Recap: Knicks 100, 76ers 84

This afternoon, the New York Knicks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers by 16, 100-84, to better their record to 2-0 on the young season. The Knicks have not started a season 2-0, since 1999-2000, so it’s safe to say they’re off to a very solid start.

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Picking up right where they left off, the Knicks continued to display marvelous ball movement. The ball swung around the arc three, four, even five times sometimes, before settling into the hands of a three-point shooter. While the Knicks still took a lot of threes – 9 to be exact – nearly every one of them was an open, good look. In the first quarter, the Knicks shot 12/24 from the field, including 5/9 from three. Five of the Knicks’ 12 buckets were assisted in the first period. After one, the Knicks led by 6, 31-25.

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After a good defensive first quarter, the Knicks stepped it up another notch in the second quarter. While the Sixers shot the exact same 42% they did in the first quarter, the Knicks forced seven turnovers, compared to just one in the first period. The Sixers scored just 19 points in the quarter. It might have been worse if not for the hot shooting of Jrue Holliday, who scored seven in the quarter on 3-for-4 shooting. JR Smith was the hot man for the Knicks, scoring seven in the quarter on 3-for-5 shooting, chipping in two steals as well, helping the Knicks extend their six point first quarter lead to 13 at halftime, 57-44.

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Both teams had their shooting strokes going in the third quarter. They each shot 50% from the floor with Holliday continuing his hot play for the Sixers, scoring eight in the quarter on 3-fof-5 shooting (2-of-3 from beyond the arc). However, the beautiful ball movement the Knicks displayed in the first half got sloppy in the third quarter, with the team committing seven turnovers. This helped the Sixers hold the Knicks to 18 third quarter points and cutting their 13-point halftime deficit to nine going into the final quarter. The Knicks were led by JR Smith in the quarter. Good JR had four points and four rebounds in the quarter but bad JR also committed to turnovers.

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[tab] Going into the fourth, the team had to focus on locking the game up, as the 76ers cut the lead to just 9. The Knicks did a good job padding their lead by keeping their defensive and offensive intensity levels high. JR continued to make shots, and Melo was a terror in the post. Sheed even contributed a bit, hitting a nice post shot and finding Pablo Prigioni for his first bucket as a Knick. All in all, the Knicks were able to counteract the 76ers attempt to get back into the game, something that was lacking at times last year. [/tab]
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Notes:

    • Melo continues to give a shit on defense, which really transforms his game. He dove into the stands, in attempts of saving a ball after he blocked it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him express that kind of hustle on the defensive end before… but I love it!
    • SHEEEEEEEED! Late in the fourth, after another round of chants from the crowd, Mike Woodson injected Rasheed Wallace into the Knicks’ lineup. Sheed proceeded to pull down a rebound and made quick work of Nick Young in the post.
    • Raymond Felton jumped out to a quick start again, but slowed down considerably for the remainder of the game. While he has lost a lot of weight, I think his stamina is still low. It’ll be interesting to see how he fairs over the next couple weeks.
    • Melo in the post is so, so pretty.
    • Ball movement continues to be a thing of beauty, and Jason Kidd is facilitating it. #VeteranLeadership
    • Without Stoudemire and Shumpert, we knew the Knicks would need to find scoring elsewhere, well, today, Smith stepped up with 20 off the bench.
    • The Knicks have only trailed once this season: 0-2 at the start of today’s game.