New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Clippers: Postgame Grades and Analysis
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers (11-5) never really pulled away, but they were also never really threatened by the New York Knicks (3-11) in a 93-80 win Wednesday night.

The Knicks are obviously facing a load of questions right now. This loss is the team's seventh in a row, and the idea of Mike Woodson's coaching seat being hot has to be taking hold.

On the other side, the Clippers have now won three straight and find themselves in a tie with the Houston Rockets for fourth place in the Western Conference.

They have to be feeling better than they did a week ago, but title contention might still be a long shot. 

 

Key Player Grades

Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, Point Guard

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

It says a lot about Chris Paul that 15 points and seven assists represents a quiet night. That's how productive CP3 is.

He certainly would have added to those totals had he played the entire game. Paul left Wednesday night's contest in the third quarter with an injury:

When he was in the game, Paul was his typically efficient self (inside the three-point line). He got his 15 points on just nine shot attempts and had five rebounds as well.

He was well on his way to another 20 and 10 game had he not been hurt. 

Grade: A

 

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, Power Forward

Blake Griffin was solid, but not overwhelming against the Knicks. It's starting to feel like that could be an accurate way to describe him as a player. The "wow factor" that accompanied his first couple of seasons seems to have worn off a bit.

Even still, he's easily the second-most important player on the Clippers, and the team's success is generally attached to his success.

On Wednesday night, he scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Grade: B+

 

J.J. Redick, Los Angeles Clippers, Shooting Guard

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Redick is looking more and more like the perfect third scorer for the Clippers. His three-point shooting keeps defenders honest on the perimeter and opens things up for Paul and Griffin, who like to attack the rim.

He was a steady hand for the Clippers after Paul went down Wednesday night, and his timely shooting kept the Knicks at bay.

Redick finished with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-7 from three-point range.

Grade: B

 

DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers, Center

After a blistering hot start to the season, DeAndre Jordan seems to finally be cooling off a bit, at least as a scorer. He's still dominating on the glass, as evidenced by the 13 rebounds he pulled down against the Knicks.

Where he can stand to improve is as an overall defensive presence. Sure, he gets some highlight swats now and then (he had one block Wednesday night), but he can be more consistent in that regard.

In addition to the boards, Jordan had nine points on 3-of-6 shooting.

Grade: B

 

Jared Dudley, Los Angeles Clippers, Small Forward

Jared Dudley provides about one thing for the Clippers: shooting. And Wednesday night, the shot was off. He went 2-of-8 from the field for five points.

He was still on the floor for 35 minutes because he's a smart team defender and doesn't make many big mistakes.

Grade: D+

 

Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers, Shooting Guard

Jamal Crawford had a tough time shooting (3-of-10 from the field), but he still put up more points (13) than field-goal attempts. Credit his ability to get to the line, where he went 6-of-6.

Grade: B

 

Bench, Los Angeles Clippers

The bench players not named Jamal Crawford went 8-of-16 from the field and collectively played pretty well.

Darren Collison was particularly impressive filling in for the injured CP3. In 22 minutes, Collison scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting and dished two assists. 

Grade: B+

 

Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, Small Forward/Power Forward

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony is like the captain going down with his ship. It's pretty sad to watch.

In every Knicks game I cover, Anthony plays as hard as anyone on the floor. Unfortunately for the star scorer and his team, it's been to no avail.

Wednesday night, he scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The only real negative was his field-goal percentage, as he went 9-of-23 shooting.

Grade: A-

 

Andrea Bargnani, New York Knicks, Power Forward/Center

Andrea Bargnani has been a much better pickup than most people thought he'd be. Besides Melo, you could argue he's one of the only bright spots on the team.

Against the Clippers on Wednesday, Bargnani posted 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The problem (as it has been all season) was defense. The Knicks struggled mightily on that end when Bargnani, Anthony and Amare Stoudemire were all on the floor together.

Grade: C+

 

Raymond Felton, New York Knicks, Point Guard

Raymond Felton was very solid in his return to the starting lineup Wednesday night, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting and dishing out seven assists.

But again, there's this little thing called defense and Clippers point guards played very well in this one. Felton obviously doesn't deserve all the blame for that, and not many people can slow down CP3. But for backup Darren Collison to be able to have his way is less than ideal.

Grade: B-

 

Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks, Shooting Guard/Small Forward

What in the world has happened to Iman Shumpert? Bad coaching? The trade rumors? The loss of his once pristine flat-top?

Whatever the reason, Shumpert is really struggling to do anything positive right now. Wednesday night, he played 25 minutes and scored two points on 1-of-5 shooting.

He had no positive impact defensively either.

Grade: F

 

Kenyon Martin, New York Knicks, Power Forward/Center

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the reasons people are right to question Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

Kenyon Martin played 23 minutes and had a plus/minus of plus-17. Stoudemire played 20 minutes and had a plus/minus of minus-29. And he didn't need the numbers to see that story unfolding. The difference in play between the two big men jumped off the screen.

Martin is playing very effective basketball and needs more minutes if the Knicks want to win any games.

Against the Clippers, he was 3-of-3 from the field, scored six points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists.

Grade: A

 

J.R. Smith, New York Knicks, Shooting Guard

That seems like a pretty fair question to me. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year has gotten off to a terrible start in 2013-14, and Wednesday night was no exception.

He went 3-of-9 from the field for seven points and one of those makes was a desperation heave from 26 feet that reeked of luck.

Right now, it seems like years of bad shot selection is all catching up to Smith in a horrible way.

Grade: D

 

Bench, New York Knicks

As bad as Smith was, he's still the bright spot from the Knicks bench for Wednesday night's game. The rest of the reserves went 3-of-16 from the field for six points.

I already mentioned Amar'e, who went 2-of-5, but his performance is worth looking at again. It's sad, but at this point in his career, he's worth little more than a stationary cone in a dribbling drill:

The other big name off the bench is Metta World Peace. He had an eventful 10 minutes of action, missing all six of his shots (four threes), and committing two fouls and a turnover.

Grade: F

 

What's Next?

Clippers

The Clippers will travel to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Friday at 10 p.m. ET.

Hopefully, they'll have Chris Paul back. If they don't, LA should still be huge favorites over the 4-9 Kings, even on the road.

 

Knicks

Things aren't about to get any easier for the reeling Knicks. Up next, they travel to perhaps the least friendly confines in the league for a visiting team.

New York will take on the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

The Nuggets are on a four-game winning streak and getting back to the up-and-down style that made them successful last season.

They're sixth in the league in points per game at 104.1 and could blow that number out of the water against New York's paper-thin D.

 

For 140-character pearls of wisdom from Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey, follow him on Twitter: @AndrewDBailey.

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