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Dwight Howard nonexistent as Knicks breeze by Magic

When the New York Knicks stepped on the court tonight to face the Orlando Magic, they made it very apparent that they were ready to bounce back from Tuesday night’s fourth quarter collapse in Indiana, and they did just that.

For the second time in eight days, the Knicks dominated the Magic, and for the second time in eight days, kept Dwight Howard silent, mostly credited to Tyson Chandler.

On March 28th, Howard had just 12 points, while turning the ball over six times in a 22 point Knicks victory. Tonight, he had just eight points, along with five turnovers. Tyson Chandler, meanwhile, hit six of his nine shots en route to 12 points and 12 boards.

It is no secret that Tyson has become an elite center in this league, both on the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, as he is tied for ninth in the league in rebounding, 14th in blocked shots, and first overall in field goal percentage. His phenomenal play should eliminate the possibility of anymore future talk of the Knicks going after Dwight Howard; Tyson can do just as much, if not more, while being a true leader, as opposed to the immature and often selfish Howard.

As for the rest of the action on Thursday night, it was a total team effort for the Knicks; five guys finished in double figures, led by Carmelo Anthony with 19 points, in an absolute three-point fest.  New York made 13 of 25 from downtown, with the charge being led by J.R. Smith and Steve Novak, who each had three triples.

Watching the Knicks on nights like tonight makes it easy to envision this team making a deep playoff run; they really have looked like title contenders in some of their recent wins, and all of the pieces needed to make a run are certainly there

The Knicks have the talent and ability to matchup with the Bostons and Chicagos and Miamis of the Eastern Conference, and now it’s just about proving it. However, before they can prove it in the playoffs, they need to make the playoffs, which will not be the easiest of tasks.

The Knicks lead the Bucks by just a game and a half for the eighth and final playoff spot, and have a very difficult schedule ahead of them. With games against the Bulls, Heat, and Celtics upcoming, the basketball world might truly find out how legitimate the Knicks are.

If the Knicks fare well in those games and make the postseason, as I believe they will, they will be a very dangerous team, and possibly a contender. Even if Jeremy Lin cannot return this season, the Knicks should be fine. As I have said before, this injury really is not a huge deal for the Knicks.

Had it occurred a month or two ago, while the team was playing under Mike D’antoni, then yes, it would be a huge deal. However, this offense under Mike Woodson runs through Carmelo Anthony, not the point guard, and Baron Davis is plenty good enough to be successful at the point for this team. As long as Carmelo is okay, the Knicks are okay.

Remember, Amar’e Stoudemire is still out, and his return will be very important for the Knicks. A team with Stoudemire, Carmelo, Tyson Chandler, Baron Davis, J.R. Smith, Landry Fields, and Steve Novak can play with any given team in this league.

Put it this way: nobody will want to face the Knicks in the playoffs, as they can matchup with anyone, including the Bulls and Heat. In that sense, this really is a team that will be a dark horse contender in the East come May and June.


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I'm Mike. I'm 16 and love sports. I'm a Knicks, Yankees, Colts and Notre Dame die-hard. My dream is to cover the Knicks professionally, so I hope that PSB can help me reach that goal. Follow me on twitter: @michaelburke47

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In response to “Dwight Howard nonexistent as Knicks breeze by Magic”

  1. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 16 201210:03 pm


    If Melo is the best closer in the NBA explain why.

    Don’t just say he is when the stats say that he shoots 37% from the floor in those situations.

    As for my writing abilities, that’s why I have a job and won awards for my work at Temple.

    At least I know how to use commas and hyphens.

    And they didn’t look good, Miami was in control throughout and where was Melo in the fourth?

  2. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 16 201211:33 pm


    Boston was an exception as well, yes.

    And NY is not Boston or Miami.

    1. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 16 201211:47 pm


      Anyway this argument isn’t going anywhere.

      I’m either going to be right or wrong, and if the Knicks go to the Finals, I’ll give you props.

      But It’s not going to happen this year.

    2. Michael Burke Apr 17 20125:31 pm


      How many exceptions can there be before a rule is no longer a rule? Those are the two most recent and best examples of superstars forming and they both had immediate results.

