Observations: Knicks @ Pelicans

Published: December 9, 2014

The Pelicans beat a bad team tonight, and normally I’d not have a ton of comments to make in that situation because you can’t take a win over a terrible defense that seriously.  Tonight, however, I saw a bunch of interesting things during the game.  Let’s get rolling.

  • Gorgeous play with 2:20 to go in the first quarter.  Davis sets a pick on the right wing for Jrue.  As Jrue takes the pick, Anderson comes up and sets a second pick for Anthony Davis.  This sets up a situation where two Knicks are concentrating on turning back Jrue, leaving Jason Smith having to decide who he covers – Anthony Davis or Ryan Anderson, who flares to the wing away from Davis.  Smith bites on the movement and follows Anderson.  Jrue also flares right, drawing the two guys on him, Davis flashes to rim down an open lane.  Dunk.
  • Amare Stoudemire had his full post game on display tonight and had it going.  As he’s lost his athleticism, he has become a surprisingly effective post player.  He’s finished 70% of his shots in the post this season, which is a tremendous number.  The Pelicans committed to stopping Anthony – and that left little to double Stoudemire and he did well over a good defender in Asik.
  • Stoudemire’s roll (and Anderson’s cold shooting) led to Monty going with Asik during crunch time.  He also inserted Dante Cunningham to provide energetic defense on Anthony.  Since the Knicks were rolling with JR Smith as the small foward, that left Davis on him.  Davis was definitely up for it, though it was a bit nerve-wracking.
  • In fact, the best part about Anthony Davis guarding JR was the Knicks immediately started feeding JR Smith to let him attack, going away from Stoudemire, who had been on fire.  After Smith was shut down four times, they then tried to do their normal thing and feed Carmelo for crunch time shots.  The Pels immediately doubled him every time it happened and he couldn’t get going.  By the time the Knicks went back to Amare (who immediately scored) the game was essentially out of reach.  Ego-ball!
  • Gal Mekel started by doing a good job getting penetration past the first line of defense and finding open Pelicans.  Later, the Knicks started staying home and Mekel was forced to shoot.  At least, I think it was shooting.  They were so off, I’m not positive.  Maybe he thought Tyreke could put down alley-oops?
  • Babbitt did what Babbitts do.  That’s all you can ask of him.
  • I’m 100% into the Dante Cunningham experience right now.  He’s probably already the teams 3rd best defender, and the team needed a shot of that.
  • I should mention that Evans had a good game, scoring 27 points on 15 shots and hitting a slew of layups.  It’s just really hard to get excited that he could hit layups against a team that was waiting for him to hurry up and finish so they could shoot too, damnit.

Next game is tomorrow night in Dallas!  Dallas also played tonight, losing to Memphis, so at least both teams should be equally used up.


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