minutes last night and seemed to tire down the stretch, it will take a gutty performance from him to keep the Knicks in this game. Lee tends to get frustrated by the trees inside, but I expect that Tim Thomas will get a lot more minutes tonight to help combat the size of Cleveland.
A lot of factors in this game point towards a blowout. But my gut tells me a different story...for no real reason. I expect a tight one tonight at Quicken Loans Arena (stupidest name for an arena ever!)
Cavs 108-Knicks 103 (season record: 3-0 straight up, 2-1 ATS)
Thanks for reading!