      I don’t believe the Knicks will reach the Finals, I believe the Heat will, but the Knicks would have a chance to beat the Bulls.

      1. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 17 20128:35 pm


        There’s really been one exception — Boston — because Miami didn’t win it all. They lost to a better and more experienced TEAM in the Finals, proving my rule is right.

        Just like NY is going to lose to Chicago because the Bulls are a better and more experienced TEAM.

        “Knicks would have a chance to beat the Bulls.”

        So now they have a chance…of course they have a chance, everyone has a chance.

        They’re either beating them or not.

        And what about Melo’s 37% shooting in clutch time. Why is Melo the best closer in the NBA. You have yet to explain why?

        And what about

        1. Michael Burke Apr 17 20129:58 pm


          Miami one the conference, and you’re saying the Knicks can’t even get out of the first round, so that Heat team did a phenomenal job. Where was your “rule” when they beat Boston and Chicago? Those were better teams, right? No, wrong. Your rule is not a good one. Remember, Miami lost the Finals, Dallas didn’t win them.

          And yes, a very legitimate chance. I’d pick the Knicks to win the series.

          Finally, your stats are misleading. With the game on the line, Melo is as good as it gets. If stats show everything, then Kobe isn’t clutch.

          1. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 17 201211:27 pm

            You need some clarification from my end.

            Usually, teams that change the entire image of their franchise — for instance LeBron and Bosh to Miami — fail to reach their ceiling
            For instance, Miami. LeBron went there and everyone was talking about getting 4, 5, 6 championships in a row before even getting the first one.

            It was NBA Champs or failure for them.

            They failed.

            I had them winning it all.

            This year you have the Knicks and Clippers. I’d say the expectations within the country was Conference Finals. The Clippers were the new kings of LA.

            The general idea is that there is always an overreaction in terms of acquiring star players and heading into the next season.

            It was supposed to be Knicks or Bulls vs Heat in the East and OKC and LAC or SA or LAL or DAL in the West. But the Clippers were a very trendy pick.

            I think next year is the year NY surpasses Chicago, not this year.

            The one thing that you said that’s right is that talent trumps experience, but that occurs when the talent is playing together at an elite level.

            This isn’t acquired overnight.

            “Melo is as good as it gets.”

            You’re twisting words around again, you said The Best. I’ll take Kobe. Of course he’s good.

            Don’t worry, I know about stats being misleading, I was just proving a point about him not being The Best.

            The defense knows the ball is going to him and he has to take tougher shots than an inferior player in those late-game situations.

            Stats don’t show everything, you’re right, but when you’re bringing up The Best, he is not that.

            Big win tonight, and good luck in the playoffs, I just don’t see them getting past Miami, Chicago, Boston and I think Indiana would beat them in 7, but that’s a toss-up series. The Pacers are much better than you think.

            I was never here to be disrespectful, but for whatever reason you thought I was ignorant. I was just here to debate, and it seemed like you took a lot of things personally.

            In the end we’ll just have to agree to disagree, but I would advise you to treat your readers in a different light if they don’t agree with you next time.

        2. Michael Burke Apr 18 20125:50 pm


          They made the Finals, that’s hardly a failure. They didn’t lose due to a lack of experience. If they played anywhere near as well in the Finals as they did against Boston or Chicago, they win the series, probably in 5 or 6 games. Miami lost, Dallas didn’t win, so you’re point really isn’t being proven.

          I didn’t hear anyone expecting either of those teams to reach the Conference Finals. The Knicks were a mess to start the season, as they had no point guard and D’antoni and Melo were never going to be a good fit. As for the Clippers, I’d say the Lakers and Thunder would be better regardless, because they have better players, but the Clippers would be a huge threat if they still had Chauncey. Chauncey’s value is immeasurable.

          You say the Knicks aren’t playing at an elite level, but I’d have to disagree. Since Woodson took over on March 14, they are now 14-5, which is the best Eastern Conference record in that time period. (Indiana is 16-6, the Knicks are better in the loss column and by percentages). Additionally, the Knicks had wins over Indiana (twice), Orlando (twice), Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Boston during that stretch.

