Knicks Topped By Blazers in Sloppy Game

Posted by Kenneth Teape on Thursday, February 06, 2014 with No comments
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Portland Trail Blazers vs. New York Knicks

Post Game Recap

The Knicks suffered yet another tough home loss Wednesday night, falling to the Blazers 94-90. Execution for both teams was sloppy throughout the night but the Blazers were able to get it together a little more than the Knicks when it counted. During pre-game Wally Szczerbiak said it was going to be a game of shot takers and whoever was more of the makers would come out on top. That is exactly what happened as the Blazers made eight three pointers compared to four for the Knicks, a 12 point difference that ultimately proved to be the difference. What makes it worse is the Blazers were clearly not on top of their game but the Knicks were still unable to take advantage. There is no use for morale victories for this Knicks team, but hopefully they can take some of the positives from the game tonight and put them towards their next game Friday night against the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
Player of the Game: Knicks Bench

The Knicks bench was outstanding tonight and is as responsible as anyone for the Knicks being in the game tonight. Jeremy Tyler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tim Hardaway Jr. and J.R. Smith all gave the Knicks a spark and played well tonight. In only 11 minutes Tyler was extremely active, getting second possessions for the Knicks on the offensive end and playing with intensity. Stoudemire was on fire offensively, scoring 15 points in his 22 minutes and backing up his talk after practice Tuesday about warranting more playing time. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Hardaway Jr. and Smith were not knocking down their perimeter shots efficiently but they were able to score 12 and 18 points respectively and help in other areas; Hardaway Jr. grabbed five rebounds and Smith had three rebounds and six assists when given the chance to run the offense. They outscored the Blazers bench 50-20 on the night.

Matchup of the Game Recap:

Shockingly Damian Lillard did not go off on Raymond Felton like expected. Lillard, like his Blazers teammates and virtually everyone else in the game, struggled from the field going 4-12. Felton wasn’t much better going 2-6. They even had similar other stats, as Lillard had five rebounds and four assists while Felton had four rebounds and three assists. The big difference was the playing time, as Lillard was on the court in crunch time leading his team while Felton was stapled to the bench, not appearing in the fourth quarter. Lillard played 38 minutes while Felton garnered only 23.


The disparity in rebounding was pointed out in pre-game but the Knicks were able to handle themselves well on the boards. The Blazers won the rebounding battle, but it was close as the finally tally was 49-48. It was a team effort for the Knicks, as five players, Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire, Pablo Prigioni and Hardaway Jr. all grabbed at least five rebounds.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
The Blazers were off their game tonight in part because of the Knicks defense. The Blazers were held to 38 percent shooting on the night as their All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Lillard struggled from the field, shooting a combined 9-29. Aldridge had the back-breaking dagger shot in the final two minutes though, as his turnaround jumper over Chandler put the Blazers ahead for good.

Mike Woodson is on the hot seat and did make some questionable decisions tonight but he should be applauded for changing things up a little bit. He sat starting point guard Felton for the whole fourth quarter, deciding instead to ride the hot hand in Prigioni and Smith running the offense. It was out of character for Woodson to change things up so drastically but it was the right move tonight.


The Knicks offense was not in sync tonight. The Blazers have a very forgiving defense, ranking 27th in points allowed per game. The Knicks were not able to take advantage though, shooting only 40 percent in the game and an unsightly 19 percent from the three point line. It was the difference in the game as the Blazers were near their three point percentage average but the Knicks were well below it. Also the foul line disparity hurt again, as the Blazers went 26-33 and the Knicks went 14-20.

Iman Shumpert gave the Knicks nothing once again in the scoring department. It is beyond trade rumors now as Shumpert’s struggles have spanned virtually all season outside of the Texas Trip. He went 0-5 tonight and makes things extremely difficult for the Knicks as they already have a player in the starting lineup in Prigioni who doesn’t look to score. Shumpert needs to figure things out as the guard play once again tonight let the Knicks down.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
Anthony came up short tonight for the Knicks. When they needed him most he was unable to come through as he went scoreless in the fourth quarter. Anthony finished the game 11-28 from the field, struggling from the perimeter as he went 1-6 from threes and only got to the foul line for three attempts, making all of them. On the contrary, Aldridge struggled from the field all night but came up huge for the Blazers when they needed him most to end a Knicks run or down the stretch. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum made life difficult for Anthony as the game wore on.

For the praise Woodson deserves for benching Felton, there are still come questions that should be raised. Why was Stoudemire taken out when he was clearly the hot hand offensively for the Knicks? It would be nice to see Woodson be consistent in the decisions that he makes, playing all the hot hands and players keeping the Knicks in the game instead of reverting back to old lineups. It is not good when it is February and Woodson still does not know game in and game out who he can use for end of game situations. The hot seat is as hot as it has been during his tenure as Knicks coach and there are rumblings that he will not make it past the All-Star break.