Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYC
Anthony tied a Knicks' franchise record with nine three-pointers in this one, tormenting the Hawks for the entire game.
Jeff Teague did his fair share of damage for Atlanta, scoring 27 points off 9-of-15 shooting as he got to the basket at will. Josh Smith finished with 20.
A night after New York was trounced by the Philadelphia 76ers, it came out and posted a good win against a very solid Hawks team at Madison Square Garden.
This was big for the Knicks' confidence.
Point Guard: Raymond Felton, B
Looking at the stat sheet, you see Raymond Felton had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists and think, "he deserves an A," but if you watched the game, you'd know that wasn't true.
Felton was a revolving door when guarding Teague tonight, as the Hawks' point guard absolutely torched him for the majority of the game. It's not like Teague is Chris Paul or Rajon Rondo, either. He is not an elite point guard, but Felton made him look like one tonight, displaying a complete inability to stay with him on dribble penetrations.
Of course, this was only Felton's second game back after missing a good chunk of time with a broken finger, so he is still probably getting his legs underneath him.
To his credit, he did an outstanding job distributing the basketball and was more of a facilitator than he is used to being. He also scored nine points in the first quarter.
Shooting Guard: Jason Kidd, Incomplete
Jason Kidd played five minutes in this one, and that was it. He already had a sore back to begin with, and after not playing at all in the second quarter, he was forced to sit in the second half.
Because of that, Kidd gets an incomplete.
Small Forward: Iman Shumpert, B+
Solid outing for Iman Shumpert. His minutes are still being monitored, but in 19 minutes of play against the Hawks, he scored eight points off 3-of-5 shooting and picked up two steals. He did a very nice job defensively and even ran some point guard for the Knicks on a couple of separate occasions.
It's clear that he is still making his way back from the torn ACL, but Shumpert is obviously progressing nicely and should be a significant part of New York's club as the season continues.
Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony, A
It really isn't surprising when Anthony explodes for 40 points anymore. Tonight was a bit different though, as Melo canned those nine threes en route to his 42-point onslaught.
One night after shooting 9-of-28, Anthony got off to an 0-for-4 start and appeared to be pressing. He then drained three consecutive trifectas in the second quarter, and at that point it was on.
Anthony gashed the Hawks with both contested and uncontested long-range jumpers and would end up having a game-winning three-point play with 12 seconds remaining, blowing by Josh Smith and completing the and-one.
Melo did lose his composure late in the fourth when he spiked the ball and earned a technical foul after DeShawn Stevenson caught him with a finger to the eye, but he certainly recovered.
This was yet another instance of Anthony putting the Knicks on his back.
The MVP caliber season continues.
Center: Tyson Chandler, D+
This was undoubtedly one of Tyson Chandler's worst outings of the year.
The center finished with two points and a measly three rebounds in 36 minutes of play and was seemingly M.I.A. inside as Atlanta marched its way to 50 points in the paint. Too many times you saw Teague get to the basket with absolutely no resistance and finish an easy layup.
Of course, a lot of that blame falls on Felton's shoulders, but Chandler is the last line of defense and needs to act as the deterrent that he is so well-known for being.
Chandler also appeared to tweak his neck in the fourth quarter, an injury that he got a couple of weeks ago against the Indiana Pacers. He was clearly in some pain late, so he gets a pass for the last few minutes, but his performance up until then was nothing to write home about.
6th Man: J.R. Smith, A-
This was a very nice game for J.R. Smith.
He hit some big shots in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 points off 7-of-15 shooting. He also played some great defense, coming up with a couple of steals and absolutely hounding Kyle Korver whenever he was assigned to defend him.
As you all know, Korver is a deadly three-point shooter, and Smith did an excellent job making sure he did not get any clean looks.
You can really see how much Smith has grown as a basketball player this season. It's fun to watch.
Rest of Knicks Bench: A
Amar'e Stoudemire had a huge game tonight, recording 18 points and eight boards—four of them of the offensive variety—off the pine.
It seemed as if Stoudemire was in on every loose ball and was constantly fighting on the offensive glass. He was absolutely crucial in the fourth quarter, hitting a couple of big shots and hauling in a huge offensive rebound that resulted in him getting fouled and hitting two shots at the line. He had some lapses defensively, but hey, that's Amar'e.
Pablo Prigioni did a fine job in Kidd's absence, knocking down a couple of treys and handing out four assists in 10 minutes of play.
Steve Novak got 13 minutes of burn, but he did not attempt a single shot. Atlanta made sure that he was unable to get free for any open looks from downtown.
Because of Stoudemire's performance alone, New York's bench earns an "A."