Recap: Raptors 100, Knicks 98

<br /><br /><br />
	Carmelo Anthony drives against Raptor Rudy Gay.<br /><br /><br />

First Quarter:

The Knicks and Raptors were tied at 31 at the end of the first quarter. The Knicks came out with a lot more energy and even played a lot in transition, which is rare for them. Raymond Felton seemed to push the ball up the floor quickly after misses. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough misses, as Toronto shot 11-19 form the floor. The Knicks gave a much better effort on the defensive end of the floor, but the results were not there. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 13 points on 5-10 shooting, although he had some lazy moments on defense. JR Smith and Jason Kidd played much better, as Smith scored seven points on 3-4 shooting and Kidd was active on defense and hit a three-pointer. Iman Shumpert was still largely invisible.

Second Quarter:

The Knicks stepped up their defensive game in the second quarter, as they held Toronto to 16 points on 27% shooting and held a 51-48 lead at the half. Mike Woodson got in the ear of Steve Novak after he left John Lucas wide open for a three-pointer and things changed after that. Tyson Chandler was a monster in the paint, including when he had blocks on two consecutive shots in one possession. On offense the Knicks shot 50% from the field in the first half, so they were very efficient. However, they did have nine turnovers, but some of that may have been a result of playing at a faster pace. After starting the game 1-5, Anthony made six of his next nine shots to finish the half with 17 points.

Third Quarter:

Rudy Gay burned the Knicks for 17 points and the Knicks were down 79-70 after three.The quarter started horridly, as the Knicks only scored five points in the first six minutes of the quarter and had three offensive fouls. The Knicks had six turnovers compared to only four field goals in the quarter. They started to loose their composure complaining after every call, although they had a legitimate gripe on numerous calls. Gay hit a wide open three-pointer at the top of the hey to put Tornto up 13 before the Knicks cut it to nine by the end of the quarter. The Knicks resorted to too much switching on defense yet again. Any time Amare Stoudemire or Chandler end up on Gay that is not what you are looking for.

Fourth Quarter:

The Knicks came back in the fourth quarter, but fell to Toronto 100-98. The Knicks went on a 9-2 run to start the quarter capped off by a Stoudemire dunk to cut the deficit to 81-79. With about seven minutes remaining, Smith nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 86. The teams essentially traded baskets and the game was tied at 95 with 1:11 remaining. Chandler then had a huge block on Gay. On the ensuing possession, Anthony drove the lane and kicked it out to an open Felton who missed the three. Then, Kyle Lowry hit a nice floater over Chandler to give Toronto a two point lead. Mike Woodson drew up a nice play that freed up Chandler, but Lowry held him before he could get to the hoop. However, Chandler missed the first free throw before hitting the second and the Knicks were still down one. Gay hit the next two free throws and Anthony ended up missing a contested three without calling a timeout and that essentially ended the game.

Notes:

- Knicks played extremely hard and desperate tonight and still lost. That’s troublesome.

- Tyson Chandler on Kyle Lowry on that go ahead shot is basically all the Knicks’ problems on defense in a microcosm.

- J.R. Smith had one of his best games in awhile, as he had 19 points on 7-12 shooting and played some great defense on Rudy Gay in the fourth quarter. They need this from him consistently.

- Iman Shumpert cannot continue to play the role he is playing. He is just not an off the ball player and hasn’t been his whole life. Get him the ball and let him create off the dribble more.

- Why not call a timeout on the last possession to call a play? Getting Novak in there could have at least helped freed somebody else up at least.

- Chris Copeland and James White should get some minutes. Need a spark right now.

- Some extended time of very good play, but just not a complete game.

- Shoot the ball Jason Kidd.

- Don’t lose your man on defense Amare Stoudemire

- Make an adjustment Mike Woodson.

- Stay in front of any point guard Raymond Felton

- Start winning again Knicks