New York Knicks 99 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Toronto Raptors
Landry Fields, SF 39 MIN | 4-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -6

In an effort to counter Carmelo Anthony defensively, Landry has gotten the start against his former team in all 3 match-ups this season. Carmelo scored 37 points as the Knicks beat the Raptors, so that part didn’t go so well. While ‘Melo may have solved his defence, Fields was effective in limited use offensively. It would be criminal though not to celebrate Fields doubling his 3pt fg% on the season tonight, exploding from 7% all the way up to 14%! That’s right folks, Landry is now 2 for 14 on the season. He’s heating up…

Rudy Gay, SF 14 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -15

Rudy Gay started this game in typical Rudy Gay fashion: shooting every ball he touched. It’s as clear on TV as it is to opposing defences that Rudy wants to make a quick move and then take his shot whenever he gets the balll. The fact that it’s a lot easier to cover a guy who you’re not afraid of passing probably has as much to do with Gay’s career worst fg% as anything else. Gay tweaked his ailing back and left this game early in the first half. Having already missed a handful of recent games with back spasms lately, this injury is starting to become something of a concern moving forward.

Jonas Valanciunas, C 31 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -5

Dwane Casey gave the lion’s share of minutes to Jonas tonight, as the Raptors are now in full development mode. It was a solid game for Valanciunas, who is looking better and better on the offensive end of the floor. The Raptors made an effort to give Valanciunas multiple low post isolations to work his improving hook shot. One block from ‘old man Camby aside, the shot was falling. Jonas also went H.A.M. on ‘Melo for a furious dunk in the 3rd quarter that was a lot of fun. His defensive rotations were not a strong point for Jonas, but the foot work and comfort on that side of the floor will come in time.

Kyle Lowry, PG 35 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 10 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +3

I still don’t know how to feel about Kyle Lowry. There was a play early in the game where Prigioni hit a desperation shot over Lowry as the shot clock expired. Lowry then allowed Prigioni to steal the ball from him off of the inbounds pass, which is frustrating, but not an indictable offence in and of itself. But instead of trying to recover the ball or even cover Prigioni, Lowry just stood by the basket pouting while Prigioni dribbled freely and found a wide open Carmelo for 3. Lowry’s offence in the 3rd quarter was inspiring, but it’s too often that these are the plays from him that I’m left remembering.

DeMar DeRozan, SG 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -3

DeMar played a solid DeMar DeRozan game. When he slashed to the basket, he was effective; getting to the line and scoring against a Knicks team that didn’t have Tyson Chandler to guard the rim. He continues to draw fouls and hit his free throws too. However, DeMar was less effective when he tried on several possessions to force his left-side baseline fadeaway. I’m sure that he wants that fadeaway to go in, it’s just that that fadeaway isn’t even particularly interested in hitting rim.

Amir Johnson, PF 17 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | 0

Amir Johnson saw very limited minutes tonight as the Raps played small ball to match ‘Melo, and are focusing on developing Valanciunas. Amir Johnson still made his value clear, as his 4 pts and 6 reb in 17 minutes had him on path for the reliable Amir Johnson double-double.

John Lucas, PG 13 MIN | 0-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -8

John Lucas got all of the minutes at back-up point guard tonight, and he really seized the opportunity with 0 assists and 0 for 5 shooting in 13 forgettable minutes. Sebastian Telfair may not be the long term answer at back-up point, but he does show a contrast in style from Lucas with his comfort in handling the ball in a half court set. Lucas is much more of a spot up shooter, which he has done very well for most of the season. Tonight though, not so much.

Alan Anderson, SG 36 MIN | 11-18 FG | 7-8 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 35 PTS | +5

There are two Alan Andersons. There is the chucker who goes 1 for 7 from the floor, with all of those shots coming 5 seconds in to the shot clock, gets caught watching on defence and gets reasonably benched after 13 minutes. Then there is the Alan Anderson who explodes for 20 points in a quarter, reigns down fire from three and puts the team on his back. It’s a lot of fun when we get that second guy.

