[Video] Faux Comeback #34957934 – Kemba Walker’s Layup Stuns Knicks


Back to back losses on layups…LAYUPS. God hates us.

As commentator Mike Breen said in the seconds following Kemba Walker’s game-winning, easy layup drive, “The pain continues.” Coming from 20 points down mid third-quarter, the Knicks, lead by Carmelo Anthony’s game-high 32 points, staged an impassioned comeback that can down to one defensive stop with 4 seconds left. And as we’ve seen countless times over last two seasons, a speedy guard easily got into the pain the Knicks had their hearts broken.

For most the game, the Knicks appeared disjointed on defense. They couldn’t defend perimeter threes and guys like Lance Stephenson slashed to the basket at will. Melo had 15 first half points, but he still looked deflated from Thursday’s game where he shot a vile 21% from the field.

Then a light switch went off in the third quarter. Melo’s jumper started following along with And 1’s in the paint. Tim Hardaway Jr and JR Smith started going lights off from three. For most of the fourth, the Knicks hovered with an 8-10 point deficit before Melo’s back to back 3s gave the Knicks a 102-101 lead. NY had the chance to get the lead to 3, but Melo missed a short bassline jumper that set up Walker’s heart-breaking layup.

There were a lot of grumblings as to who was at fault on that drive. Should Prigioni have been more aggressive in taking the foul to give to get more time off the clock? Should Melo have jumped out quicker to stifle Kemba’s drive? Should Stoudemire have read Walker’s move quicker to get a better chance at altering the shot?

For me, teams win and lose together. Had the Knicks played with the 4th quarter intensity that had them outscore Charlotte 33-18 for the ENTIRE contest, the game would not have been decided in this manner.

Sorry Pat, Nothing Personal — Bargnani and Melo Spoil Ewing’s Coaching Debut


He had that shoot-first mentality. He had some of the same looks but he wasn’t hesitating, which I like. He was very aggressive on the offensive end tonight. I guess he was tired of hearing [he wasn’t]. – Carmelo Anthony on Bargnani

I’m still trying to learn him as a coach. I told our coaches, hell, he needs to speak up and talk more and act like he’s a part of this. He was pretty good tonight. He can’t be a tease because I’m going to expect that from him every time. – Mike Woodson on Bargnani

The Knicks finally got what we’ve been waiting to see since day one of Andrea Bargnani’s contract signing with the Knicks — frontcourt chemistry with team captain Carmelo Anthony. The two combined for a massive 53 points, 16 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 blocks as the Knicks cruised to a 101-91 win in Charlotte over the Bobcats.

The Knicks had a strong first half powered by ball movement and drives to the rim. Bargnani was not hesitant with his shot and hit several treys and even executed a crossover at the top of the key. He took 16 shots in the first half and scored 15 points. Equally important was Raymond Felton, who chipped in 10 points, 4 assists, and made sure the ball was either swinging around the perimeter to the open man, or attacking the interior defense. Melo crashed the boards with 4 offensive rebounds in the first half in addition to 16 points on 6-13 shooting.

THIRD QUARTER ATTACK: After missing his first three shots in the third, Bargnani caught fire starting with a block and hitting a three-pointer to make it 61-49. He hit a mid-range jumper off a pick n’roll with Felton, and Shumpert added a corner three off an assist from Melo to make it 66-49. The Bobcats sped up the tempo and got some easy looks to get within 10 (74-64), but a trio of threes from Metta World Peace, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Pablo Prigioni pushed the lead to 88-69. The Knicks would finish with seven threes in the quarter.

4TH QUARTER EXECUTION:  The Knicks were a little absent-minded early in the fourth. Behind NY nemesis Kemba Walker, the Bobcats were able to get the deficit down to 11. However, Bargnani again sparked the Knicks on both sides of the ball, getting a block and hitting a three-pointer to make it 97-81. Melo’s jumper was working, allowing him and Bargnani to space the floor with both being inside and outside threats. The danger of a Bargnani three late in the quarter made the defense collapse and allowed for a sweet pass inside for Melo and an easy layup.

CAN BARGNANI DO THIS EVERY NIGHT?: No, we can’t expect Bargnani to start dropping stat lines of 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5 blocks at will. Let’s keep in mind this was the Bobcats. However, we should expect the effort and focus he showed tonight. Knicks fans got on him in his Garden debut because he was passive and unfocused, not because he was missing shots. If he brings this effort every night, the Knicks will be exactly where they hope to be on offense and defense.

MELO COMES ALIVE: So far this season, Melo has been good in every area except his shooting. That changed tonight with his 28 points on 54% shooting. He was great on the boards (8 rebounds, 5 offensive) and looked to get teammates involved at every turn (6 assists). This is a glimpse of how effective the offense can be when it isn’t predictable with the entire load falling on Melo’s shoulders.

TEAM MEETING WORKED: After a weak effort against the Bobcats earlier this week, the Knicks held a private players meeting to hash out their problems. The result was a team who put together their first solid 48 minutes of basketball the entire season.

OFFENSE LIFE COME SUNDAY: The Knicks will have their hands full when they meet the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. The offensive will get another lift with JR Smith making his season debut.

Tyson Chandler Out 4-6 Weeks with Fibula Fracture


Tyson Chandler is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after an examination today discovered a fracture to his right fibula.

The injury occurred last night in the first quarter against the Bobcats. Guard Kemba Walker landed awkwardly on Chandler’s right leg, causing the knee to buckle. Chandler had to be helped to the dressing room and needed crutches to leave the arena.

The fracture is considered “minor” with no ligament damage, meaning the veteran center will not require surgery during the healing process.

Over four games, Chandler averaged 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.5 blocks.


