Knicks Frontcourt Subdues Heat

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MIAMI — The Knicks made it three in a row last night with an efficient, disciplined performance on both ends against the Heat.

PAINT DOMINANCE: On the offensive end, the Knicks got huge games from the starting frontcourt of Melo (25 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals), Robin Lopez (19 points, 2 blocks) and Kristaps Porzingis (12 points, 2 blocks). Melo shot 75% from the field, using a balanced attack from inside and mid-range. Porzingis struggled with his shot, but hit double figures in the second half by getting to the line. And Rolo put his full arsenal on display with putbacks, spin moves and his pet baby hook shot.

D-WILL SPARK: Once again, Derrick Williams was the key bench contributor, helping New York maintain their fourth quarter double digit lead. He had 13 points (5/8) to go along with 8 rebounds. The most clutch bucket was a fourth quarter three-pointer with the shot-clock expiring. It pushed the lead back to double digits and seemed to deflate Miami’s confidence.

PORZINGIS STAYS FOCUSED: Chris Bosh had a monster game (28 points) and seemed to relish taking our rookie to school. He got a nice driving dunk at KP’s expense, and Whiteside followed up with his own slam over the Latvian giant. Porzingis didn’t get rattled, and came back from the Bosh dunk for an alley oop on the next possession. Earlier, he had two good blocks on Luol Deng and Dwyane Wade.

He’s not going to block every shot, but I like the fact Porzingis is never afraid to contest, even after getting yammed on like below.

 

Knicks Contain Drummond, Defeat Pistons 108-96

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NEW YORK — The Knicks received by efforts from Robin Lopez (11 points, 6 blocks) and Derrick Williams (18 points) to snap a four-game losing streak and beat the Pistons 108-96 at Madison Square Garden.

Melo lead the way with 24 points and kept the Knicks close throughout until Williams exploded for 16 points in the fourth on 5-6 shooting. The team effort was rounded out with Calderon (15 points), Kyle O’Quinn (12 points) and Kristaps Porzingis (10 points).

The main threat coming in was Andre Drummond, and the Knicks did a superb job of throwing different bodies at him and keeping him from dominating the glass. Although no Knick had more than 7 rebounds, Drummond was held to 13 points (5/15) and 9 rebounds. Leading the way for Detroit were Ersan Ilyasova (19 points) and Reggie Jackson (17 points).

A big positive to take from this game is the Knicks are 11-2 when they score at least 100 points. But a glaring problem this season has been the losing streaks — this was the third time the Knicks had lost four straight. If we hope to get a playoff spot, these stretches of futility cannot keep happening.

The Knicks are back in action on New Year’s Day against the Bulls.

Derrick Williams Robbed of $750K By 2 Female Guests

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Derrick Williams took two women home last night and woke up $750,000 lighter in the jewelry department.

Williams told police that his Tribeca apartment was robbed by two women he took home early Saturday following the Knicks’ victory of the Sixers. According to Williams’ documented account, the unidentified women found a Louis Vuitton bag that contained the expenstive jewelry. They did not stay the night and left before dawn with Williams’ other friends. The Knicks forward discovered ttthe theft Satruday afternoon at 4 p.m. Williams refused to elaborate further when asked about the incident before last night’s home victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Police believe the crime may be the latest in a string of robberies where young women target wealthy men at clubs. Williams met the pair at the Up & Down club, and it’s likely the suspects used falsed names. According to the NY Post, a man was robbed of a Swiss timepiece worth $590,000 by two women he met at a midtown strip club earlier this month.

Williams is in the first year of two-year, $8.8 million dollar contract he signed with New York over the summer.

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D-Will is going to have to charge this one to the game. It’s straight foolishness to have strangers up in your house like that. He’s rich and entitled to spend his free time as he sees fit. But if you’re up for a night of debauchery, take it to an reputable hotel suite. Hope he had insurance on those pieces…

[Video] The Real 6 God: Porzingis’s 24 pts, 14 rebs, 7 blks Leads Knicks Over Rockets

 

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Who knew all we needed was some Latvian magic to break our streak of futility against the Rockets? Having lost the last 11 encounters dating back to 2004, the Knicks held tough and rode Kristaps Porzingis remarkable two-way performance to beat Houston 107-102.

