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Baseline to Baseline recaps: What kind of team are the Knicks?

Mar 12, 2012, 4:07 AM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks Getty Images

What you missed while thinking if you are going to have two wives you may want to get off Facebook….

Lakers 97, Celtics 94: This rematch of a couple recent finals — which looked like those finals if you squinted really hard — was our game of the day.

Sixers 106, Knicks 94: How this game would end was forshadowed in the first quarter, when Andre Iguodala and the 76ers had fast break opportunities where Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire never ran back over half court. There is a lack of commitment to doing the right things — playing defense, moving the ball, so many more — and the Knicks are playing individual ball. Jeremy Lin is not playing well and is not able to organize these egos. There is a lack of passion.

Knicks management has a serious question to ask itself — what kind of team are they trying to build? Right now this is not a team built to run Mike D’Antoni’s system. They haven’t ever really tried to build him that team, they have just tried to collect stars. They need to make a commitment to giving him a roster he can play his style with or get a new coach. What they are doing now clearly isn’t working.

On the other side of the court… Remember a week or so ago when we thought Philly could lose their grip on the Atlantic Division. Yea, not so much. With this win the 76ers are clearly in control of the division (and avoiding the Heat or Bulls in the first round of the playoffs). Lou Williams had 28 and Evan Turner 24 for the Sixers.

Warriors 97, Clippers 93: When the Clippers offense is clicking they are a force of nature. But right now it only happens in spurts — like the 15-2 run in the fourth quarter that made you think this would be a comeback win for them. But they couldn’t maintain it and they are never able to play consistently good defense to get the win. That’s what will haunt them in the playoffs. Golden State did play pretty good defense, they were the more aggressive team all night, and while not as explosive on offense they shot the ball very well all night long (51.4 percent overall and 8-of-15 from three). Monta Ellis had 21 for the Warriors. Blake Griffin had a fantastic second half and finished with 27, Chris Paul was the best player on the floor and had 23 even with a mask.

Bucks 105, Raptors 99: Toronto led by 13 in the second quarter and you thought maybe they had something here with Andrea Bargnani back… but if you’ve watched Raptors games this season you know that’s not how it works. Milwaukee closed the gap in the third when Ersan Ilyasova scored 11 of his team-best 31, then late in the fourth the Bucks went on a 13-4 run to close it out. Toronto banked on too much DeMar DeRozan late and while he had 21 points in the game their offense didn’t flow late.

Cavaliers 118, Rockets 107: The Cavaliers bench went on a 12-0 run early in the fourth to give the Cavaliers the lead, then Kyrie Irving — your clear rookie of the year now — came in and scored 16 of his 21 in the second half of the fourth to seal the win. Antawn Jamison had 28 for Cleveland. Luis Scola had 30 for Houston, but that doesn’t mean the Lakers want to trade Pau Gasol for him.

Magic 107, Pacers 94: The score does not do justice to what a blowout this was — the Pacers were never in this game after a few minutes. It was vintage Magic, with Dwight Howard scoring 30 and grabbing 13 boards while the Magic knocked down 37 percent of their three pointers. The Pacers were 1-of-12 from three. Paul George had 22 to lead Indianapolis

Grizzlies 94, Nuggets 91: Memphis, playing on the second night of a back-to-back, just seemed a little bit better at everything. The Grizzlies got much better production out of their role players. And then down three at the end and needing a big shot to tie, George Karl went Phil Jackson and didn’t call a time out, rather he let his team just play it out. The result was a disorganized mess. Next time, advance the ball with a time out and set up a play.

Hawks 106, Kings 99: DeMarcus Cousins and Josh Smith both scored 28 points and really put on a show. But Smith put on a more rounded one and had a lot more help — Joe Johnson had 21 and seven Hawks scored in double digits. When the Hawks cranked up the defensive intensity in the second half it was too much for the Kings.

  1. cakemixa - Mar 12, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    Remember 2 weeks ago, when the media was labeling the Knicks as serious contenders, threats to the Heat/Bulls even, and Jeremy Lin the greatest PG in NBA history? I guess it turns out a sample size of 5 games wasn’t enough to make such bold predictions! Lol.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Mar 12, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      They still match up favorably with both those teams. It is Orlando, Boston and Indiana that the Knicks don’t want to see.

      • md23rewlz - Mar 12, 2012 at 12:44 PM

        Wait, so the Knicks don’t want to see Orlando/Boston/Indiana, but they do want to see arguably the two best teams in basketball? I’m pretty sure the Knicks would be absolutely THRILLED if they somehow swam out of the 7/8 spot. Nobody wants to play Miami or Chicago. If the Knicks play Miami or Chicago in round one, that series isn’t going more than five games at best.

    • hwatt - Mar 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      … they are who we thought they were?

  2. areyesrn - Mar 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    are the Knicks a better team without Carmelo and/or Amare?

    • md23rewlz - Mar 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Not unless Jeremy Lin magically starts hitting 28 foot three pointers again and scoring 25+ routinely. The Knicks were playing at a statistically unsustainable level. Now that they have run back to the mean (as they were bound to), things like turnovers actually matter.

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