Terrence Ross, SG 19 MIN | 2-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +2

That spot-up 3 that Terrance Ross loves from the top right side of the arc looks so pretty, I always feel surprised when it doesn’t go in. Ross was 0 for 5 from deep tonight. It might not feel like his numbers back up the sharp-shooting buzz he had coming out of the draft, but keep in mind that his 33% on the season is still better than the 29% Kevin Durant shot as a rookie. And things have worked out pretty well for that guy so far.

Dwane Casey

It’s good to see Casey not just playing his rookies, but making sure they both get their share of shots too. I’m still longing for Casey to run something like a functional, set offence that doesn’t rely on a DeRozan, Anderson or Gay isolation though. This team uses their point guards on offence as a guy who carries the ball to half, passes it to a wing, and then waits for a spot up 3 if need be. Not a lot of creativity there.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Landry Fields must look forward to playing his old Knicks team, knowing that it’s one start he can count on. On the downside, he has to cover Carmelo Anthony all game. After Fields shut him down in the first match, ‘Melo has more than figured out how to get his against Landry, with 32 in the last game and 37 tonight.
  2. Can you believe that ‘Old Man Marcus Camby is still in the league? The Raptors drafted him when I was 10 years old. Marcus Camby in a cartoon dinosaur uniform feels like an awful, awful long time ago.
  3. Alan Anderson set a career high in points tonight with 35, including 20 points in the 3rd quarter. Anderson hasn’t always been reliable, but the highlight tape of his 4 or 5 best games this season should be more than enough to get him a contract playing somewhere next season. These Alan Anderson explosion games are a ton of fun.
  4. There is nobody in the league who sets more enthusiastic screens and then rolls to the basket hoping as hard as he can that he’ll get the ball as Jonas Valanciunas. None of the driving wings will ever give him that roll pass though. You can see how bad he wants it though, and the sad look on his face when Gay or Lowry jump towards the basket. It’s the NBA’s version of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.
  5. The Knicks may have clinched this game by getting buckets every time they needed them down the stretch in the 4th. But they made the lead that they never lost with defence in the first half. The Knicks can get some credit for that, but Toronto’s lack of creativity and, ultimately, their lack of focus on offence is what continued to be the problem tonight.

  • Fever

    Fields did a fine job on Melo. Sure he scored 37, but he used half his teams possessions to do so.

    • Roarque

      But because he didn’t score, LF gets a mediocre grade for the game. Glue guys never get the limelight. C’est la vie!

  • nilanka

    i blame bargs.

    • Amigo

      and Calderone. Imagine this team with a good SG like Gary Forbes.Rudy Rudy Rudy !

  • FAQ

    Can we really call it “deevelopment” if the team un-jells so badly… like where is the teamwork, the playmaking??!!!

    • higdale

      Raptors don’t have a lot of playmakers but have a lot of shot takers. Gay leads the team in scoring and in amount of time he has the ball in his hands but also leads the team in turnovers at just over 3 a game.. He had 31 in February and has 34 so far this month but only has 10 steals so far this month after 29 in February as the raptors went 7-5 that month in games Gay played. So far this month they are 2-6 with games he’s played in. With all the shooters they have there’s not much room for playmaking to make other players around you better. I’ve seen a raptor player cut to the basket and be so wide open that the defense was embarrassed but was relieved when another raptor never made the pass or looked in that direction with the ball in their hands. The players who have the ball in their hands the most are not the best decision makers so your not going to have a lot of playmaking or teamwork.

      • Adriiian

        Where are thou, JOSE?

        • Guy

          He’s leading Detroit on it’s current 10 game losing streak.

  • higdale

    I think Andrew Thompson thinks fields is a joke

  • Ron R

    ” It’s the NBA’s version of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. ”
    Lol. Perfect.

  • Adriiian

    The bright spot of this team, JV.
    I’m being a cynical asshole right now, but are back spasm shown on an x-ray? I think not.

    Oohhh fuck. I think I’m getting some back spasms sitting on my ass.
    F&^& GAY. Fuck Colagelo for making that stupid trade. I said it 3 games in. Watch us not make the playoffs next year, will that make this moron lose this job? 7 years here and we’ve gotten considerably worse with better players. That’s saying something. FUCK BC. And I think its safe to say he made the RGay trade to save his own hide, and bring a “star” to Toronto.
    I don’t care if you’ve got the talent to land on the moon, RUDY. 20 on 40% just isn’t cutting around here. It cut it in Memphis with Zbo and MGasol, but not here. Wake up man.
    A leopard doesn’t change his spots.

