NYK Weekly Report: Blowouts everywhere, still can't rebound, Novak heating up
I can't give the Knicks anything higher than a "C-" this week, and it's based very much on one game. The silver lining of Friday's game was that I was not in public, so I didn't cause a scene.
So here we are - Blowouts. Watching Knicks/Rockets, I can't remember ever seeing so much talent put in such little effort on the basketball court. Every player looked like they were playing for Grinnell College - "Who cares if they score? We'll just hit a three!" There was no sense of pride. Chandler Parsons nearly scored a career single-game high in the first quarter. The team just repeatedly let Rockets players waltz down the lane and do whatever they wanted. It was all capped off by Carmelo Anthony arguing with an official while Patrick Patterson got an easy dunk right behind his back - the most disappointed I've ever been in Carmelo.
The other two blowouts, however, were in the Knicks' favor. Of course, they were against two very bad teams, and one of them was without its best player. These are games that I'd like to see frequently out of the Knicks, so while I am impressed, it's nothing to phone home about. People are talking about the Knicks as one of the top two contenders in the Eastern Conference. If they want to keep that status, they have to handle bad teams easily.
Another week has gone by, and the Knicks are still experiencing rebounding woes. They were out-rebounded in three of their four games last week, and were a disgraceful -19 in rebounding against the Rockets. 19 year old rookie Andre Drummond dominated the boards on Sunday, hauling in 11 rebounds in only 19 minutes. Marcus Camby played 15 minutes total in last week's four games, so the Knicks looking to the trade market for a rebounding presence in a few months is starting to look like a strong possibility.
Steve Novak looks like he's starting to find his rhythm from behind the arc. Despite the Knicks' early season excellence from three, Novak had only shot over 40% from downtown in two of his first nine games (shot 47.2% last season). After a tough 2-10 night on Tuesday, Novak was given an easy 13 minute game the following night. In the two games since, he's shot 8-14 from downtown, and could really stretch the floor and add firepower for the Knicks if he can return to last season's form.
Other notes: In last week's lone close game, head coach Mike Woodson used only eight players... Rasheed wallace averaged 10.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game off the bench last week... Raymond Felton has (appropriately) been taking less shots, taking 12.5 per game last week compared to 18.5 the week before... Carmelo has been absolutely on fire out of the gate, scoring in the high-teens in three of four first quarters last week - I'd like to see him like that in the fourth quarter, though... Tyson Chandler had one of his best weeks as a Knick, averaging 11.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and shooting an incredible 84.2% from the field... The team shot under 81% from the foul line in only one game all week, and went 28-31 on Sunday... Amar'e Stoudemire is targeting a late-December return, and Woodson wouldn't commit to whether or not he'll be in the starting lineup.
This week's Knicks games: Monday @ BKN, Wednesday @ MIL, Friday vs. WAS, Sunday vs. PHO.