|L. Scola 20 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-3 3FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | +10 +/-If you thought him struggling would make him gun shy, you were wrong. Checked Porzingis effectively, as the Latvian Leopard continued his recent struggles. Porzingis took him out but couldn’t hit the jumpers (until in the fourth, that is), letting Scola off the hook. Hey may be 87 years old, but the man’s ass can still clear people out, albeit very slowly.|
|J. Johnson 27 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-2 3FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +25 +/-|
He’s like that cool uncle that comes over every Thanksgiving with a new girl and nobody quite knows what he does, except that he’s always checking his phone which happens to be a Motorola flip from 2000. Checked ‘Melo well enough, scored on him and even talked some trash. His cutting was excellent and exemplified how effective he can be when he’s hitting his outside shot at an average rate, and moving without the ball.
|J. Valanciunas 25 MIN | 9-14 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +14 +/-Had a disastrous first quarter where he lost Lopez on box outs, threw balls out of bounds, and couldn’t finish easy layups. The 2nd/3rd quarters were a lot better and he was the beneficiary of a lot of Kyle Lowry assists, as the PG looked for his big man despite his early struggles. I thought the confidence Lowry and DeRozan showed in Valanciunas was huge. They know they need him for the playoffs.|
|K. Lowry 35 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-4 3FG | 6-6 FT | 11 REB | 11 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | +19 +/-|
Triple double and sublime all night long. He could’ve had 50 if he wanted to, as there was nobody (certainly not Jose) that could check him. Blow-bys, pull-up threes, pick ‘n rolls, cuts, he had it all. The Knicks announcers were practically drooling over Lowry all game long, and rightfully so. I think he may have put a defender on his hip 25 times in this game.
|D. DeRozan 32 MIN | 8-17 FG | 1-3 3FG | 5-7 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 22 PTS | +23 +/-Mostly on cruise control tonight and it helps that he doesn’t have to guard ‘Melo. Can focus on his offense which was efficient, and he was the beneficiary of a few errant passes from the Knicks which he converted nicely. Easy night for him.|
|P. Patterson 26 MIN | 2-2 FG | 1-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +14 +/-|
Simply didn’t want to shoot tonight and we didn’t need him to. Had plenty else going on.
|T. Ross 21 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-8 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | -1 +/-Johnson was preferred over him on account of ‘Melo, but did come in early in the fourth quarter to hit a couple threes to keep the Knicks at distance. The guy’s playing the part of an effective sub.|
|B. Biyombo 19 MIN | 4-4 FG | 0-0 3FG | 2-5 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +10 +/-Finished a couple And1s after being setup by Lowry. Got key offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter when the Knicks were making their mini-run. Good stuff.|
|D. Wright 3 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3 +/-He looks shaky, just in general. Two years away from being one year away.|
|C. Joseph 24 MIN | 5-9 FG | 2-3 3FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 13 PTS | +9 +/-The Knicks backcourt was so bad that he didn’t even have to play any defense, and sort of just hung around and watched Lowry do his thing. I’m pretty sure I caught him checking his phone during a timeout.|
|N. Powell 2 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +3 +/-Found time to jack up a couple shots. Word on the street is that he was a bit peeved at not being invited to the dunk contest.|
You don’t have to do much coaching when facing the Knicks. I love how he stuck with James Johnson against ‘Melo, and acknowledged that he would sacrifice some three-point shooting. Actually “pegged back” Lowry and DeRozan’s minutes to 35 and 32, respectively. Good work.
Three Things We Saw
- The Knicks cannot defend. Other than Brook Lopez’s man-defense on Valanciunas, I can’t point to a single thing they did well on D.
- The crowd was chanting ‘We want Jimmer’ midway through the third. This is a Knicks crowd that is hungry, angry, and sad. It’s the ultimate clusterfuck of emotions.
- Raptors shot 53% in this game and that seemed low. Won PITP 58-38 and just dominated the Knicks on every front. The only positive the Knicks had was Brook Lopez in the first quarter. That’s it.