Febuary 8, 2013
Wasn’t pretty, but the New York Knicks grind their way to a victory on the road against the Minnesota Timberwovles, 100-94.
I’ve mentioned plenty of times how much I like Amare Stoudemire on Read Paint — but, you can tell when he’s not on the floor, like we saw late in the fourth quarter tonight, the Knicks become more versatile.
When Mike Woodson removed Stoudemire in the fourth, you see how Carmelo Anthony and J.R Smith score easily in the paint. It also allows Tyson Chandler to be double-team to free up and open up spots for Smith, Anthony and Raymond Felton. Or, if Anthony is getting doubled, it frees up Chandler and Felton to pick-and-roll, or sets up for the alley oop.
Stoudemire breaks up a lot of chemistry on the floor.
It’s all because he’s playing horribly. Yea — they’re moments in the game when he’s making spin moves and strong dunks, but then they’re those moments when he has the ball in his hands he looks like someone took brain out of his head — he draws blank, at times. Almost like the movie “Space Jam” when the bad cartoon characters sucked up all the talent from the basketball players.
Iman Shumpert Struggling: I don’t like when Woodson leaves a struggling Stoudemire on the floor and but not a struggling Shumpert.
Iman maybe off right now, though, he can still drive the ball to basket and add some speed on the floor. When the Knicks were down in the third quarter, Shumpert was benched while Stoudemire was playing and doing nothing. Why bench the 22-year old who has the best outside defensive skills and can turn it on at any point of the game. Woodson showed no confidence in him. He’s got to let him come out of it.
Jason Kidd: Biggest play of the game by Kidd in the fourth with Knicks up by one, as he tips the ball out of the hands off Ricky Rubio, then the assist to Smith for the driving layup and and the foul for the three-point play.
I keep forgetting how much Kidd has meant to this team. He’s a big reason to why they’ve gotten off to a great start. His intangibles and great stops at big moments; like we saw tonight. Since his back issue — and you can’t do anything about that because he’s old — Knicks have been missing that.
Kidd, Melo, J.R, Felton and Chandler has to be on the floor in every fourth quarter when trailing, tied or leading by two.
Ricky Rubio: My god, is he good. Spero Dedes was talking about he admires Kidd — but I’m surprised he didn’t say Steve Nash. That’s who he really reminds me of, with those running to the basket, creative shots.
The NBA is growing a lot great point-guards for the future. Rubio is one — the sudden explosion of John Wall; Kyrie Erving; there’s a lot of good, young PG in the future. NBA must be proud.