Even without Dwight Howard’s presence, Porzingis still had to contend with an array of defenders like Terrance Jones and Trevor Ariza. But KP showed his versatility in punishing the Rockets with threes, deep jumpers and even running hook shots. Along with his 24 points, Porzingis added 14 rebounds (5 offensive) and 7 blocks, the first rookie to do so since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992.

Although Porzingis lead the way, it was a full team effort. Four of the five starters hit double figures, and Langston Galloway lead the bench with 12 points.

Games like this show another value to Porzingis’ potential that’s been overlooked. If he develops into the star we think he can be, that will add at least three more productive years to Melo’s career. Melo had a quiet night logging just 25 minutes (14 points, 50% shooting), but he didn’t need to push himself because KP handled the load. In years past, how often did we see Melo push himself through rough nights and get beat up because there was no help with the scoring load?

The scary thing is, we’re going to get nights where both Melo and KP are on fire. And when that happens, it’ll be a sight to see.

 

[Video] The Buck Stops Here: Knicks Stomp Milwaukee By 25 in Season Debut

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MILWAUKEE, WI — Watch out starters, the bench players are coming for your jobs. With Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the starting lineup struggling with their shots, the Knicks bench shouldered the load with a combined 73 points to lift New York to a crushing 122-97 road win.

COMING BACK STRONG: The Knicks had a slow shooting start (2-12) and struggled with keeping the scrappy Bucks out the paint. An 8-0 Milwaukee run had them down 11-4, but the insertion of Derrick Williams and Jerian Grant provided a big energy spark. Even in the penalty with 4 minutes remaining in the first, the Knicks remained aggressive with their man to man defense and forced the Bucks into woeful perimeter shooting. Powered by DWill’s 11-point first quarter (24 for the game), New York went on a 15-0 run between the first and second quarters to take command of the game with a 34-23 lead and never looked back.

ALL-AROUND CONTRIBUTIONS: Even when the Bucks got down by over 20 in the third, they remained determined to get back in the game. But every time they got close to single digits, a key basket shut them down. Four bench players hit double figures, and Kyle O’Quinn had one of the better all-around performances with 8 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. Rookie point guard Jerian Grant stepped up due to Jose Calderon’s foul trouble and dropped 10 points, 5 assists and pocketed 3 steals.

PORZINGIS SHOWS HIS VALUE: Our prized pick struggled with his shot (3-11), but still made a strong impact by getting to the line (9-12). He ended up with 16 points and 5 rebounds on a “bad” night. When that shot starts going down, he’ll be a constant threat that opens up the game for Melo. [youtube https://youtu.be/Qy1kjYVvQGs]


TEMPERED EXCITEMENT: While it was great to dominate like this with a key starter (Arron Affalo) and bench big man (Kevin Seraphin) out, we need to keep in mind the Bucks were missing two of their best players (Giannis Antetokounmpo, O.J. Mayo). However, the effort and focus we saw was missing most of last season. In addition, this year’s team has playmakers. I’m on board with Charles Barkley (gasp) that New York makes the playoffs barring any serious injuries.

MELO CONTRIBUTES IN OTHER WAYS: Melo finished with 11 points (4-16), but impressed me with 5 assists, including one to kick off the game. No, Carmelo won’t be dropping triple doubles anytime soon, but this indicates what he can do when surrounded by competent athletes.

OTHER KEY POINTS: The Knicks won the rebounding (49-47) and assist (24-17) battles, and also forced 18 turnovers (6 alone on Michael Cater-Williams), helped by 11 steals.

BACK AT IT TONIGHT: The Knicks get no rest as they’re at MSG for a stiff test against the Atlanta Hawks. I’m interested to see the reception Tim Hardaway Jr. gets.


[Video] Knicks 2015-2016 Season Final Preview

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Tonight, the Knicks kick off the season against the Milwaukee Bucks. Check out this final preview to get you hype. The game starts at 8 p.m. ET.