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Friday, January 10th, 2014 at 9:00 am  |  39 responses

Post Up: Knicks Pull Together

New York, Denver getting their seasons on the right path

by Brett Weisband | @weisband

Knicks (13-22) 102, Heat (27-9)  92

Three wins in a row isn’t a winning streak, according to Charles and Kenny, but the Knicks have strung together a some strong play in the early days of 2014. New York took advantage of surprisingly sloppy play by the Heat to grab a big win over the defending champs. Carmelo Anthony rebounded quickly from a tough start shooting the ball to finish with 29 points on 12-24 shooting, 8 boards and 5 assists.

The Knicks came out of halftime hot after a tightly contested first two quarters. Iman Shumpert was on fire from behind the arc, hitting three triples in the third period in support of Melo. Later in the period, fans were treated to a Bargs outburst, as Andrea Bargnani scored 5 points in the final 2:33 of the third and then hit a bucket less than 30 seconds into the fourth. Bargnani finished 9-13 from the field and netted 19 points.

The Knicks moved the ball extremely well, especially in the second half, finishing the game with 25 assists. They closed the game on with an 8-14 shooting spree from three after starting off 1-10 from beyond the arc. Raymond Felton (13 points, 14 assists) was the source and beneficiary of a lot of those looks, nailing a three and another long jumper to help close out the game. The Knicks also got one of the best games of the season from Amar’e Stoudemire, who put up 14 and 11. 

The most sensational story coming from the New York side was J.R. Smith’s playing time, of which he got none. After Smith’s wide array of misdoings off the court and poor play on it, his shoelace hijinks were apparently the last straw for coach Mike Woodson, who handed the swingman a DNP-CD. Tim Hardaway, Jr. got the bulk of Smith’s minutes and proved why he earned them with a monster put-back dunk to end the third and put the Knicks up by six. 

The Heat’s defense, known for it’s aggression, was passive and did plenty of standing around, allowing the Knicks to shoot 54 percent. The offense was just as stagnant, possibly due to the absences of shooters Mario Chalmers and Shane Battier. LeBron scored 32 on a ridiculous 12-17 shooting performance, including a handful of highlight plays. Dwyane Wade scored 23 on 11-15 shooting, but was 0-6 from the free throw line. Norris Cole scored 12, all of them in the first half, and no other Heat player made it to double figures. Miami plays the second of a back-to-back Friday in Brooklyn.

Nuggets (18-17) 101, Thunder (27-9) 88

It took the banning of junk food and the benching of a veteran or two, but the Nuggets finally look like they’re getting it together under first-year coach Brian Shaw. Denver withstood a monster first half by Kevin Durant, who finished with 30 points, to roll to a win at home. They were led by Randy Foye, who has been hot over the last few games. Foye hit 6-9 threes on his way to 24 points, a new season high. He’s averaging 18.5 per game over the past four and has shown some real confidence in his stroke. 

Durant looked like he was ready to put the Thunder on his back early on. He scored 24 points in the first two quarters, getting to the line 12 times. He wasn’t getting much support, though. No other Thunder player hit double digits in the half, and at one point early in the third Durant had half of the team’s points. It certainly doesn’t help when no one can hit a jump shot; the Thunder missed their first 10 tries from long range before Durant and Reggie Jackson (13 points) hit back-to-back triples midway through the third. They ended up being outscored 42-18 from long range, as they allowed Denver to hit 14-31 threes. 

The Nuggets are starting to look like a very streaky team. Coming off their eight-game losing streak, they’ve now won four in a row. Ty Lawson controlled the pace for Denver (read: fast) to the tune of 16 points and 14 assists, and Evan Fournier came off the bench to drop in 19 points. Kenneth Faried showed some improved work on the glass, setting a season high with 14 boards to go with 9 points. Shaw’s shortened rotation seems to be helping the still-young Nuggets, as they’ve scored 119.5 points per game since Andre Miller’s sideline blowup and subsequent vacation from the team.

 

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  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Guess what… Winning and Grinning! lol. Sup fellas! Go Knicks!

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Lebron needs some help. This offseason the heat need to retool

  • Stepfan Raiford

    Thoughts on last night games.

    Bron and and Wade both played well even though the team was in Joe Johnson cruise control. Normally a good free throw shooting team but left a lot of points at the line.

    Melo stepped up in the second half, but you knew the Knicks had the game in hand when Bargnani puled out that reverse dunk. I like how Mike Woodson sent a message to J.R. Smith. Hopefully he gets the message.

    Randy Foye was on fire. I wish he shot like that when he was in D.C.

    Has Thabo lost a step defensively? Hell has the entire team?

    I like Liam Neeson, I mean Scott Brooks, as a coach/teacher but I feel like KD gets too much of the blame when OKC struggles without Russ. Reggie Jackson with his play of late is looking for a big payday once his contract is up. Very nice asset.

    And something off subject, these knee injuries/injuries are killing me. Westbrook, rose , cp3, bledsoe. smh Get well soon.

  • LouisVuittonDon

    lol thats probably what he’s thinking smh

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Big picture. Wade definitely isn’t pippen. you want 6 rings.. You need better pieces. This isn’t about the heat. This is about Lebron’ legacy. He could jump ship sign with another squad.

