New York Knicks vs. Utah Jazz: Postgame Grades and Anaylsis for NYC

Michael PinaFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2013

New York Knicks vs. Utah Jazz: Postgame Grades and Anaylsis for NYC

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    Led by 26 seriously inspiring minutes of play out of Kurt Thomas (you read that correctly), the New York Knicks cut through the Utah Jazz with an unlikely road win, 90-83. 

    New York didn't have Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler or Amar'e Stoudemire, but the likes of Ray Felton, J.R. Smith and the aforementioned Thomas made a collective decision that losing wasn't an option. 

    They held Utah to just 38.2 percent shooting from the floor and forced 17 turnovers. That certainly didn't hurt their cause. 

Point Guard: Raymond Felton

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    Raymond Felton

    With Pablo Prigioni on the ball for lengthy stretches when these two shared the floor, Felton was used off the ball quite a bit, running secondary-side pick-and-rolls to get a few open jump shots. 

    In the fourth quarter, he was unstoppable at times as the primary point guard, setting up Kurt Thomas on a pretty pick-and-roll pass and hitting a variety of shots. 

    Felton finished 42 minutes of action with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. 

    Grade: A-

Shooting Guard: Pablo Prigioni

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    Pablo Prigioni

    He connected with a rolling Chris Copeland on a beautiful pocket pass that's certainly worth mentioning to give the Knicks a four-point lead early in the second half. It was an absolute beauty. 

    Apart from that, Prigioni played 20 minutes of quiet basketball, attempting only three shots and making one of them. He finished with three points and three assists after being thrust into the starting lineup. 

    Grade: C-

Small Forward: Iman Shumpert

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    Iman Shumpert

    Shumpert was a certifiable threat from the corner in the second quarter, knocking down two straight threes to help keep an undermanned Knicks squad fighting on the road. He was also useful attacking off the dribble whenever New York swung the ball around to him waiting on the wing. 

    Shumpert finished the game with eight points and two rebounds in just 17 minutes of play. 

    Grade: B-

Power Forward: Chris Copeland

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    Chris Copeland

    Copeland led New York in scoring at halftime, as he put his size mismatch on display with a ruthless inside-out game to the tune of 11 points.

    He continued his aggressive play in the third quarter, going hard baseline in the opening minutes to earn a trip to the free-throw line and drawing an and-1 layup after the Prigioni pocket pass. 

    Copeland finished with an inefficient 14 points on 15 shots but stepped up big in the scoring department when his team needed it. 

    Grade: B+

Center: Kenyon Martin

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    Kenyon Martin

    Kenyon Martin was an absolute force on the offensive glass early on, tipping in missed shots and grabbing rebounds like it was 2003. He swatted a Mo Williams layup attempt out of bounds with incredible vigor in a tie game late in the third quarter.

    He was a pain for Utah's big guys every time one of their teammates put up a shot. He had nine points and nine rebounds for the game and seriously looked like the Kenyon Martin of old.

    Grade: A-

Sixth Man: J.R. Smith

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    J.R. Smith

    After opening the game with a poor-shooting half, J.R. Smith had mini-eruptions in the third quarter, attacking in transition every opportunity he got.

    He did a great job getting to the free-throw line and made an incredible nine out of 10 attempts. Smith continues to take advantage of the offensive opportunities that are presenting themselves with Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire out of the lineup. 

    Four turnovers prevent this from being an A-. 

    Grade: B+

Bench

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    Bench

    After reports surfaced during the day that Kurt Thomas might be out the rest of the year with a broken foot (per Frank Isola of the New York Daily News), the league's oldest player surprised everyone by playing 12 first-half minutes. And they weren't bad minutes.

    In the second half, he was absolutely phenomenal on both ends, knocking down a free-throw jumper, setting roadblock screens and making Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter extremely uncomfortable whenever they had the ball. 

    Jason Kidd knocked down a big three-pointer and chipped in with five assists.  

    Grade: A