The NBA season is back, and the New York Knicks are beginning life without Carmelo Anthony. With two losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Detroit Pistons, the team is looking at improvements that can be made on both ends of the court.
New York Knicks: Week 1 in Review
The Record: 0-2
The MVP: Kristaps Porzingis
Porzingis is showing promise in his first two games of the season. He has shown he is the new number one option after Carmelo Anthony was traded. He has averaged 32 points, 8.5 rebounds, and has shot 49 percent from the field in his first two games of the season. Not only is Porzingis scoring well, he is being efficient with the shots he takes. With how Porzingis is developing, it is a good thing Phil Jackson didn’t trade him. Porzingis is the main reason to watch the Knicks this year.
The LVP: Tim Hardaway Jr.
After signing a four-year, $71 million contract in the off-season, Hardaway Jr. is showing he was maybe better left on the free agent market. In these first two games he is averaging 11 points, shooting 27 percent from the field and 29 percent from three point range. Obviously he will not be shooting 27 percent the whole year, but there is much to be desired from the 5th year veteran. The Knicks brought him in to be the second option to Porzingis. If this team has any hopes to compete this year, Hardaway needs to start producing.
Players to Watch
In his third year with the Knicks, O’Quinn seems to be improving year to year. The veteran big man looks to be a key contributor coming off the bench for the Knicks going forward. He shot 67 percent from the field and averaged 8.5 rebounds in his first two games. O’Quinn developed a outside shot last season that made him more of a complete player. If he can keep on producing, he could be important to what the Knicks do this year.
The newly acquired center looked comfortable in his first two games of the season. Kanter averaged 13.5 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field. He had four turnovers in his first game, but minimized his sloppy play in the next, only turning over the ball once. There seems to be no chemistry issues between Porzingis and Kanter. The two look to be making seamless plays to one another and could be developing an underrated front court in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks stayed competitive for most of their first two games. They have showed they can play defense, the only problem is that it has not been for the whole game. One concerning trend for this team early on is they seem to lose energy in the second half of both their games. The Thunder pulled away in the second half of their game, and the second half is where the Pistons mounted their comeback. If this team is going to have any hope of staying relevant in the East, they have to shut down teams at the end of games. The Knicks are not going to be winning games by 20 points, so when they get big leads, they need to pace themselves and control the tempo of the game from that point on.
Tim Hardaway Jr. New York Knicks, during the New York Knicks vs Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Basketball game at Madison Square Garden, New York. USA. 15th March 2014. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
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