|(5-16, 1-11 away)|
|(13-9, 4-5 home)|
“They just had it going. They’re the hottest team in the league right now. Amare Stoudemire is the hottest player. When it counted, we couldn’t stop them.” — Michael Beasley“His power, strength and now his outside shooting, it just seems like it is easy for him. He has the ability to rise to the occasion.” — Mike D’Antoni
“When they were shooting 84 percent [late in the first quarter] and we were down only four, it wasn’t bad. We knew they wouldn’t shoot like that all night.” — Amar’e Stoudemire
I would not mind getting fat from a steady diet of Knicks victories. This stretch of five victories, during which Amar’e is playing like the Brother from Another Planet, has been a joy to behold.
The trademark of this team is its tenacity, although their third quarter defense was very tight and smart. They disrupted and distracted the point guards who could not shake Toney and Raymond. As a result, the Wolves made too many mistakes and decisions with the ball. Their defense was what turned the tide permanently.
Amar’e Stoudemire? Our comments are becoming as repetitive as he ill five game streak of 30 or more points per game. Last night, Studdy had 34 points on 15-23 shooting ot go along with five boards, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Critics are quickly forgetting Nash as Amare’s crutch. He is really, really good by himself. Stoudemire has exhibited an unstoppable combination of power and finesse in his offensive attack. He presents a smooth midrange jumper that hits all net; then later he will power through the interior defense for a definitive dunk or tosses it softly enough to get the shooter’s roll into the rim. He has been amazing.
Shawne Williams was able to make some good decisions with the ball besides setting up on the short side of the arc and popping tres. He can shoot on the move. That is promising.
Gallinari had one of his better games, but I wonder if anyone seems to notice that this kid’s game is as a “scorer” not a “shooter.” For maximum effect, he needs the ball in his hands and the opportunity to get to the basket. He grew up as a playmaker not a fifth wheel. I think he will do so much better with another coach. He hit that great deep tre with 49.6 seconds remaining to preserve our lead and D’Antoni almost wet in his pants when the shot went up and not Amar’e in the paint. D’Antoni has lost some confidence in the kid but has not put him in the best position to be his best.
The game was really won in the third quarter when the Knicks played suffocating defense. The Knicks forced the Wolves into 17 turnovers but in the third quarter the Knicks transformed six consecutive turnovers into 10 straight points to create a 82-77 lead. Luke Ridnour had five turnovers and Telfair had 2.
It would be nice to win the next two games against Toronto and Washington in preparation for a tougher schedule soon to come. We need to squirrel away these victories if we intend to make the playoffs.
For more thoughts, visit TWolves blog and catch my responses to their post-game Q and A.:
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