New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Postgame Grades and Analysis
For the second day in a row, the Knicks dismantled the Philadelphia 76ers as they clobbered the Sixers on their home court, 110-88.
It was the Knicks' third consecutive win by double digits to open the season, the first time in franchise history they've accomplished that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, as mentioned during the MSG broadcast.
Philadelphia jumped out to 12-2 lead to start the game, but steady defense and a well-executed offense turned things around, and the Knicks dominated the rest of the game
In all, the Knicks had seven players reach double figures, turned the ball over only seven times and played outstanding team ball throughout the game.
New York has shown remarkable chemistry for a team with three of its starters in their first year with the team. Their defensive rotations kept the Sixers taking bad shots all night long, while offensively, they worked the ball and created open shots all over the court.
While all the grades here for both teams are for individuals, the real winner of this game and the biggest "A" goes to the Knicks' teamwork.
Raymond Felton, PG, NYK: A
Felton has come back to the Knicks like he never left, perhaps making a good case that he never should have. Felton did a great job finding balance between generating shots for himself by slicing up the 76ers' defense and feeding his teammates.
He ended the game with 16 points and eight assists in just 23 minutes of play.
Jrue Holiday, PG, PHI: C+
Jrue Holiday was the only Sixer that really played a respectable game in the first half of the back-to-back. He played a marginally respectable game again, scoring 17 points to go with eight assists, but he also had four turnovers.
The reason his grade is lower than Felton's, despite the similarity of their numbers, is that Holiday played 12 more minutes.
Additionally, on the defensive side of the ball, he couldn't keep track of Felton, who was frequently getting past him at will as Holiday seemed indifferent to fighting through picks.
Jason Kidd, SG, NYK: B-
It is impressive to see the chemistry that has already developed between Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, especially since Kidd has been a point guard his entire career and is playing out of position. However, he's adapted easily as his high basketball IQ facilitates that change.
Kidd did what he's been asked to do, playing solid defense and sinking the three. OK. Granted, he did only do that once, but it was the only shot he took. He added four rebounds and two assists. As with the rest of the Knicks' starters, Kidd played limited minutes, logging just shy of 18.
Evan Turner, SG, PHI: D
Many projected Evan Turner to have a big breakout season, but if he keeps playing like this, that's not going to happen.
Turner was unproductive scoring-wise, contributing only 11 points on nine field-goal attempts, but he also had nine rebounds and six assists. The overall numbers make him appear bigger than he was, though, as the Sixers were outscored by 18 while he was on the court, tied for the worst of the 76ers' starters.
Ronnie Brewer, SF, NYK: A
Ronnie Brewer is starting to look like the steal of free agency. Playing for the veteran's minimum, he's giving the Knicks more production than they could have dreamed of.
In addition to his stellar defense, which you expected him to provide, he also added some offense, which included a career-high-tying three three-point shots made. Brewer, who totaled 13 points, also had 10 rebounds, just the third double-double of his career.
The Knicks have to be happy with what they're getting from Brewer so far.
Dorrell Wright, SF, PHI: C-
Dorrell Wright scored 14 points, but he took 14 shots to do so. He did grab nine boards and had a block, but his overall impact on the game was virtually nonexistent.
Attribute a lot of his poor performance to Brewer's defense, but he even lost the three-point-shooting contest to Brewer, sinking only two to Brewer's three.
Carmelo Anthony, PF, NYK: B
After starting off missing his first four shots, Anthony got things going, hitting seven of his next 12 shots and going 6-of-6 from the stripe. He added seven rebounds and two assists. Anthony also had the best plus/minus number of any Knick with plus-20.
Thaddeus Young, PF, PHI: B
Young, quietly, was arguably the most productive player for the 76ers, claiming a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.
The Sixers were trying to go to Young early, and he was a big part of the reason that they built the quick 12-2 lead, as he scored six of those points, but he seemed to fall by the wayside for the rest of the game.
Anthony's defense deserves a lot of the credit for that.
Tyson Chandler, C, NYK: C
Tyson Chandler scored 14 points and added six rebounds along with one block. There were a couple of solid plays for Chandler, but it wasn't his greatest game with the Knicks. He brought what was expected of him, anchoring the defense.
However, his rebounding was a little light tonight and he got whistled for an unnecessary technical, so his grade drops a smidgen.
Kwame Brown, C, PHI: Incomplete
Brown gets an incomplete because he only played 11 minutes and had to depart because of an injury. To his credit, the Sixers did outscore the Knicks by two points while he was on the court.
J.R. Smith, G, NYK: A
J.R. Smith showed a commitment to defense, which often eludes him, and head coach Mike Woodson rewarded him with some extra time on the court, enabling him to do some offensive damage as well. Smith's overall numbers were impressive, particularly when you consider that he got them coming off the bench.
In all, Smith scored 17 points and added seven rebounds and five assists. Defensively, he had two steals and one block.
Two of his points came on spectacular dunk on a trailer set up by Pablo Prigioni.
Nick Young, G, PHI: D
On the bright side, Young scored 12 points. On the dark side, he took 15 shots to do it. He also only added one assist and one board to combine with his two turnovers.
The Sixers thrive on team ball, and Young was a part of one of the most selfish teams in the league last year until the Washington Wizards traded him because of his contributions to that atmosphere. Monday night's performance suggests he still might not get it.
Rest of Bench
New York Knicks Bench: A
The Knicks' bench was just outstanding, scoring 26 points in addition to Smith's 17. The reserves maintained the same level of defensive presence, and for the most part, the substitutions were seamless in the sense that absolutely nothing was lost when the bench players came in to replace the starters.
Of course, the big story will be the sharp-shooting of Rasheed Wallace, who drained a deep, 26-foot three-point shot to end the third quarter. In all, Wallace scored 10 points on the evening.
Philadelphia 76ers Bench: D-
The Sixers' bench, which was one of the deepest in the league last year, was absolutely dominated. It wasn't only dominated by the Knicks, but it was also dominated by its own Nick Young, who didn't appear to want anyone else to take a shot.
Spencer Hawes, who came in in place of the injured Kwame Brown, had the worst plus/minus number of any of the Sixers with a minus-20.
The backups showed little promise in Monday evening's performance. But, it is understandable that they might've lacked some fight since most of their minutes came in a 20-point blowout, and that's the only reason they don't get an "F."