New York Knicks vs. Portland Trailblazers Live Scores, Highlights and Analysis
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It's already been the most eventful day of the season for the New York Knicks, and there hasn't even been a game played yet.
Earlier today, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni resigned. Assistant coach Mike Woodson has been named interim head coach. New York is in the midst of a six-game losing streak that has dropped the team to an 18-24 record and ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
It's the Knicks and Blazers at 7:30 p.m. from Madison Square Garden.
Final Score Knicks 121 Blazers 79.
The Knicks should be proud of what they've accomplished tonight.
They also should be well aware that they beat up on a team that was playing nearly as uninspired basketball as the Knicks were just a few days ago.
MSG Network announcers Al Trautwig and Walt Clyde Frazier have been extremely critical of the Knicks in the final minutes as the lead has ballooned beyond the 40 point mark and the Knicks have continued to jack up three point shots and attempt ally-oop dunks.
It's a valid point even though the Knicks were right to feel a sense of relief and joy with their own losing streak coming to a sudden halt.
Knicks 108 Blazers 71: 4:02 left in 4th Quarter.
J.R. Smith has now hit seven three point shots tonight. He's been jacking them up frequently but the Blazers have yet to commit to extending their defense out to near or beyond the three-point line.
That's left Smith and Novak open and to the Knicks' credit they've gotten the ball in the hands of the open shooter. The two are a combined 12 of 21 from three-point range and have scored a combined 40 points.
Knicks 94 Blazers 67: 7:46 left in 4th Quarter.
At this point it shouldn't be a secret that leaving Steve Novak open for a three point shot is not a good idea. Nothing has changed on that front either.
Novak has 14 points on 4 of 7 from downtown. J.R. Smith after a rough first half has found his range as well for 15 points on 5 of 9 from long range.
The Knicks haven't played with the same intensity they did in the first half but great shooting will hind a lot of inadequacies.
Knicks 78 Blazers 56: Start of 4th Quarter.
It's only one game but it's worth noting that Jeremy Lin has taken only four shots tonight. Is that the beginning of a trend? It could be. Lin has six assists but he also has six turnovers which is not acceptable. The team leader is a guy named Carmelo Anthony who has seven assists.
Portland managed to outscore the Knicks 27-23 in the third quarter. The Blazers scored only two less points in the third quarter than they did in the entire first half. If not for J.R. Smith knocking down three three-point shots the Blazers might have really cut into the lead.
Knicks 75 Blazers 47: 2:11 left in 3rd Quarter.
The Knicks aren't outplaying the Blazers in the same fashion that they were during the first half. Portland has gotten a few open looks and also a few offensive rebounds. They're actually outscoring the Knicks 18-17 in the third quarter.
With the score at 75-47 there's little reason for too much concern but it's worth noting that the Knicks seem a little more content to settle for three point shots and less likely to push the ball up-court or work the ball down low than they did in the first half.
Knicks 62 Blazers 35: 7:22 left in 3rd Quarter.
In all team sports blowouts can be catalysts for rough play and at times fights and injuries can result. That's something for the Knicks players and the officials to be mindful of tonight.
Following the Blazer's 17th turnover the Knicks looked to score on a fast break. As Landry Fields went up for a layup he was slammed down by Marcus Camby. Camby was assessed a "flagrant 1" foul and Fields was not hurt.
That type of play is worth keeping an eye on especially if the game continues to be a blowout.
Start of 3rd Quarter: Knicks 55 Blazers 29.
It's rare that one can say this but the Knicks really don't need to make too many adjustments in the second half. The team has committed 9 turnovers but they've also dished 16 assists. An 18 turnover a game pace is still too high though.
The one thing the Knicks do need to be aware of is complacency. The Portland Trailblazers are a talented team but they're playing poorly. They've got the talent to comeback if the Knicks were to start to just go through the motions in the second half.
Luckily with everything that's happened today the Knicks are probably fairly focused on the task at hand.
Halftime: Knicks 55 Blazers 29.
" The Blazers look pathetic" - Clyde Frazier on MSG network with 2:23 left in the half.
That pretty much sums up the first half performance by Portland. Give the Knicks credit, even if Portland was playing with effort the Knicks would probably be winning but the margin in this game can't all be attributed to the play of the Knicks.
It's been exactly what the doctor ordered for every member of the Knicks tonight. If you were concerned with Amar'e Stoudemire's play as of late, worry no more. Stoudemire has 15 points and 15 rebounds and is 7 of 7 from the field.
Portland managed only 29 points and shot 32.4 percent from the field.
The Knicks meanwhile shot 51.2 percent from the floor.
Knicks 47 Blazers 23: 3:24 left in 2nd Quarter.
The Blazers look generally disinterested but the Knicks aren't playing down to the level of their competition. With 3:40 left in the half Portland is shooting 28.6 percent, has committed 11 turnovers and has only 3 assists.
