Carmelo Anthony shined in a home loss to the Clippers, but the Knicks came out of the gate slow and also capped it with a disappointing finish in an overall poor team effort. While the Clippers were finally at full strength with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul both back after missing some time with injury, the Knicks needed to show a better fight on their home floor and step up to the challenge, which they weren’t able to do.
It was a solid overall game for Felton, who hit half of his 18 shots for 20 points, also adding 5 assists and 2 steals. Even though he performed well, the 18 shots is a few too many for Felton to be taking nightly as he’s not getting Amar’e Stoudemire (9 shots) or Tyson Chandler (3 shots) involved enough. Nonetheless, those things are able to be fixed and any time you can shoot efficiently with a handful assists from the point, it’s hard to discount the effort.
Kidd was not on his game in this one. With the 33 and change minutes in which he was on the floor, he recorded just one assist while knocking down only 1 shot out of his 4 attempts as well. It’s going to be tougher for him to be totally facilitating the offense with Felton and Shumpert now back, but with those type of minutes, he needs to show some more consistently. He wasn’t able to get much going and his 3 steals is the only thing keeping him from an F.
Smith’s poor shooting was probably the biggest detriment to the Knicks in this game. Going just 1-9 from the field with a -18 differential in the game, the hole he created with his misses were just too much to overcome. It’s not a terrible thing for J.R. to shoot only 9 times since he’s under 40% FG on the season in his 15 attempts per game, but when he can only muster together one make out of those, it becomes a terrible thing.
Carmelo Anthony was classic Carmelo Anthony, dropping 40+ points for the 5th time this season in a game where he personally couldn’t have done much more. He was extremely efficient, hitting 14-26 FG and 9-9 FT for 42 points including 5-11 from down town and also added on 8 boards. Unfortunately, his effort came without a reward, as it wasn’t enough to make up for the majority of the Knicks subpar performance.
Amar’e was basically a non-factor in this one and wasn’t very impressive in his minutes. His -19 differential was even worse than that of J.R. Smith, and Stat didn’t do much to make up for his 3 turnovers and lack of interior presence. He was all right in the shots he took, going 4-9, but he never seemed like he was having any impact on the game and needs to find a way to get more involved.
Although he didn’t do much offensively, it wasn’t wholly his fault that the opportunities weren’t there for him as he went 3-3 for just 6 points. It’s discouraging that he never even got to the free throw line as you’d like to see him become more of an aggressive offensive threat in the paint. He joined Blake Griffin as the only other player in the game to get double digit rebounds (11) which is a plus, but again, the lack of offensive balance for the Knicks is still an issue.
Shumpert was another Knick that was basically a non-factor this game. He only played a hair over 20 minutes and didn’t do anything in that time really, shooting just 1-4 and producing basically nothing else in terms of offensive or defensive stats. Jamal Crawford went off for 27 points as well as the Knicks continue to get burned by guards, something they absolutely need to improve on.
The Knicks bench was sadly highlighted by the combined 15 points from Smith and Stoudemire, while the rest of the bench barely saw any game action and were ghosts on the court when they did. There were only 26 total points scored from everyone besides Anthony and Felton along with very minimal contribution in any other facets, which is just unacceptable. As a team, the Knicks looked horrible and the Clippers were just too much for Felton and Anthony to conquer all on their own over a full game.