Sweet Revenge: Knicks Storm Back from 18-point Deficit to Stun Bucks


Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images

When the Knicks were down 18 points in the third quarter, they could have easily thrown in the towel. What we saw was the desperation and defensive focus we’ve wanted all year as the Knicks outscored the Bucks 33-15 in the fourth to take a dramatic win and snap their losing streak at six. To put it bluntly, we absolutely needed this game.

MELO LEADS THE CHARGE: Carmelo Anthony is playing through a bum shoulder that’s clearly affecting his shooting touch. But the last two games have shown his commitment to adapting his game. He’s tallied 17 assists in that span and had a stat line last night of 26 points, 6 boards and 10 assists. The assists were his most since 2012 and key in keeping the ball moving during the 4th quarter run. Despite his 8/20 shooting, he had enough left in the tank to deliver a dagger three-pointer to put the Knicks up 112-111 with 51 seconds left.

With all that said, it would be prudent if Coach Hornacek strongly considers resting Melo tonight. He’s played his worst basketball this year on back to backs.

PORZINGIS BATTLES THE GREEK FREAK: Our future looks bright. Despite fouling out with 2 minutes remaining, Porzingis’ superb play on both ends of the floor put the Knicks in a position to steal this one. In his 30 minutes, KP scored 24 points (9/14), was 3/4 from downtown, and in one sequence stopped Antetokounmpo twice at the rim in the fourth (Giannis would shoot 1-7 in the quarter).

RON BAKER ANSWERS THE CALL: The Knicks weren’t getting the guard play they needed from Derrick Rose nor Brandon Jennings. Rose shot 4/14 despite dishing 8 assists, and Jennings was abhorrently bad in 5 minutes (0 points, 1 assist, -12). Coach Hornacek took a gamble and played Baker the entire fourth quarter.

Unlike the Phoenix game, Baker didn’t make key late mistakes. He kept the ball movement going and attacked when he had openings. In his 12 minutes he was a +18 with 6 points, 2 boards and 4 assists. Those stats include a steal that lead to a fast-break that put the Knicks up three with 27 seconds remaining, a key defensive rebound, and 2 free throws to seal the game.

LANCE THOMAS’ REDEMPTION: After getting burned on Wednesday by Antetokounmpo, Thomas was locked in this game. He contributed by nailing a few open treys (10 points, 4/4), but most importantly he stripped the Greek Freak with 33 seconds left and New York holding onto a one-point lead. He was unquestionably the most important bench contributor.

Was this win an aberration or a game-changer for the season? We’ll find out tonight against the Pacers.

Knicks Blow 16-Point Lead, Antetokounmpo Hits Game-Winner


I don’t want to hear it. Don’t cry about Derrick Rose being fouled on that late inbounds play. Don’t whine about the Greek Freak not being called for having his back to basket past 5 seconds. This game should not have come down to these plays if the Knicks had any semblance of defense. That dagger game-winning jumper from Antetokounmpo is exactly what the Knicks deserve for being outscored 32-17 in the fourth and blowing a 16-point lead.

TRY NOT FOULING: For the last 5 minutes of the game, the Bucks nearly scored all their points from the free-throw line. Lance Thomas could not guard Antetokounmpo, and Greg Monroe got his looks as well. On cue, the offense got stagnated with Rose throwing up wild layups and Melo bricking long jumpers.

CHOKED: The Knicks had a fantastic third quarter where they outscored the Bucks 35-21 and took a 14-point lead into the fourth. Then the team inexplicably got passive. It started with the fourth quarter group helmed by Jennings, Holiday, Kuzmiskas, O’Quinn and Lance Thomas. Milwaukee would go on a 14-2 run to put them in position to steal the game.

