For the second time in as many games, the New York Knicks missed a golden opportunity to close out their series against the Boston Celtics.
Once up 3-0 and playing on cruise control, the Knicks series lead has been cut to 3-2 after a 92-86 loss at The Garden in a game the Knicks once led by 11.
This has now turned into a series and the pressure is on the Knicks.
For the second consecutive game, the Knicks were dominantly an isolation team and their offense suffered for it. The ball didn’t move at all and the Knicks shot only 39.5 percent from the floor and 22.7 percent from behind the arc. One telling sign that the ball has to start moving is that the Knicks had only 13 assists as a team on the night.
With that being said here’s how each Knicks player graded out following the tough Game 5 loss.
Pablo Prigioni (3 points, 1-of-5 shooting, 1 assist, 1 steal)
Prigioni knocked down a three but barely played in this one, only logging 13 minutes on the night. It is worth noting that the Knicks were their best when he was on the floor. His plus-nine rating was the best of any Knick. Grade: C+
Raymond Felton (21 points, 10-of-19 shooting, 6 rebounds, 4 assists)
Felton was the Knicks best offensive player on the night. He had success early getting to the basket and got whatever he wanted in the second half. Unfortunately, given the way the game was going; the ball wasn’t in his hands enough down the stretch. There was also success in the pick-and-roll with Tyson Chandler, but the Knicks didn’t go to that nearly enough. Grade: A-
Iman Shumpert (12 points, 4-of-7 shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals)
Shump struggled early and got a quick hook but made some shots in the second half. He wasn’t horrible but didn’t do much to impact the game in a positive way. Grade: C
Carmelo Anthony (22 points, 8-of-24 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists)
Anthony came out hot early and it looked like this series was going to be over, but then everything changed. There was too much isolation on Anthony’s part as everything was a contested jumper on the night. Great players find a way to lead their teams to victories in close-out opportunities. For the second consecutive game Anthony failed to do so. Game 5 was just another poor shooting night and ‘Melo did very little to impact the game in other areas. Grade: C-
Tyson Chandler (8 points, 3-of-5 shooting, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals)
Chandler was active on both ends of the floor, which was a good sign. He grabbed 11 rebounds in his 34 minutes of playing time and had some success in the pick-and-roll with Felton. This is something the Knicks should have gone to more as Chandler could have used more than five offensive touches. Grade: B
Kenyon Martin (2 points, 1-of-1 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal)
Martin was too busy running his mouth and planning funerals to have much of an impact on this game. He only played 13 minutes and was a foul machine, picking up five and a minus-13 rating in his brief time. Grade: D
Jason Kidd (0 points 0-of-4 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 block)
For a change, Kidd did very little to impact the game. He played 21 minutes, missed all of his shots and didn’t dish out an assist. The Knicks need the little things from Kidd. They didn’t get them in Game 5. Grade: D
J.R. Smith (14 points, 3-of-14 shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists)
Smith was too busy planning his golf trip instead of worrying about his offensive game. He started 0-for-10 and the old J.R. was back as Smith didn’t spend much time trying to attack the basket and spend most of the night jacking up contested jumpers. He said on Tuesday that the series would have been over had he played in Game 4. Unfortunately for Smith, the Knicks would have had a better chance Wednesday night without him. Grade: D-
Marcus Camby- Played only one minute, scoring two points and grabbing one rebound.
Steve Novak- Played only three minutes, leaving the game after suffering back spasms. He scored two points.
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