|(6-8, 5-4 away)|
|(1-13, 1-6 home)|
“This was a fun game to play in, especially because of the fact that we won. It was like a video game,” Stoudemire said. “There were very exciting plays on the court, but the positive from this is that we’re on a three-game winning streak and our chemistry’s now starting to come together. We showed how good we can be and what it takes to win, and we’re showing winning qualities. We’ve just got to keep it going.”
“I remember when Blake was in college and he attended my skills academy camp. I definitely saw a lot of me in him then. He’s playing well for a rookie. This is his breakout game, and he’s going to be very good.” — Amar’e Stoudemire
“Athletically, I think we saw probably the best you can be — from both teams. Griffin had some dunks that you don’t see very often. But we had Amare, Danilo and Raymond [Felton], and that was a little bit too much. Everybody contributed something, and that’s how it has to be.” — Mike D’Antoni
“That was actually incredible. That was a play that definitely sparked the crowd and sparked us. We weren’t expecting that. I’ve had a few of those in my career, so I can understand the feeling he’s going through right now. I’ve been in those shoes before.” — Amar’e Stoudemire
“We were smart and were using our experience to read the defense and get to the foul line, and we did a good job of it. We have a lot of talent and a lot of experience. We were trying to play our game. Raymond was controlling things, and we were following him and following Amare.” — Danilo Gallinari
“I was just trying to help the team at a moment where the team needed me to help them. The fourth quarter is the most important part of the game, especially when you’re playing a tight game. I was trying to read the defense and their defense was giving me that shot, so I was taking it.” — Danilo Gallinari
Stunning. Fun. Fantabulous. Dunkalicious. OMG.
This was a game of the ages for its offensive ferocity and combativeness as Blake Griffin had a breakout game in a dunk-fest that would wake a dead man. The beauty of it from a Knick perspective is that Amar’e Stoudemire responded with a resounding victory and some nice and nasty dunks of his own as the Knicks held off the Clippers 124-115.
I look forward to sharing more about this game that just sent chills up and down my spine. Hopefully, I can get to it, but I’ll just share some quick impressions for now.
Just as I noted in the pre-game analysis, the Clippers are extremely young and inexperienced, however they are also a talented bunch of youngsters. They are simply very undisciplined in their game. They have no defense to speak of highlighted by one of the weakest zones I’ve seen this side of St. Mary’s of Don’t Guard Me. Blake Griffin (44 pts, 15 boards and 7 assists) is a very skilled, tenacious and smart player. He did not seem to give up on any play and battled ferociously under the boards. His footwork is phenomenal and the spin move to die for — begging for a double team. He’s got some Amar’e, Dr.J, Shawn Kemp, and Olajuwon mixed in that game. However, only Oscar Robertson has had as prolific a game as this one in his rookie season.
Before moving on to the Knicks, I must mention that Eric Gordon was very sweet with 25 points (11-20 shooting) in 38 minutes. However, I don’t know what he is doing without the ball in his hands. He had five fouls, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block and no rebounds. No rebounds. How can anyone be on a court for 38 minutes and have no rebounds. Still he was a +2 when on the court, but that’s crazy. In 38 minutes, the ball is bound to bounce off the rim and hit you in the gut at least once. I need to re-watch Gordon on D.
The Knicks should have won this game and they made a good fan proud because they game more than they took. The Knicks really made it fun which hid a coal mine of deficiencies. Amar’e’s mid-range jumper was en fuego, slicing the nets like butter when his path to the basket was obstructed. His dunks were timely (any time for a dunk is good) and signature. The key however was their aggression which led to a free throw disparity reserved for basketball royalty. The Knicks took 51 freebies to the Clippers’ 29. The Knicks hit 43 of their freebies with Gallo going 13 for 13 and Amare canning 11 of 16. That was the ball game really, especially since the Knicks allowed the Clippers to shoot 54.4% from the field including a ridiculous unguarded 46.7% from the arc. Reportedly, the Clippers couldn’t shoot that good if you sat them on the backboard above the rim. I guess they meant with a hand in their faces.
Danilo Gallinari. Where the hell has this game been? Finally, Danilo is paying attention. As many of us have said, he has it in him and he has always had it in him to play smarter, but this three game stretch is the first time he has been engaged for a stretch longer than a quarter. The most beautiful thing however, is that he is awake in the fourth quarter, finally making smart decisions about when to shoot and when to go to the hope. He was beautiful from the tre late in the game and excellent from the stripe. Danilo may not win games yet, but he certainly has kept us in them or preserved leads when we’ve gotten them. Can anybody tell me, what woke this man up? (Besides sucky defenses).
Raymond FeltOn was on. He seems to be getting more comfortable, perhaps because he is not forcing the pick and roll and he is thinking more like a scorer than a facilitator. It seems that D’Antoni has finally figured out that he needed to go back to what worked when he had David Lee and Jared Jeffries — move the ball through his forwards more allowing his guards to cut and move through screens freeing them up for shots and creating a little more havoc on the offensive end. Forget all that standing on the arc and trying to force Felton to thread passes on the roll which he clearly has trouble doing.
Toney Douglas (12 pts, 3 assists, 2 boards in 21 minutes) got set shots and he was locked in from the three (4-6). Nice.