    EDIT: Saw that MEME of Colangelo on the forum. “Check my stats, I mean, check my dad.” Nepotism at its finest.

  • JHP

    Not sure where this team goes from here. Since it’s such a mess I would go with

    a. not renewing BC and letting someone be an interim GM for a year – with no draft picks, no players available to trade and over the salary limit what damage can they do ?

    b. since the new GM usually means a new coach start the search now – winning less than 40 percent is never good.

    c. instead of trying to trade your way to being a .500 team just wait till next year – expiring contracts are always easier to trade

    d. new criteria for hiring – must be able to play basketball from October to April. Pet peeve is they always seem to hire players that are hurt during the season. Casey can make a point he never had a healthy roster to work with. To me it’s a cultural thing. Lousy team, oh I’ll just jam a back, twist a knee and take a month off. They track games lost to injury and over the last 5 years I believe that stat has gone up every year. I read somewhere that a team is mandated to carry insurance on their top 5 players (salary wise), so with AB out for more then half a season they will be receiving a rather large cheque from the insurance company.

  • Jonathan Lealand

    ‘It’s the NBA’s version of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.’


  • Ds

    Don’t know who to blame for such a predictable offence: the players, the coach of the GM who put it all together. It’s truly unwatchable. Kyle Lowry has to say f*ck it and take back the ball from DeRozan, Gay and Anderson, and start distributing.

    But, unfortunately, the past 2 games were lost on the defensive end: 118 and 116 ORTG are unacceptable, but I put it all on the coach. He can’t motivate them anymore. The only player with a pulse left is Amir Johnson.

    Don’t look now, but we are about to go up from 11th spot in the draft to 3rd. Might get that pick back.

    • mountio

      Agree 100% .. this offense is painful to watch Jonas had such an obvious mismatch (kenyon martin!) and we fed him like 3 or 4 times and he got a VERY easy layup. Is there any rationale reason why we didnt go to this matchup more? In favour of chucking from the 3 point line or a one on one iso?
      AA was awesome tonight .. Ill give him that. There have been 2 or 3 games like this this year (OKC was another) where the team was awful on O and AA stepped up. It doesnt excuse his regular chucking .. but the man does have balls and every once in a while when hes on .. he can hit some SHAWTs.
      We must be the worst team in the league a) on inbounds plays (i think we turned it over 4 or 5 times tonight!) and after timeouts (multiple turnovers / terrible possessions when we should be drawing up a good play). Those are two very bad signs for your coaching capabilities.

  • 511

    For the years that he’s been here, I’ve given him the benefit of the doubt, even when the doubt was scraping at me, hard. But as of these last couple of months (since a couple weeks after the Rudy trade), no more benefit and no doubt about it. Colangelo IS in over his head. And it hurts me to say but … Casey, too. He’s also in over his head.

    We had a little something going back there, earlier in the season (with Ed in the frontcourt after him finally getting a chance) … but mister no-time-for-the-team-to-develop-because-*I’M*-almost-outta-contract-time-Colangelo couldn’t take a breath and let it grow, couldn’t let it mature in its own time … at least until sensible opportunities to make the team better arose. He had to put on his big-time-gambler hat and swing for the fence on another – yet another – trade that in retrospect was obviously not thought out to what its likely conclusion would be. Because HIS timetable couldn’t allow him to see past his next contract meeting.

    Just how many times have we seen contracts handed out unnecessarily, draft picks gone for less than we all hoped and trades that hurt at least somewhat more than they helped? More than not, I’d say. And now, what’ve we got? Little in the way of draft picks to look forward to and little-to-no cap space to play with. This is no way for an NBA team to operate. No way, at all.

  • RaptorReuben

    lol Please don’t put Ross’ name anywhere near Durant’s. I know what you’re saying, but LOOOL

  • NyAlesund

    Colangelo = mess, no development, no po, no success………………