Tonight, the Knicks kicked off their one and only back-to-back-to-back with an energy filled loss at home against the Bulls, by a score of 102-105.
Now, like many times this season, the Knicks played three quarters of good basketball, but were debilitated by one quarter. Tonight, that quarter was the second.
The second period accounted for 12 of the Knicks’ 14 turnovers tonight. Had the Knicks been able to maintain control of the ball, they would have been able to lower the Bulls’ point production, while raising their own. Despite 12 turnovers, the Knicks were only out-scored by 7 (19-26), in the quarter, which kept them within breathing room the entire night.
Even thought the Knicks seemed to come up with basket after basket, down the stretch, Derrick Rose countered each time. It came down to a three-point game, with a little over 11 seconds left. Out of a timeout, Amare slipped out to the three-point line, found himself wide open, and attempted a straight-on 25-footer. The shot did not fall, but I do think it was a good shot.
Stoudemire compiled an impressive stat line tonight: 34 points, on 16-27 shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and a block. He was connecting on midrange jumpers, and was very aggressive all night. He’s proved before that he can knock down the three, and the way he was shooting tonight, I had no problem with him taking it.
Some criticized the play call, but D’Antoni said, “if Amar’e is open, he has the green light to take that shot there.” Everyone knew that Melo or Amare was going to take that shot, and D’Antoni backed up his players by saying, “either can make that shot”, after the game.
It’s a tough loss, and pushed the Knicks to 8-14, but if they can continue playing with the energy they displayed tonight, these games will start turning in their favor.
Knicks are back in action tomorrow night, when they take on the Boston Celtics, in Beantown.