Cavaliers 109, Knicks 94: Game Recap

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Kyrie Irving is a bonafide Knick killer at this point, yeah? I know we all want to sulk in the misery that is the 2013-14 Knicks, but that Kyrie guy, but let’s take a little time to recognize Mr. Irving. He’s a darn good basketball player who played his derriere off last night. Hey, he’s a free agent soon, right? Cool!

- Mike Woodson tried another starting lineup – this time inserting Metta World Peace in for the injured Kenyon Martin (shocker!). Welp, that didn’t quite work, as the Knicks’ got off to a now-predictably miserable start. The 31-19 score in favor of the Cavs at the end of the quarter wasn’t even indicative of how bad the quarter was for New York, as they actually started to make a tiny run towards the end of things. At one point, they trailed 27-9.

- The Knicks don’t defend very well, and one of the clear indicators of that is that they foul the hell out of everyone. There are good fouls, like the K-Mart “no easy hoop” variety, and then there are bad fouls, like the Knicks commit constantly because they can’t keep their man in front of them or are late on their help. After the first quarter last night, the Knicks had committed 10 personal fouls – Ray Felton, Iman Shumpert, Andrea Bargnani and World Peace all already had committed two apiece. When you’re constantly sending the other team to the line (and not getting there yourself), it’s very hard to win.

- While the first quarter was terrible, the second quarter was quite the opposite. Almost in protest at this point, it coincided with the insertion of Pablo Prigioni into the game – and on this night, with Andrea Bargnani to the bench (Bargs was a game-low minus-22 in 32 minutes overall). Prigioni continued to get everyone involved. Carmelo Anthony started knocking down some open looks, Amar’e Stoudemire looked alive. J.R. Smith even made a jumper or two.

- Third quarters have been nearly as bad as first quarters for the Knicks this year, and those are the times that these games have been blown open most frequently. I think it’s fair to question the coaching staff for consistently poor first and third quarters; quite simply, they do immediately follow the times that the coach has, in theory, hammered home the game plan and/or adjustments to his team. The Cavs outscored the Knicks 33-20 in the third, Irving started his late-game dominance with 12 points in the 3rd, and the Knicks had no answer. In the crucial first and third frames, the Knicks were outscored 64-39. Game, set, match.

- Anthony had 29 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and shot 12-of-19 from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep. and the Knicks were blown out by a team who was 8-13 coming into the game. Explain that one.

- Actually, I think I can explain it. The Knicks suck.

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