Well, I know it sucks, but the New York Knicks will not finish the season undefeated. Tonight, on the second leg of a west-coast back-to-back, the New York Knicks lost to the Memphis Grizzlies by 10, 95-105.
If you were to tell me before the season that we would split a back-t0-back with the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies, on the road, I’d be ecstatic. Yes, the Knicks are no longer undefeated, but they continue to be a very good team. The Grizzlies are one of the elite teams in the West, and, despite playing a draining game the night before, the Knicks showed fight the entire night.
After falling keeping it relatively close the entire night, the Knicks had one of their horrendous third quarters that we were way too accustomed to last year. The lead was 21 at one point, but after some adamant play, the Knicks actually cut the lead down to single-digits with about five minutes to play. They had a few opportunities to come back into the game, but shots didn’t fall and stops weren’t had.
Despite that, they showed fight all night, and their fourth quarter defensive was superb again, just allowing 20 points tonight.
Without Stoudemire in the lineup, the Knicks continued with Melo at power-forward, but the Grizzlies destroyed the Knicks’ front-line, just as they did to the Heat, Z-Bo and Marc Gasol. Sheed, Melo and Chandler all racked up 5 fouls, and all had a very difficult time corralling rebounds. Z-Bo finished with 15 rebounds, including a few BIG offensive rebounds to extend possessions late in the game. I’m not quite sure Woodson kept Melo on Gasol all night, but hopefully we don’t see that the next time these teams face each other.
Raymond Felton had a second straight good game, scoring 18 points and dishing out 5 assists. He got into the lane at will and continued to play some strong pick-and-roll based offense.
This team is still 6-1, which awards them the best record in the East. They’re playing good defense, good offense, and limiting turnovers. Realistically, the Knicks were not going to go undefeated this year, so this loss shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. The Knicks have to gather themselves and come out ready to play on Sunday, when they host the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden at 12 noon.