OFFENSE GOES TO WASTE: This game serves as another clear example that you can’t outscore trash defense. The contributions were immense from Noah (8 points, 16 boards), Melo (30 points, 11 boards, 7 assists), and Kuzmiskas off the bench (15 points). The Knicks also equaled a season-high with 13 three-pointers. Ironically, it wasn’t the perimeter defense that killed us (Bucks were 9/28 from downtown), but Antetokounmpo’s drives in the fourth.

The Knicks see the Bucks again on Friday.

[Video] A Defensive Failure: Brandon Knight Stuns Knicks with Game Winner


It finally happened. After going life and death twice with the NBA-worst Bucks this year (blowing a 20-point game in the first game and needing double overtime to win the second), the Knicks finally hit rock botttom in losing a heart-breaker off a Brandon Knight three-pointer with 1.5 seconds left. The defensive was uneven all game, but the Knicks rode the back of Carmelo Anthony in the fourth to nearly win before our “point guard” Raymond Felton gave up back to back baskets to seal this defeat. And with the schedule coming up being a Western Conference trip against the likes of Portland, Denver and Oklahoma City, the Knicks face a strong possiblity of falling further out of the playoff hunt.

BACKCOURT BLUES: Small ball is supposed to be our specialty, but it sure didn’t look like it between our starting backcourt pf Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni, who managed a combined six points on 2/9 shooting.

A DIFFERENCE IN DOUBLE FIGURES: On the scoring front, it was all Melo (36 points, 52% shooting) and JR Smith (30 points). No one else on the team managed to score in double figures. Contrast that with the Bucks, who had five players in double figures, including a team-high 25 points from Brandon Knight.

TRASH FREE THROW SHOOTING AND PERIMETER DEFENSE: The Knicks gave away points at the line, shooting just 62% (15/24) with Tyson Chandler being the biggest culprit, shooting 1-6. After building a 29-22 lead in the second, the game became a come-from-behind race for the Knicks after giving up 32 points in the quarter and letting the Bucks go 5-5 from downtown.

FELTON: The last two Bucks possessions are the biggest indictment of Raymond Felton’s defense. First, he got beat on a backdoor play that made it 98-95 Bucks with 27 seconds remaining. Melo then drained a three-pointer from 25 feet to tie it with 19 seconds left. Knight promptly brought the ball up and knocked down a three-pointer over Felton to make it 101-98 with just 1.5 seconds left. Melo missed a 27-footer to seal the defeat.

Felton is a good guy on a personal level, but a lot of the team problems begin at the point guard position. He can’t penetrate consistently, starts our offensive sets too late, has a streaky jumper, and most damning, can’t stay in front of athletic guards. When it comes to trades, a competent PG should be the #1 priority for New York.

The Chucking Chronicles: JR Smith Speaks on His 17 3-Pt Attempts Against Bucks


The Knicks held on for a double overtime win Wednesday night in Milwaukee, largely in part due to a late jumper from JR Smith. While that play sealed it, the most eye-catching stat of the night among JR’s 23 shot attempts was an astounding 5-17 from downtown. To say our streaky shooting guard was gunning is an understatement. Below is what JR had to say about his shooting and what Knicks fans can expect in future games.

Long as NY wins, JR can shoot at his heart’s content.



Tyson Chandler Returns to Starting Lineup Against Bucks

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

Knicks center Tyson Chandler has confirmed that he will return to the starting lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Chandler has been sidelined since November 6 after fracturing his right fibula in a collision with Bobcats guard Kemba Walker. In his absence, the Knicks have struggled mightily on the defensive end, posting an overall record of 7-17.

In the four games Chandler has played this year, he’s averaged 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.5 blocks.

Coach Woodson has also confirmed that the addition of Chandler will move Andrea Bargnani to the bench, and Carmelo Anthony to the power forward position.


Finally, some good news! I’m not expecting Chandler to be an immediate savior since the team’s problems are varied. In addition, it’ll take some games before his timing and legs are fully back. But from a morale standpoint, just his presence will be a huge energy burst for this team. The road to .500 begins tonight…