New York Knicks vs. Charlotte Bobcats: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYK
With the Knicks already having the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference wrapped up, Mike Woodson gave Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith the night off and allowed Tyson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby to continue recuperating from their injuries.
Only seven New York players took the floor in this one, and Chris Copeland took advantage of the opportunity and led all scorers with 32 points.
Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 27, and Kemba Walker put in 23 and a career-high 13 assists. Charlotte shot 58 percent from the floor as a team.
The Knicks will finish the season at home against the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
Point Guard: Pablo Prigioni, B-
With Felton resting, Pablo Prigioni saw heavy burn in this one, logging 42 minutes of playing time.
During all of that time on the floor, Prigioni scored nine points and dished out eight assists. Not normally one to take too many shots, Prigioni actually fired up five three-pointers against the Bobcats, converting on only one of them.
The Argentinian went 3-of-9 from the floor overall and never looked the slightest bit gassed out there despite his age and the fact that he hadn't really played this much in any one particular game all year.
Pablo had some trouble dealing with Walker's quickness, but that is not really a surprise.
Prigioni's tenacity on the defensive end will be pretty important for the Knicks during the postseason.
Shooting Guard: Iman Shumpert, C-
This wasn't exactly a great night for Iman Shumpert.
The second-year swingman shot only 5-of-16 from the floor, missing some very makeable shots. He also hit on only one of his six three-point attempts and spent a good portion of the first half being berated by Mike Woodson. Not that that is much of a shock, though, as Shumpert has been Woodson's whipping boy for quite some time now.
Shumpert finished with 14 points and five assists in 42 minutes of action.
There was one instance in particular that was rather bothersome, and it was when Shumpert had a clean look at a layup but he instead kicked the ball out into the corner.
Not much stock should be put into this performance overall, however, as Iman will never have this large of a role offensively when the Knicks are actually playing their normal lineups.
Small Forward: James White, A
James White put together one heck of an effort on Monday night.
The high-flier filled up the stat sheet, recording 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists and came up with a block and a steal, as well.
White, who is not known for his offense, actually looked very comfortable out there, especially during one possession when he displayed some nice ball-handling on the baseline and proceeded to can a turnaround jumper. He also did a great job stepping through the defense for a slam on one play in the first half.
White probably won't get many minutes in the playoffs, but this was definitely his best outing as a Knick.
Power Forward: Steve Novak, A
You know it's a meaningless game when Steve Novak is starting at power forward.
The three-point specialist had a very nice outing, hitting on five of his seven three-point attempts and going 6-of-9 overall. Novak scored 17 points and, in the spirit of embracing a frontcourt role, actually grabbed seven rebounds.
A hot Novak will be crucial for New York in the postseason, as his outside shooting has been a huge part of what the Knicks have been able to do this year.
During the 2012 playoffs, Novak was invisible. He can ill afford another no-show this time around.
Center: Chris Copeland, A
Awesome, awesome game for Copeland.
The 28-year-old rookie scored 32 points off 12-of-25 shooting, hitting on half of his eight long distance tries and grabbing seven rebounds to boot.
Copeland's offensive repertoire is rather impressive. He has plenty of range on his jumper, and he also knows exactly when to put the ball on the floor and drive the lane. He does have a tendency to force things and take some wild shots inside, but that should be corrected with experience.
Copeland has undoubtedly carved out a spot in the playoff rotation. When the Knicks are in need of some instant offense, expect to see him thrown out into the fray.
How it took Cope this long to catch on with an NBA team is beyond me. The kid has skills, and I would imagine that he is going to get paid a decent sum of money by somebody in the not-too-distant future.
Sixth Man: Jason Kidd, C
Jason Kidd had a bit of a rough go of it against the Bobcats.
The veteran point guard took eight shots—seven of them three-pointers—and only hit two of them, both coming from long range. He did hit a nice running trifecta at the end of the third quarter.
Kidd had a few open looks from downtown, but he wasn't able to capitalize on most of them.
The future Hall of Famer did hand out six assists in 21 minutes, however.
The Knicks will certainly need Kidd's leadership and savvy come playoff time.
Rest of Knicks Bench, Incomplete
This slide may as well be labeled "Rasheed Wallace," as he was the only other bench player outside of Jason Kidd who played tonight.
Wallace, taking the floor for the first time since December, played four minutes, and during those four minutes, he shot 1-of-3 from the floor and re-aggravated the left foot which he had surgically repaired. It seems fairly safe to say that he is done.
Obviously, given the circumstances, the Knicks' pine earns an incomplete.