          You take Kobe over Melo after using Melo’s stats as a basis of your argument of why he isn’t the best closer, but Kobe’s playoff stats show that he isn’t that great of a closer. Don’t get me wrong, I think Kobe is phenomenal in the clutch, because, once again, these stats are misleading, but I’d take Melo over him and everyone else.

          Indiana is very good, I realize that, but they lack a star and the Knicks match up very well with them. I’d say Knicks in 6.

          I’m proving my point, not trying to make friends.

      2. Chris Redfield Apr 19 201210:39 am


        The knicks will beat the bulls? Why would you say such a thing, they dont play defense they stand around and watch melo shoot, and they can barely rebound. What category do they lead the league in anything. Mike woodson would have to come up with a hell of scheme to pull that off.

        1. Michael Burke Apr 19 20125:45 pm


          Why I am taking the time to respond to you, I do not know, but I will anyway. The Knicks have played good defense all year, and are now playing phenomenal defense under Woodson. They don’t stand around and watch Melo, they have multiple scorers. If they got lucky enough to play Chicago in the first round, they’d win, but right now it’s looking like they will face Miami.

  3. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 17 201211:29 pm


    “fail to reach their ceiling”

    I meant to say fail to reach their ceiling the following year.

  4. Brian Apr 19 201212:31 pm


    The Knicks ceiling in the playoffs is two wins and they will be fishing after they lose in the first round. It’s actually improvement for the Knicks because they got swept in the first round by that old team that plays in Boston.

    Dallas didn’t win the NBA Finals last year but Miami lost. Please explain that logic?

    Melo over everyone, are you kidding me? Do you actually believe what you write? If you do, I’m at a loss for words.

    1. Michael Burke Apr 19 20125:41 pm


      Losing in the first round is their basement, and winning the Finals, although unlikely, is their ceiling. They can match up with anyone in this league. At this rate, they’ll be playing Miami in the first round, which will essentially be the Eastern Conference Finals–the winner of that series will advance to the NBA Finals.

      Miami lost the Finals and virtually handed it to Dallas, yes. They didn’t play anywhere near their full potential. Had they done so, they win that series with ease.

      And, yes, in the clutch, I’d want Melo to have the ball over anyone else. If I’m building my team around someone, of course I would start with guys like LeBron and Durant before I chose Melo.

      I believe what I write because it’s the truth. You, sir, do not know basketball.

    2. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 19 20125:49 pm


      Miami lost because they never figured out how to play together in the last 5 minutes of games. It was a problem all year.

      Dallas OUTPLAYED them in the series. Dirk was magnificent.

      “I’m proving my point, not trying to make friends”

      It’s not about making friends, it’s about being respectful to your readers.

      It’s a privelage to write for this site.

      And the problem is, you have no proof for your points. You say Melo is the best closer, but don’t make an argument to back it up.

      You say Tyson Chandler is the best defensive player in the NBA, but you make no argument to back it up.

      “You take Kobe over Melo after using Melo’s stats as a basis of your argument of why he isn’t the best closer, but Kobe’s playoff stats show that he isn’t that great of a closer. Don’t get me wrong, I think Kobe is phenomenal in the clutch, because, once again, these stats are misleading, but I’d take Melo over him and everyone else.”

      Again, you’re not making an argument, you’re just saying it.

      And it wasn’t a basis for my argument, I even said this. I was sort of messing around with you.

      The stats are misleading, very misleading. I’m actually quite surprised you know about clutch stats.

      Melo isn’t the best closer in the NBA, but you’re a Knicks fan so I get why you think that.

      “Additionally, the Knicks had wins over Indiana (twice), Orlando (twice), Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Boston during that stretch. ”

      You keep saying this, but earlier you said the regular season means NOTHING. Again twisting words around.

      When I said they were 1-2 against Mia and Chi during this stretch, you said that meant NOTHING.

      It doesn’t work both ways.

      Look, you’re not a bad writer, but when you’re saying this guy is the best, and that guy is the best with no argument to back it up, it’s hard to take you seriously.

