The Toronto Raptors completed a home-and-home sweep of the New York Knicks, defeating them by a score of 115-100 on Saturday night.
- The Knicks had to do it without Carmelo Anthony again, but there’s still no excuse for being handled this easily by the 13-15 Toronto Raptors. In a division where no teams have a record over .500, things are still wide open, but the Knicks are shooting themselves in the foot by continually losing these “easy” division matchups. They now sit at 1-4 against the Atlantic this season.
- The Knicks got killed both on the glass and from behind the arc, thus sealing their fate. Toronto shot an absurd 15-32 from three, with most of their makes coming completely uncontested. I think Terrence Ross is still open in the corner at the Air Canada Centre as you read this now. A career 35 percent shooter from downtown, Ross knocked down seven treys tonight, doing most of his damage in the second quarter. Toronto tremendously picked up the pace in that period, and the Knicks did nothing to adjust to it, making the third quarter of doom that much more destructive. The Raptors used a team effort to defeat the Knicks in the rebounding department, with four players grabbing at least six boards. Toronto owned the offensive glass, ripping down 13 offensive boards and converting them in to easy makes. New York, on the other hand, missed several tip-ins, making their usual late-game push that much harder to overcome.
- The lone bright spot for the Knicks was Toure Murry, who was finally given enough run to truly showcase what he can bring to the table. He ended the game with a team-leading +4, and despite blatantly tripping Kyle Lowry for a game-sealing flagrant foul, he desreved to be on the floor to finish the game. Murry’s reads on the pick and roll have improved tremendously , both offensive and defensively, and he played as confident as we’ve seen, ending with 11 points, six assists, and three steals. The trio of Murry, Tim Hardaway Jr, and Iman Shumpert played well together in the first half, displaying a beautiful balance of offense and defense, but the Knicks backcourt was rather inconsistent tonight. J.R. Smith started the night by shooting 1-8 before knocking down three of his next six, and Hardaway Jr did the opposite, cooling down in the second half after a big second quarter. Shumpert was totally absent offensively and didn’t make a field goal until a meaningless putback slam in the fourth.
- The highly anticipated return of Andrea Bargnani to Toronto didn’t go as planned for the Italian, turned Canadian, turned American. He started the game off hot, hitting his first four shots, but cooled off with an ice pack on the bench down the stretch. Tyson Chandler kicked thing off hot also, as the starting frontcourt combined for the Knicks first 13 points. Chandler even added in a jumpshot and post bucket, to go along with his usual pick and roll, alley-oop dunks.
- However, it wasn’t all hunky dory for the Knicks center. He picked up a technical foul just two minutes in to the game after arguing a real obvious traveling violation on his part, and his frustrations boiled over even further at the end of the game, as he got in to a shoving match with Jonas Valanciunas, who wasn’t quite done bullying Chandler for the second consecutive night. Chandler also had to be restrained by Herb Williams after the game for who knows what reason. Kenyon Martin didn’t go home a happy camper either, and was spotted being visibly annoyed at the end of the Knicks bench during a timeout in the fourth quarter. At least somebody seems to be upset with all of the losing.
- Thankfully this will be the last time we see the 2013 New York Knicks. They don’t play again until Thursday night, when they kick off a four-game road trip with a matchup against the reigning Western Conference champs. The upcoming Texas triangle trip spells disaster for a team that hasn’t put things together all season, and doesn’t look to be turning things around anytime soon. Hopefully, Melo will be able to suit up, but either way, TOK will have you covered.