Carmelo Anthony sat this one out with a knee injury, but the New York Knicks found a way to come away winners despite a second consecutive sloppy performance against an under .500 team.
The Knicks turned the ball over 11 times in the first quarter alone, en route to 20 on the night. But the Knicks shot the ball very well early on and led by as many as 15 points in the second quarter, although that lead was trimmed to just six at the half.
Ultimately it turned out to be an 87-77 victory, although Detroit’s Greg Monroe was also out of the lineup, otherwise this could have been a different story.
The Knicks eventually cooled off from the floor and shot only 41.3 percent from the floor on the night (31-for-75), including a 37.1 percent (13-for-35) performance from behind the arc. Without Monroe though, the Knicks held a 48-36 rebounding edge, including pulling down 14 offensive rebounds, which played a big role in the win.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how each Knicks player graded out in the victory.
Raymond Felton (26 points, 10-of-15 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 7 turnovers)
Felton had an up-and-down night. He scored 26 points, including 12 in the third quarter, which the Knicks needed badly. But he also took very poor care of the basketball, turning it over seven times through three quarters, which simply can’t happen. In addition, he had almost twice as many miscues as assists. But he knocked down some big shots and the Knicks wouldn’t have won without him. Grade: B
Iman Shumpert (9 points, 3-of-6 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists)
Shump got off to a good start for the second consecutive game, knocking down a trio of three-pointers to score nine of the Knicks first 12 points, and grabbed six rebounds in the first half. But he was unheard from in the second half and finished with a team-worst minus-10 rating. Grade: C+
James White (0 points, 0 shot attempts, 3 assists)
White played only eight minutes, which makes you wonder why he starts, but did dish out three dimes in that span. Otherwise, as usual, the Knicks starting lineup didn’t have much impact. Grade: C-
Kurt Thomas (0 points, 0-of-1 shooting, 2 rebounds)
Thomas got the starting nod and played a total of four minutes. He grabbed two rebounds in that span, but also turned the ball over twice. Grade: D
Tyson Chandler (2 points, 1-of-3 shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks)
Chandler scored only two points and got only three shot attempts, which is unacceptable against a smaller Pistons’ frontcourt. But was productive on the glass and despite both Jason Maxiell and Jonas Jerebko scoring in double figures, Chandler was good on the interior, especially with some great help defense late in the game. Grade: B
Amar’e Stoudemire (22 points, 8-of-12 shooting, 9 rebounds)
Stoudemire was outstanding once again and came out of the gates on fire, scoring 17 first half points. I would have liked to see him get more looks in the second half, but it was another outstanding and more importantly another very efficient game for STAT. Grade: A+
J.R. Smith (20 points, 7-of-22 shooting, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals)
This is getting old, watching Smith throw up a ton of bricks, mostly because of questionable shot selection. But he knocked down three big triples in the fourth quarter and filled up the stat sheet in other areas. But shooting 31.8 percent for the game can’t be excused, especially considering the amount of bad shot attempts that Smith forced up. Grade: B-
Steve Novak (o points, 0-of-5 shooting, 2 rebounds)
Novak, who knocked down some big shots Monday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, did not Wednesday night against the Pistons. Novak missed on all five of his attempts and that can’t happen. Grade: F
Jason Kidd (6 points, 2-of-7 shooting, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals)
Kidd scored only six points and didn’t shoot well, but he dished out six dimes, grabbed five rebounds and recorded three steals in 32 minutes off the bench. He also finished with a team-high plus-24 rating. Grade: B+
Marcus Camby (2 points, 0-of-1 shooting, 1 rebound)
Camby played only six minutes and didn’t do much, but he seemed active and didn’t do anything to cost the team when he was on the floor. Grade: C
Pablo Prigioni (0 points, 0-of-3 shooting, 3 assists, 2 rebounds)
Prigioni seems to always alternate good game then not-so-good game. He was good against Cleveland, which means he wasn’t great in 17 minutes against the Pistons. He didn’t do much, but did dish out a few assists and played decent defense. Grade: C
Kenyon Martin: DNP (Coach’s Decision)
Chris Copeland: DNP (Coach’s Decision)
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