      You look too much like a homer.

      1. Michael Burke Apr 19 20129:34 pm


        Playing together in the last 5 minutes wasn’t a problem for them in the Boston and Chicago series, as they won many close games in those two series. They lost because they didn’t play anywhere near their potential, and they essentially choked.

        Melo is the best closer; with the game on the line, he’s better than anyone. The most updated stats I could find were through 2009, when Melo’s game winning percentage was 48%, much better than anyone else with 10 or more game winning shots. He probably had more with the Nuggets in the next two years, but I don’t know how many since that is merely speculation. He’s hit two for the Knicks though, one over Memphis and one to beat Chicago on Easter. Considering he was at least 10% better than any active player on that list, I’d say that he is still at the top, for sure.

        As for Tyson, the Knicks went from the cellar of the league defensively without him to a top-10 defensive team with him. He has been incredible, and will win DPOY.

        As for the regular season games, no, they are not the same as playoff basketball, but when a team goes from an 18-24 record to beating the top tier teams and playing better than anyone else in the conference following a coaching change, it is obvious that it is a completely different team. The Knicks are a much different and much better team than they were a month ago.

  5. Adrian Fedkiw Apr 20 20121:42 am


    “Playing together in the last 5 minutes wasn’t a problem for them in the Boston and Chicago series, as they won many close games in those two series.”

    We’ve been over this, but it caught up to them in the NBA Finals. Miami didn’t win it all, last season was a failure.

    You say Miami choked, I say Dirk outplayed them and its defense — anchored by Tyson Chandler — did a pretty damn good job.

    “beating the top tier teams and playing better than anyone else in the conference following a coaching change, it is obvious that it is a completely different team. The Knicks are a much different and much better team than they were a month ago.”

    That’s true, but that doesn’t make them better than the Bulls or Celtics come postseason time.

    Carmelo’s playing out of his mind and they’re rallying around Mike Woodson, but can they sustain this throughout the rest of the season and during a first-round series against either Chicago or Miami, I don’t see it.

    “Melo is the best closer; with the game on the line, he’s better than anyone. The most updated stats I could find were through 2009, when Melo’s game winning percentage was 48%, much better than anyone else with 10 or more game winning shots.”

    Kobe’s arsenal of game-winners should speak for itself.

    Dirk’s performance in the NBA Finals catapaulted him past Anthony IMO.

    If you didn’t think he played out of his mind, I don’t know what Finals you were watching.

    He’s got more moves, he takes it to the basket, he’ll drain it in your eye and he has that ridiculous one-legged fadeaway that is almost unguardable.

    My top 5 Closers

    1. Kobe
    2. Dirk
    3. Durant
    4. Carmelo
    5. Pierce

    I actually agree with you on Tyson Chandler, he’s the most underrated defensive player in the NBA. And he may win the Defensive Player of the Year due to the Dwight Howard shenanigans.

    1. Michael Burke Apr 20 20124:45 pm


      Miami simply choked, nothing caught up to them. Yes, Dirk played great, but we’d never be talking about it had Miami played anywhere near their potential in that series.

      We’ll see, but the Knicks have been playing playoff style basketball, and the talent and depth on this team gives them an advantage over both Boston and Chicago in the postseason, but not Miami. If we see a New York/Miami first round match up, it might as well be considered the Eastern Conference Finals.

      Yes, Kobe has more game winners than Melo, but when you take more, you’ll make more. Melo has consistently been more efficient on game winning or tying shots.

      What Dirk did was more impressive because it was on the biggest stage of all–the NBA Finals. If Melo gets there, his play will get that same type of national attention. Dirk’s great, but Melo is still a better pure scorer and has been better in the clutch than
      Dirk throughout his career. Other than the 2009 Nuggets team, Melo never really had a great shot of reaching a Finals, and even that team ran into a Lakers team that was just better.

      I’ll take Melo over all of them, followed by Durant, Kobe, Dirk, and Wade in that order. The only thing that takes LeBron off this list for me is his Finals performance of a year ago. Had he not played so poorly, he’d easily be in my top 5.

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