Contrast that with the Knicks who are shooting 51.5 percent with 14 assists and 8 turnovers.
Knicks 45 Blazers 21: 5:33 left in 2nd Quarter.
In spite of missing two key players in Greg Oden and Brandon Roy who the Blazers felt they could build their team around this roster is not devoid of talent.
Knicks fans know that Raymond Felton can play the point. Gerald Wallace and LaMarcus Aldridge are both very good offensive players, Marcus Camby is one of the best defensive big men of the past decade and Nicolas Batum is a dynamic and multi-faceted young shooting guard.
That is of course part of why the team's head coach Nate McMillan is feeling the same type of heat the former coach Mike D'Antoni was feeling. The Blazers don't look like a team on a mission on the court and that will always lead to questions about the coach.
Carmelo Anthony continues to shoot the ball often but he's also taking good shots. An open three from in the flow of the offense is a shot he should take and should make. Anthony is five of eight from the field and three of four from three-point range for a game high 13 points.
Knicks 37 Blazers 16: 9:26 left in 2nd Quarter.
Interim head coach Mike Woodson couldn't have asked for a much better start to his tenure. The lackluster Blazers are proving the perfect antidote to the malaise that had engulfed the Knicks over the course of their six game losing streak.
Portland is committing careless turnovers, getting beat to loose balls and not displaying any sort of intensity on defense. The result?
The Knicks are already turning this game into a blowout. They're on a 12-4 run since the start of the second quarter and are clicking on all cylinders right now.
Knicks 27 Blazers 12: 11:33 left in 2nd Quarter
One thing about the Knicks tonight is that while they don't look organized they do have energy. They've been beating the Blazers to loose balls, winning the battles on the boards and if nothing else look to be intense and focused.
They've taken some ugly looking shots but the rebounding advantage has allowed them to easily make-up for those misses.
Anthony still leads all scorers with 10 points. Tyson Chandler has seven rebounds but has also committed four turnovers.
Knicks 20 Blazers 12: 2:46 left in 1st Quarter.
The Knicks are pounding the boards hard so far. They've got a 12-6 advantage on the glass led by Tyson Chandler's game high six rebounds.
Portland is being paced by LaMarcus Aldridge. The league's tenth leading scorer has six points.
Carmelo Anthony continues to hoist up shots but he's also hitting some of them. Anthony leads all scorers with 10 points on four of seven from the field.
Knicks 14 Blazers 12: 5:55 left in 1st Quarter
To the surprise of no one Carmelo Anthony appears far more comfortable on the court tonight. He's three of four from the field and has scored eight points in the early going.
Former Knick Marcus Camby is back in town starting at center for the Blazers. He's made his presence felt in the early going with two points, a rebound and a steal.
Blazers 8 Knicks 6: 7:45 left in 1st Quarter
Coaching changes, especially changes in midseason don't always produce the desired instant results. The Knicks players may or may not be happy with their new coach but his system and plays won't be able to instantly executed effectively.
In the early going both teams have looked a little bit shaky.
Blazers 4 Knicks 2: 10:15 left in 1st Quarter.
This has to be considered one of the more important games of the season for the Knicks.
The winning streak that happened when Jeremy Lin burst onto the scene is in the rear view mirror and the team's fortunes have completely reversed.
Even if D'Antoni were on the bench tonight the game would have a degree of desperation for the Knicks having lost their last six contests.
There is ample pressure on Carmelo Anthony now as well. It was widely thought that Carmelo had a role in D'Antoni's departure and his poor play this season has made him the object of criticism as well.
New York Knicks
PG: Jeremy Lin
SG: Landry Fields
SF: Carmelo Anthony
PF: Amar'e Stoudemire
C: Tyson Chandler
PG: Raymond Felton
SG: Nicolas Batum
SF: Gerald Wallace
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Marcus Camby
Tip-off is coming up.
The Mike Woodson era will start tonight at Madison Square Garden. It could last a few weeks, a few months or a few years.
What can Knicks fans look for from the Knicks now that Mike D'Antoni is no longer running the show? Probably more intensity on defense and a more conventional approach to the offense. Gone will be Mike D'Antoni's motion based offense that sought to create an unpredictable offense and spread shots amongst the entire team.
In it's place will be a slightly more predictable offense that will probably result in increased shot attempts for proven offensive stars such as Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.
Another thing to watch for is the stats that the point guards accumulate. D' Antoni's system has always placed a premium on point guard play and players such as Steve Nash, Raymond Felton and Jeremy Lin have all experienced career best numbers in D'Antoni's system.
Felton who was nearly averaging a double-double at the all star break last season in now struggling mightily in Portland. He's been relegated to a bench role at times and has also been rumored to have paired with Jamal Crawford and fueled an internal team rebellion against head coach Nate McMillan.
Crawford appears to be part of a three team trade that also involves the Lakers and Timberwolves.
Lots of action going on in the NBA today and this Knicks game tonight is the epicenter of much of the most dramatic upheaval.
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