    Lebron all ready the GOAT. If you had start a franchise minus the Diesel , Duncan, Wilt,, You take lebron all day. Jordan without that great supporting cast is kobe on the lakers before gasol came to town and bynum picked up…. Kobe has the dopest supporting casts.

    WADE last playoffs averaged…. Bosh averaged…. WOWWWW kia shine kinfolk

  • TriggaMan

    City what up my dude!!

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    TRIGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA brap brap brap POW POW waz hannnenin

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Oklahoma’s defense (other than last night) has been better than it has ever been.

  • LouisVuittonDon

    Man you are trippin he has one of the most stacked supporting casts ever

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    Who would take a soft pf and play them at center. Who takes an undersized 2 guard with questionable health and no jump/3 ball as a wing man? Wade was a hooper but he’s aged. Mike B E Z beasley maybe able to help with the scoring punch but the Heat have a lot of flaw. Lebron though covers up for that.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Michael Beasley played 9 whole minutes last night ….. and finished a -14 on the game. When he’s put in there with rebounding and defensive responsibilities …… he shows why they keep him in a very very limited role. I hope the Beasley supporters actually watched that game last night.

  • AddingVelocityDontTellMe

    1 game. Bigger sample size. I am retiring from slam due to heart disease that need purification. pride/ego. Pe AC V

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    just a representation of what has been true about him his whole entire career. feel better, stay away from the internet, it’s not good for you.

  • LakeShow

    That was really cool efficiency by Wade, and LeBron.

  • LakeShow

    The Thunder are very good defensively. The guards in Denver just went off though.

    Thabo has always been mediocre at covering shooters. He is best served against 1 on 1 players.

    When Foye is hitting like that, and Lawson is able to do whatever he wants, Denver is incredibly tough to beat. And as we all know they are GREAT at home in the Mile High City.

    The Thunder are a grotesquely bad team with very little talent without Westbrook and KD.

  • LakeShow

    You have no idea why the Heat are successful do you?

    You really don’t understand that LeBron is the post player on the Heat and the best post player in the L technically speaking. (Percentage of made shots in the paint)

    And Bosh is the 2nd best stretch 4/5 in the L that also plays good defense.

    This team completely caters to LeBron’s strengths and weaknesses. They have allowed him to take all the easy shots that he converts at a wildly high rate while they have surrounded him with the best jump shooters and 3 point shooters in the entire L. He is great at passing out to them in their spots.

    This team is 100% perfect for LeBron. PERIOD.

    If you don’t see this, and think he needs a better supporting cast….. You are completely hopeless.

  • LakeShow

    oh my god you’re pathetic!!!! :)

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Inhaling that wifi aint good….

  • Nathan Shane Long

    Thursday night thoughts

    1.Hopefully Randy Foye has found a home in Denver even tho he has had a VAGABOND CAREER never has live up to being a top 10 draft pick that he was (7th overall 2006 draft)

    2.Kevin Durant scores 30 points half of his points off free throws goes 1-7 shooting 3′s he is not efficient enough with his scoring to win MVP over LeBron

    3.Denver needs to ditch those hideous Yellow alternate jerseys those jerseys in that colorway suck if they were in the classic 1980′s rainbow colorway they would be hot

    4.Such a fluke win by the Knicks

  • Caboose

    Only you could be grinning at f*cking 13-22.

  • Caboose

    55 points on 32 shots…nuts.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • Caboose

    27-9, HOLY SH!T, BLOW IT UP!

  • Caboose

    What am I reading?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    that’s Melo’s contract staying vs leaving, don’t really need to read it, but it should serve as a good reference to the real difference in earning potential

  • Caboose

    1. His career hasn’t been great, but of the 5 guys picked IMMEDIATELY after him, (Rudy Gay, Patrick O’Bryant, Saer Sene, JJ Redick, and Hilton Armstrong) he’s only been worse than Gay and as good as JJ. Not to mention he’s outperformed 3 guys picked ahead of him: Tyrus, Morrison, and Shelden.

    2. Not efficient enough with his scoring? 30 points on 19 shots is UNBELIEVABLE. For reference, LeBron has averaged 30 ppg 3 times so far. It’s taken him 23, 21, and 20 shots per game to get there.

    3. Agreed.

    4. Yeah probably.

  • Caboose

    Haha I doubt Melo goes anywhere, dude can make SO MUCH money in NY.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    …..nevermind, you need to read it.

  • LakeShow

    LOL, not efficient… That’s cute…

  • LakeShow

    Right!

    I think we have different definitions of “winning”….

  • LakeShow

    Meh. haha

  • JJ Jones

    Dwyane wade needs to get his head out of his ass what kind of shooting guard goes 0/6 from the free throw line. Wtf is he working on while taking games off for pussy reasons.And as good as kd is now I fear his lack of conditioning may be holding him back from becoming a truly transcendent scorer like jordan and kobe wbo would just keep coming at u for the full 48 minutes.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ^ this dude like http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/2004043/ImanShumpertHoldMyPhone.gif

    i gotta go say something real quick

  • Tarzan Cooper

    please leave. no one will miss you.

  • JML-G

    lmao

  • LakeShow

    Jeremy Lin is an All-Star as of currently……

  • Caboose

    Huh. Well done.

  • danpowers

    none of the greats you mentioned ever won a ring without a superior supporting cast. that takes all plausibility off your statement.

  • danpowers

    come on, after this horrible start of the season the current play of that knicks team feels like 15 wins in a row lol

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