Knicks 110, Nets 81: Game Recap


One down, six to go. The Knicks were able to take advantage of an older Nets team playing for their second consecutive night, and thanks to a Bulls victory in Atlanta, currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot.

- Iman Shumpert help set the tone in what was by far his best performance since the Texas Triangle trip. Take a minute to soak that in.

- With the Nets still hanging in at the end of the first quarter, he forced two turnovers, leading directly to five points and a 10-0 Knicks run. He also added in some confident, athletic layups, and ended the game with 10 points and five steals. As we saw in last year’s playoff run, Shumpert can be an integral part of this team. When’s he’s at his best, it brings a whole other element to the Knicks defense. If he’s able to lock down opposing guards like he did tonight, the Knicks won’t be easy to beat, at least in the regular season.

- J.R. Smith helped lead the onslaught too, combining with Amar’e Stodemire for the team’s first 16 points. Smith finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, and looked very much like the player he was last season. Despite receiving boatloads of criticism this year, J.R. is doing his best to make up for it when it counts most, averaging 20.4 points and – wait for it – 3.4 assists over New York’s last five games. It’s no coincidence that the team is 4-1 over that stretch.

- For the first time in forever, Carmelo Anthony didn’t lead the team in scoring. He was only able to muster up 23 points and pull down a measly 10 rebounds. Let him walk this summer.

- Totally kidding.

- Despite leaving last game with a sprained ankle, Tim Hardaway Jr. toughed things out and suited up for this one, earning tons of respect from Knicks fans. It’s good to see that such a young player isn’t hesitant to put his future on the back burner and worry about getting this team into the playoffs. If he hasn’t won your heart over already, he probably did tonight. Not only did Hardaway Jr. play, he played well, dropping in 17 points on 7-10 shooting from the field.

- As a team, the Knicks shot 60 percent from the field. The Nets looked unenthused after surrendering a lead that blew up to as many as 25. Still, it got down to a 14-point game towards the end of the third quarter. Anyone who has followed the Knicks this season ins’t surprised by that at all.

- Despite the point differential, things got a little bit physical in the second half. Raymond Felton left the game temporarily after falling HARD after grabbing an offensive rebound. It was the type of play that silenced the whole arena. Not long after, Carmelo Anthony hacked Deron Williams for a no-call block, but when Paul Pierce tried to return the favor on Shumpert shortly thereafter, he was whistled for a flagrant. Let’s not act like the Knicks don’t get any home cooking at Madison Square Garden.

- While we’re on the referee front, I’d like to congratulate Dick Bavetta for passing Cal Ripken Jr’s iron man streak. Knicks-Nets was the 74-year old’s 2,633rd straight game. His first contest as an NBA official was in 1975, ironically at Madison Square Garden.

- I’d also like to shout out all of the Knicks fans in attendance who greeted Nick Cannon with a chorus of boos at halftime. Cannon was in town to tape an introduction to America’s Got Talent and received no love from New Yorkers upon asking them for a round of applause. Even Raymond Felton got more love from the audience tonight!

- The Knicks shouldn’t hold their head too high after this marquee win. They’ll see the Nets again in a couple weeks, and there’s no doubt that Brooklyn will be out for revenge. Plus, New York needs to stay focused on the task at hand. Just about everything went New York’s way tonight, but there’s still a lot of basketball to be played.

- Next up for the Knicks is Friday matchup against the playoff bound Washington Wizards. The Hawks will be home to Cleveland that same night. As always, TOK will have you covered.

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