On a big night where Amar'e Stoudemire made his season debut, the New York Knicks lacked intensity out of the gate. The Portland Trail Blazers dominated the 1st half and dominated the paint almost the entire game. New York Knicks were out rebounded 47-37 and for most of the game, Portland Trail Blazers simply man handled New York Knicks down low.
First off, it is obvious Amar'e Stoudemire was rusty but there were some good signs, especially as the game went on. Amar'e Stoudemire had 6 points on 3/8 shooting. He had an up and down game and all it will take is some time for Amar'e to start really helping this team out again.
But, the biggest key to tonight's game was the New York Knicks lack of intensity and softness in the paint area. Like it was said earlier, the Knicks were out rebounded and also out score in the paint 48-36. Down low is where this game was lost by the Knicks. Thanks a lot to JJ Hickson's 1st half performance. JJ Hickson had 18 points on 9/10 shooting in the 1st half. Though the New York Knicks slowed him down in the second half, LaMarcus Aldridge dominated on the boards with 14 rebounds and 7 of them offensive. Portland's 2nd and sometimes 3rd chances really affected the outcome of this game.
Another big negative for the Knicks coming out of this game is the lack of contributions from players not named Carmelo Anthony or JR Smith. Carmelo Anthony (45 points) and JR Smith (28 points) combined for 73 out of 100 points. An NBA team cannot compete depending on two guys for that much scoring.
What the New York Knicks need to do in these up coming games is simple. They need to come out with intensity in the 1st quarter. The New York Knicks have lost the 1st quarter badly a few games in a row now and need to play better from the start, so they do not have to play catch up.
Also, they need more productivity out of their starting lineup and PG position. Take away Carmelo Anthony, and the New York Knicks stating lineup scored only 15 points. Jason Kidd had 0 points in 33 minutes and Pablo Prigioni had just 2 points while they combined for only 6 assists. If the New York Knicks want to continue their success they need to solidify the paint, play with more energy from the start, and get more productivity out of the Point Guard position.
The New York Knicks have the San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, and Boston Celtics in their next three games and if they want to succeed they have to step their game up because these last two games, though close in the end, were not good games by the Knicks. Its time for the New York Knicks to step it up.
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