The New York Knicks fell in their second exhibition game of the preseason, losing to the Raptors in Toronto by a score of 100-91 on Friday night. They followed that up by losing in a rout to the Boston Celtics in New Hampshire, 111-81 on Saturday night.
Obviously, Knicks' fans should not really care about the losses, as the preseason is just a way to shake things out and assess certain player values.
That all said, let’s look at a couple of things that stood out:
Carmelo was great
Nothing shocking here, as the Knicks star went off for 24 points (9-17 from the field) in just 25 minutes to go with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. That’s just what Carmelo Anthony does.
Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. built on their fine preseason starts
Both Shumpert and Hardaway Jr. continued to impress in the preseason, as both combined to score 23 points on 9-22 shooting from the field. Hardaway Jr. was 3-8 from three-point range while Shumpert also hauled in nine rebounds. Shumpert also showed off his defensive prowess, notching three steals.
Newcomers Andrea Bargnani and Metta World Peace are starting to fit in
Coach Mike Woodson must be feeling good about his two new players, as they played their role pretty good as they combined to score 23 points on 10-26 shooting. They also combined to haul in 10 rebounds. Again, these guys don’t have to be world-beaters. They just need to fill a role and be complimentary players to guys like Anthony, Ray Felton, Shumpert and eventually J.R. Smith.
Josh Powell may be on thin ice
Powell received 13 minutes of playing time on Friday but only scored three points (on three FT’s) while also committing four turnovers and six fouls. An outing like won’t endear him to the staff.
Only five minutes for Cole Aldrich?
After a solid debut against the Celtics on Wednesday, Aldrich was only used for five minutes in this game. Aldrich was pretty efficient in those minutes, though, collecting three rebounds and a block.
(First of all, many of the regulars did not play, as the Knicks were playing on back-to-back nights and decided to sit Anthony, World Peace, Tyson Chandler, Beno Udrih and Felton)
Ike Diogu stood out in his opportunity
While the Celtics took it to the Knicks on this night, Diogu shined for the Knicks, as he led the team in both scoring (21 points) and rebounding (eight). Although Diogu is a bit undersized for a power forward, Diogu makes up for it in hustle and determination and is simply a nasty junkyard dog in the paint. Perhaps, this will raise a few eyebrows among the staff.
As good as Shumpert and Hardaway have been in the first two games, they laid an egg on Saturday night
Both players came into this game on a roll, but both would have been better off like the other regulars who sat, as they had nothing on this night. Shumpert was only good for six points (on 2-9 shooting) while Hardaway Jr. went for nine points on an abysmal 3-16 shooting (1-6 from three point territory). Maybe it was just fatigue as these two players have been playing a lot of minutes in the preseason thus far, but both should be fine moving forward.
Toure Murry excelled in his chance
Finally getting a chance to play significant minutes (31), Murry had 16 points (on 8-21 shooting) to go along with four rebounds and two assists in Saturday night’s game against the Celtics. It’s games like these that will help Murry, who is fighting an uphill battle to latch on with the Knicks, secure a spot on the opening night roster. Murry is still behind Felton, Prigioni and Udrih on the point guard depth chart, though. But, this was definitely a step in the right direction for Murry.
Up next, the Knicks will take on Wizards in Baltimore on Thursday night.
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