I hope the Knicks can expedite their plans to reacquire rights to Jeremy Tyler, because this team has a daunting month and a half ahead with Chandler sitting. Bargnani at center will not work. Stoudemire? NO. Time to dust off Kenyon Martin’s minute restriction, hope Cole Aldrich can withstand a trial by fire, and pray we can at least keep up in the top half of the standings through December.

The Downward Spiral: Chandler Injured, Bobcats Beat Knicks 102-97


The Knicks suffered their third straight loss, this time to the lowly Bobcats. As embarrassing as that is, it wasn’t even the worst even of the evening. Tyson Chandler, the defensive and rebounding archor of the team, went down early in the first quarter after banging/twisting his right knee against a driving Kemba Walker. Chandler had to be carried off the court and left the arena on crutches. The speculation is  that he has a bad sprain.

I don’t think I need to explain to any Knick fan how disastrous it’ll be for the team if Chandler is gone for any extended period of time.  Just look at this game as a sample. The Bobcat guards were able to waltz in the paint at will. Kemba Walker dropped 25 points and Gerald Henderson added 18. Even the backups (Ramon Session 10 points, Jeffrey Taylor 13 points) took full advantage of the Knicks’ defensive woes.

The offense was still weak as well. Melo dropped 32 points, but did it on 18-32 shooting. He was an integral part of a late fourth quarter run, but as usual the Knicks couldn’t get over the hump and Kemba Walker hit a dagger stepback over Kenyon Martin in the final minute to ice to game.

Going into last night, the Bobcats were the worst shooting team in the league at under 40%. Leave it up to the Knicks to allow them to move up to 29. The Bobcats were shooting 60% in the first quarter (courtesy of easy drives and open threes) and scored 31 points. Deep into the second quarter they were still around 58% and had 64 points at halftime. In the third, the Knicks went down by as much as 13 points before making a run of it.

This team is LOADED with problems. Andrea Bargnani’s lack of defense and rebounding is killing the starting lineup. Melo was seen giving him stern assignment directions in the first half. Our offense is the most predictable in the league — take away the pick n’ roll and it’s all isolation. Outside of Melo and now occasionally Metta World Peace (who played well and chipped in 18 points off the bench), there’s no one that can get easy buckets inside. Amar’e Stoudemire was absolutely wretched — 2 points, 5 turnovers and had his shots repeatedly sent back at the rim in 11 minutes.

We all wait with bated breath today to hear the results of Tyson Chandler’s medical tests. In the meantime, Coach Woodson better think long and hard about his offensive and defensive sets to ensure the Bobcats don’t embarrass our squad again on Friday.

Knicks Extend Winning Streak to Seven, Defeat Bobcats 111-102


It was fitting that the Knicks celebrate Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s 68th birthday with a win tonight. Hell, we can’t have our Knicks legend wearing that cow-print suit for nothing. You may recall that Bobcats gave the Knicks a tough go of it in December when a JR Smith buzzer-beater was needed to hold them off. JR opted to dominate the entire game this time around, and the team had an easy go of it despite replicating their lazy second half play from the last game against the Grizzlies.

ANOTHER FIRST HALF BEATDOWN: The Knicks came out on fire again riding the playmaking of Iman Shumpert, whose five assists were marked by three-pointers from Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton. The team hit five treys in the first quarter and the weak defense of the Bobcats had JR Smith looking like a late 90s Larry Johnson in the post. Charlotte was inept on offense as well, coughing up six turnovers. The New York scoring was varied and lethal, with the team shooting over 70% with under three minutes remaining. Melo had another fast start with 13 points, Shump had 8, Felton contributed 7 and JR 9.

With the Knicks rotating well on defense and keeping the paint locked up, the Bobcats were reduced to long jumpers. Steve Novak and Felton hit more threes to push the lead up to 63-35, and JR’s focus on getting high-percentage shots in the paint enabled the Knicks to equal their season-high in halftime points at 69. On the Bobcats end, the Knicks held them to 47 points to hold a 22-point halftime lead.

SECOND HALF LAZINESS: Seriously, in order for the Knicks to stay focused after getting these big leads, the arena is going to have to start turning off the scoreboards. Just like the Grizzlies game a few nights ago, the Knicks came out flat in the third. Some of the shots just rimmed out, but defensively the big difference was Bobcats guards like Gerald Henderson were able to get to the rim for foul calls. At one point the Knicks missed eight straight shots, but they tightened up in the last few minutes to hold a 88-69 lead going into the fourth.

The Bobcats had a 33 point fourth quarter on the back of hot three-point shooting, Henderson getting a lot of superstar-like calls, and Coach Woodson waiting too long to put his best perimeter defender (Shumpert) back in. The Knicks got into the penalty around the six minute mark and that helped the Bobcats get as close as seven. However, this was the Bobcats and you never felt the lead was in danger of being stolen. Apparently, by their play the Knicks didn’t either, as the offense went into iso mode for Melo over the last few minutes. A JR drive to the hoop pushed the lead to 104-95 with under two minutes left, and a steal by him on the very next possession closed the book on the competitive portion of the game.

JR’s AWESOME RUN CONTINUES: For the sixth straight game, JR Smith shot over 50% from the field. He scored 30-plus points off the bench for the third straight game, becoming the first Knick to do so and the first player since Ricky Pierce did it back in 1990. It’s like the light bulb went off and JR’s finally realized how to maximize his skill set. Tonight his stat line was 37 points on 12/18 shooting (2/2 from downtown) and 11/12 from the free throw line.

We’ll need this same JR and a more efficient Melo on Sunday when we face the Celtics, who’ll be out for blood at the Garden after that drubbing they took in Boston earlier this week.