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New York Knicks Give Better Effort Against Boston Celtics This Time but Fall Once Again, Losing 90-86; Six Initial Observations

December 14th, 2013 at 1:41 AM
By Daniel Stack

verndogs / / CC BY-NC

While it wasn’t the train wreck it was last Sunday, the New York Knicks once again lost to the Boston Celtics this week, falling 90-86 on Friday night.

After getting down early in the first half, the Knicks took command in the second half, only to tumble in the game’s final minutes. With injuries mounting, the Knicks are having a hard time staying fresh late in games. This was certainly a winnable game, but the bounces just didn’t go the Knicks way and they let one slip away.

The Knicks still have a lot of work to do to get out of the hole they dug for themselves and losing to intra-divisional rivals in the Celtics certainly won’t help matters. Especially games you had control of.

Here are six initial observations from the game:

  • The good and bad Carmelo Anthony showed up tonight. While Anthony scored a team-high 26 points (9-24 from field) to go with four rebounds and three assists, he was practically nonexistent in the second half. You can see that Anthony is feeling the burden of trying to carry the Knicks, especially in light of all the injuries. If the good Carmelo showed up in the second half, the Knicks probably would have pulled this one out. Hower, the man can win games by himslef.
  • Speaking of injuries, Kenyon Martin had to leave the game with an abdominal injury in the fourth quarter and his status is not yet known going forward. He was clearly in a lot of pain and he’ll likely miss tonight’s game vs. Atlanta. This is yet another tough blow. This will be hard to overcome, as Martin gives the team some much-needed toughness in the paint. With Tyson Chandler still out, the interior defense is about to get a lot worse.

  • J.R. Smith continues to play lost. Whether it's Mike Woodson’s incessant support of Smith or Smith’s wavering confidence, Smith is offering the team nothing at this moment. Smith played 26 minutes off the bench and attempted just one shot (which he missed). And yet, he plays in crunch time. This is baffling and Smith should perhaps spend more time on the bench.
  • Although he won’t be lauded for being a proficient scorer, Pablo Prigioni makes this team run more efficiently. While he only scored five points (on 1-6 shooting), Prigioni had eight assist and made the offense flow. As a team, the Knicks had 20 assists while committing only six turnovers. He was great off the pick and roll, and he’ll be needed to keep it up with Felton sidelined a few weeks.
  • While he returned from the knee injury he sustained in the Bulls’ game, Iman Shumpert either is still hampered by it or stuck in a rut. He had another awful night, contributing just three points while shooting a wretched 1-8 from the field. He was missing badly and wound up playing just 23 minutes. The Knicks definitely need him to get going.
  • You still got to give it up to Amar’e Stoudemire for his work in getting back into shape. He had another fine offensive performance, scoring 18 points (7-9 from the field) to go with five rebounds. He’s still a little too one-dimensional, but he is providing the Knicks with some offensive punch.

Photo credit: verndogs / / CC BY-NC

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Tags: Basketball, Boston Celtics, NBA, New York, New York Knicks

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