(Big C) Finally, NBA basketball is back and Knicks fans got a taste of the new New York Knicks.
Even though this was just a
preseason game there are many things that looked good for the Knicks.
Despite players starting off the game looking rusty, the first thing I noticed was the Knicks’ defense.
If your biggest complaint about the Knicks last year was something about their interior defense, rest assured that will not be an issue this season. It looks like the Knicks have already shown that it will be difficult for opponents to get to the paint with Chandler in the middle.
Previous Knicks teams often lacked communication on the defensive end of the court. Against the Nets the Knicks were speaking to each other on the court with Tyson Chandler leading the charge. The starting lineup for today’s game was Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Carmelo Anthony in the frontcourt and Toney Douglas and Landry Fields in the backcourt.
In the beginning of the game the Knicks started off slow. That can be expected because in preseason games teams do not want to show their opponents what they really plan on executing during the regular season. Even though the offense had a slow start, things picked up when Mike Bibby, Relondo Balkman, and Iman Shumpert came into the game.
Amar’e Stoudemire looked a little rusty. However, he did have a few nice plays. To be honest it looks like Amar’e is saving his energy for the real season. The most impressive areas of Amar’e’s game tonight was his passing and rebounding. Amar’e was looking for the open cutter and he was going after the boards hard. I’m sure he’ll crank up the offense when the season starts. 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists.
Bibby played a smooth and calm game when he was on the court. Bibby hit a nice foul line jumper and hit a nice 3 point shot from a pass from Renaldo Balkman. If Douglas slips Bibby will be there to start.
Douglas had a good game on the defensive end of the court. However, he has work to do trying to set up his teammates, mainly Tyson Chandler. As he gets to know his teammates better this will improve.
Chandler had a good game from a defensive point of view. Players on the Nets were not dunking all over the place. Chandler was communicating well telling his teammates where they needed to be and to watch out for cuts. I like what I saw from Chandler. Chandler also caught a nice pass from Carmelo that led to a nice dunk. However, I felt he was open the whole time he was on the court but he never received passes. Chandler’s teammates have to do a better job of finding him. Hopefully that will improve as we go further into the season.
He started the game off looking rusty but finished strong. Carmelo got a few nice shots and a nice dunk off a pass. Besides Melo scoring at ease against the Nets he also made great passes. One of his passes was to a cutting Renaldo Balkman for an easy dunk. If players cut this season it is clear that Melo will give them the ball. (17 points, and 3 assists)
Shumpert played like this was the game of his life. It seems that nothing is going to phase this rookie in the NBA. Shumpert showed his jumpshot from 3 point range and from midrange. He also showed that he has a knack for getting to the hoop. On the defensive end of the game he got a nice steal off Deron Williams that led to an easy layup. If he keeps this up this will be a great year for the rookie.
Knicks new rookie Josh Harrellson made a big impression with fans shooting a deep 3 point shot right in the face of Brook Lopez. Harrellson also showed that he can also go up strong in the paint with the big boys. He made a play going up strong to draw a foul. This season if he gets real minutes expect him to be a guy that will mix it up in the paint and from the outside. ( 7 points, 2 steals, and 3 rebounds.)
Renaldo Balkman was the star of the show with his new found jumpshot and his ability to cut to the hole. In today’s game Balkman had a relaxed demeanor and was scoring with layups. He proved that a player does not have to dribble or force shots to score. Balkman played what I like to call “Smart Basketall”. (20 points, 1 steal, 4 rebounds, 1 assist)
Fields had a quiet game. However, he did get some good rebounds and 2 steals. (7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals)
Overall, good preseason game. Who’s up next?
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