It was one of the weirder second halves you’ll ever see. It was a blowout. Then, in a blink of an eye, it wasn’t. Then, in an equally long blink, back to a blowout. The Knicks had fight for most of the first half, arguable outplaying the Mavs on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Then they lost that fight, magically regained it, and lost it again. I think the Knicks were blown out. But I’m not 100% sure….
Here are 5 things from the Knicks 113-97 *fill in adjective* loss to Dallas….
1. Rebounding – Here’s one thing that wasn’t at all confusing from Wednesday night – the Knicks were atrocious on the boards. It’s hard to stay in games being out rebounded by 20 (54-34). Dallas had exactly double the amount of offensive rebounds and held a 44-29 advantage on the defensive glass. However, in a statistical oddity, the Knicks took more shots (thanks to the pace, no doubt), but were mostly limited to one and done possessions.
2. Welcome back, three point woes – This thing about those one and done possessions was that they rarely ended up with the Mavs inbounding the basketball. New York shot 6-23 from behind the arc. They also made two of their final three triples, padding the already awful stat. This brings back the Knicks major fatal flaw – they are very poor at making in game adjustments. The common thread to losses (especially ones of this nature) seem to be a poor three point shooting percentage combined with a large number of three point attempts. If this team can’t find other ways to score on nights the threes don’t fall, they do not win. Period.
3. Amar’e Stoudemire – This was one of his worst games in a while. 21 points, 5 rebounds, 10-20 shooting. He also missed a dunk in the third quarter when the Knicks were mounting a mini comeback. He’s clearly hurting and that’s the elephant in the room. Is he debilitating hurt? I don’t think so. But the knees are clearly bothering him. The Knicks aren’t going to be able to survive too many 21 point, 50% shooting nights from Amar’e.
4. Ball control – It was solid. The Knicks only had won first half turnover and won the overall T.O battle by 7. It was not a loss caused by sloppiness. If the Knicks shoot well from behind the arc, this is a different game – even with the rebounding woes.
5. Positives – A few players that would be individually mentioned had this been a win/closer game. Danilo Gallinari looked dominant at times. He finished with 27 points and was 12-12 from the line. If he wasn’t off from behind the arc (1-5), this would be talked about as a career top 5 game for Gallinari, maybe even higher.
Toney Douglas had his best game in a long time. 22 points, 3 assists, 0 turnovers in 28 minutes. This Toney needs to show up more often.
*Bonus note: If you missed it, the lineup on the floor towards the end of the game was this: Gallinari, Douglas, Mozgov, Routins, and Walker…. It was the first Routins sighting since January 7. Prior to that, his last action came on November 27. Fun fact: The Knicks are 1-3 when Routins sees minutes. He’s played 15 minutes this year…and I got guff for criticizing the pick….
About the Author
Written by Jordan Lauterbach
Jordan Lauterbach began his career in sports media when he was just 15 years old at WKWZ - Syosset. He hosted a sports talk show for nearly four years before moving on to WCWP - Brookville in 2006. Lauterbach currently hosts a sports talk show every Wednesday night from 9pm - midnight (eastern) and a College Football talk show on Saturday mornings from 11am - 12:30 (eastern) (can be heard online at wcwpsports.com and on Long Island on 88.1fm). Follow me on twiiter: jlauterbach1