Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYC
Jrue Holiday led all scorers with 30 points, and Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29. Other notables were Amar'e Stoudemire and Evan Turner, who dropped 22 and 21 points, respectively.
The win by New York snapped a four-game losing streak, the longest of the Mike Woodson era. However, Woodson may still not be happy with the way the Knicks played in this one, as they were never able to put the clearly inferior 76ers away and had to really fight on both ends of the floor down the stretch.
Regardless, a win is a win, and New York will take any win it can get right now.
Point Guard: Raymond Felton, C
This was a so-so game for Raymond Felton.
The point guard finished with 14 points off 6-of-15 shooting, and while he wasn't so efficient in terms of percentage, he did do a nice job of penetrating and getting to the rim. He did, however, hit on only two of his eight three-point attempts.
Felton posted a minus-nine plus/minus stat in this one, and that is never a good thing for your starting floor general.
All things considered, this was a mediocre outing for Felton. Nothing more, nothing less.
Shooting Guard: Jason Kidd, C-
Jason Kidd took some uncharacteristically poor shots in this one, resulting in a 1-of-7 shooting performance (0-of-6 from three-point range). He did grab nine rebounds (which stopped him from getting a "D"), but that was pretty much all he brought to the table for the Knicks against the 76ers.
A good number of the threes Kidd attempted weren't even close, most of them being absolute bricks. A few of them weren't even good looks, and it's rare to see Kidd take well-contested shots.
It could be that his back is still an issue or that he is simply conserving energy for the playoffs, but Kidd is not playing at the level he was early on in the season.
Small Forward: Iman Shumpert, D+
And the struggles for Iman Shumpert continue.
In just 13 minutes of play, the second-year player scored four points off 1-of-5 shooting and made a minimal impact—at best—on the defensive end. Knicks color commentator Walt Frazier made note that Shumpert still appears to be laboring in terms of lateral movement, and he is correct.
It is blatantly clear that Shumpert is not even close to 100 percent, and that has to be a fairly significant concern given that the playoffs are two months away. New York is going to need his defense in the postseason, and he hasn't even shown the slightest bit of improvement in that area yet.
Shumpert may still get there, but it's looking less and less likely with each passing game.
Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony, B
This was a very odd game for Anthony.
Yes, he scored 29 points and hit on 16 of his 18 free-throw attempts (the free-throw attempts alone earned him the "B" grade), but he shot 6-of-18 from the floor (1-of-6 from downtown) and registered a minus-14 plus/minus stat.
It also seemed as if Anthony was a bit fatigued in the second half, as he was far less aggressive and appeared to be out of some offensive sets at times.
In the second quarter, Melo realized that no one on the 76ers could defend him one on one, so he became more assertive and forced his way to the basket resulting in a free-throw parade for the MVP candidate. He needs to do a lot more of that rather than settle for perimeter jumpers.
Anthony still has not fully broken out of his shooting slump, but it shouldn't be much of a concern. He'll right himself eventually.
There was also a situation in the third quarter where Anthony lost his cool once again, intentionally smacking Spencer Hawes in the back of the head as the two were jostling for a rebound.
Center: Tyson Chandler, A-
This was a typical Tyson Chandler performance.
Not much offense with five points, but he crashed the boards (12 rebounds) and played very solid interior defense. The fact that he was a plus-14 is concrete evidence of how much he impacted the game.
Chandler was also scowling at the 76ers players all night, first coming to Anthony's defense when he was involved in that scuffle with Hawes and letting Turner hear it after a big defensive stop late in the game.
It seems pretty clear that Chandler is the emotional leader of this team.
Sixth Man: J.R. Smith, B+
After a rather slow start on both ends, J.R. Smith was huge in the second half, hitting three backbreaking three-pointers as the 76ers were making runs. He also played some very stingy defense after struggling a bit on Turner earlier in the game. During much of the first 30 minutes or so, Smith allowed Turner to get to the basket at will, but he righted the ship late.
Smith finished with 14 points off 5-of-12 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. He is showing signs of getting back into the swing of things over his past couple of games, and that is obviously huge for New York. Smith has been one of the team's most important players all year.
Rest of Knicks Bench, A
Amar'e Stoudemire was absolutely brilliant in this one, clearly representing the best player on the floor for the Knicks. He finished with 22 points off 9-of-10 shooting, displaying an outstanding arsenal of moves in the post and doing a great job of crashing the offensive glass and scoring points by way of putbacks.
Pablo Prigioni also played very well in his 12-and-a-half minutes, scoring four points and handing out five assists while playing his usual scrappy defense. He passed up a couple of open looks, but that is par the course for Prigioni. The Argentinian just does not like to look for his own shot.
Oh, and how about Steve Novak grabbing six boards off the pine?
Great effort by the Knicks bench in this one.