New York Knicks Vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Player Grades In Knicks’ Sixth Straight Win


The Knicks have tied their season-high six wins in a row, which is how they opened up their season. The Grizzlies didn’t have a chance in the first half, as the Knicks’ defense was locked in, and they could not miss a shot (61% from the field in the first two quarters). However, the second half was another story. The Knicks were up by 30 points at one point, but the Grizzlies brought it to within single digits, and ended up losing by just seven points. J.R. Smith continued his excellent play off the bench, and is the first Knick to score at least 30 points in back-to-back games off the bench since Al Harrington in 2010.

Here are the player grades for tonight’s win:

Raymond Felton (13 points, on 5-6 shooting, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers) Felton played a very efficient game from the field. He attacked the basket aggressively and shot 2-3 from beyond the 3-point arc. He directed the offense and kept it moving. The ball movement was some of the best of the season in the first half, and the team ultimately shot 41.9% from the 3-point line. Grade: B+

Pablo Prigioni (2 points, on 1-3 shooting, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 0 turnovers) Prigioni didn’t make much of a mark on this game besides his playmaking. He had to be taken out early on due to a hand injury, but he ultimately was able to play the rest of the game. Starting Prigioni allows Coach Woodson to insert pass-first and playmaking instincts into the starting lineup, which allows for hot starts like the one tonight against the Grizz. Grade: B-

Iman Shumpert (16 points, on 6-10 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 turnover) Shump shot 100% in the first half, and had his best offensive performance of the season. Shumpert looked comfortable on both ends of the floor, and can be credited with starting the hot shooting the Knicks had in the first half.  His defense has also continued to improve as his knee gets stronger. Grade: B+

Carmelo Anthony (22 points, on 8-20 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers) ‘Melo played a quiet game relative to a typical night. He shot below 50% from the field, but helped the team on the glass, as well as a distributor. He went 6-6 from the free-throw line, but missed both of his 3-point attempts. ‘Melo helped the team get off to a hot start, but faded, while allowing J.R. Smith to take over the offense. Grade: B

Kenyon Martin (4 points, on 2-3 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 turnover) Martin had a rare off-night as a Knick tonight. He was in foul trouble most of the game, and only played 26 minutes. He wasn’t much help on the board, but did finish a play from ‘Melo. Martin’s defensive presence may not be felt in the box-score,  but he visibly alters the ease of shots for opponents. Grade: C+

J.R. Smith (35 points, on 10-18 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 4 turnovers) J.R. continued his last ditch effort to make a case for the Sixth Man of the Year Award tonight. He scored easily in a variety of ways, but most importantly, he attacked the basket and got to the free throw line. He ended up 12-13 on the night from the charity stripe. Smith’s play lately has provided a boost to the team, and in order to secure the crucial 2nd seed in the east he must continue his excellent play. Grade: A

Jason Kidd (3 points, on 1-2 shooting, 3 assists, 1 rebound, 4 steals, and 1 turnover) Kidd has a typical 40-year-old night. He did a little bit of everything all while saving just enough for a late 3-pointer that helped to seal the win for the Knicks. His defense also helped out the team, and he had a game-high 4 steals, while also adding a block. Grade: B

Steve Novak (9 points, on 3-8 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and 0 turnovers) Novak started the game hot, but became a non-factor in the 2nd half of the game. He went 3-8 from beyond the arc, and even had a killer dribble move that shocked the world (ok, it shocked me). Novak’s defense also seemed improved to me, but Woodson didn’t reinsert him much late in the game. Grade: B-

Chris Copeland (4 points, on 2-4 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 0 turnovers) Coach Woodson was forced to turn to Cope in the second half due to a lack of available big men, and Cope produced. He has shown time and time again that he can score. In his 6 minutes on the court he was able to produce points, a rebound, and an assist. Grade: C+

Marcus Camby (1 turnover) Camby played sparingly tonight, and when the Coach needed him most due to Kenyon Martin’s foul trouble, he quickly received two technical fouls and was ejected. Grade: F

James White — DNP Coach’s Decision

Kurt Thomas — DNP Foot Injury

Amar’e Stoudemire — DNP Knee Injury

Tyson Chandler — DNP Bulging Disc