Knicks defeat the San Antonio Spurs 105-101 behind a brilliant effort by Iman Shumpert. Shumpert, mired all season in a sophomore slump, broke out in magnificent fashion with 27 points, 6 boards and 3 steals in 31 minutes.
Shumpert looked very confident and collected in nailing six of eight three point attempts mostly from the corners. The highlight of the game was a sick one-handed skying put-back off a Melo miss. Shumpert made things happen by his activity on the defensive end and when teamed up with Toure Murray in the second quarter, they brought the Knicks back into the game.
As I said many games ago, Toure Murray should be in the rotation. It is obvious that Felton is a major defensive liability. When healthy, he brings the added dimension of penetration, but it's not a useful tool if you cannot get stops on the other end. Felton on the same floor with Bargnani and Stoudemire is a recipe for disaster because to win against the elite backcourts, you need hustle players -- the guys who will make that extra move to get to the ball. Shumpert, Hardaway, Murray and Smith are those players. Felton is absolutely not.
J.R. Smith scored only 4 points on just five shots, but his ability to find the open player led to three assists and oiled the Knicks offense. Additionally Smith hit crucial shots late. He was very controlled and did not shoot a bunch of crazy awkward shots. J.R. Smith's defense is suspect however. Although, his extra hustle creates opportunities, he is too often caught in screens, behind the play and out of position. His perimeter defense is lackluster.
Murray also got lost on defense a lot and he seems to rely on his youth to gamble quite a bit; still he is a ball-hawk and will get better with time.
Stat looked servicable. He was was not a major liability although he seems to have very little lateral movement and is mighty slow getting down court or reacting to the ball.
I love it when Bargnani (10 points on 3 for 8 shooting and 3 boards in 22 minutes) is not on the floor. Still he had the highest plus/minus on the team. That stat doesn't tell you much, does it?
Carmelo was fabulous in his return from an ankle injury. He willingly, if not quickly, threw the ball out of doubel teams as he had four assists and 12 rebounds to go with his 27 points on 50% shooting. He was fun to watch and it helped that someone else finally had a good offensive game. Thank you Shump. Thank you Knicks for a good nights sleep.
What was interesting about this game was the intensity of the defensive effort in the 2nd which brought us back.That was the fuse that lit the comeback.The energy level went up and stayed up.Defense generates offense.Murray is not Lin but he's worth a try.He's long and energetic.Not all teams make cuts like SA so if he learns to get over picks and not get lost he can hold his own.He and Shump are a formidable defensive pair.I like Felt.He is who he is and that ain't terrible.He's a good, but not great ball player, a very tough guy, tough, no excuses.Jumping on a guy who's hurt is not right.He got hurt because he busted his ass for us.He was brought back too soon.If he came back out of shape for the season that's different.Felton is not part of the problem.He could be part of the solution.We have other problems, the biggest one is off the floor.It's too easy to pile on the players for the shyte management is responsible for.
Meanwhile we need to proceed with common sense with the Murray-Shump combo.Is it the answer?What choice do we have?Ming knows the deal.Procede with a fine touch and we may win a few.LGK
@Tman Agree. Murray must learn to get over those screens. The guards seem to have problems in this area and the bigs are too slow to show and pick up their man. The result is too often
mismatches, confusion and three points.
@Tman I disagree. I didn't like Felton before he was hurt and his pain doesn't mollify mine, except that I prefer a "DNP coach's decision" or "15 minutes of PT" to him starting.
@Knicks Fanatic @Tman You're tough.Check the record.I was all over Felt because he wasn't Steve Nash.Today even Nash isn't Nash.But it takes 5 to play and eight to win.Felt has heart and some game.I'd take that over some of his mates who have more game and less heart.There's minutes for all who want to win.This team needs Felt-ON.There is virtually no difference between Lowery and Felt besides their health.Watch for another ridiculous trade.