Two things we know: The new New York Knicks like to run under the direction of coach Mike D'Antoni. Second, the Wizards, evident from past history, have epic trouble with guarding the three-point line.
So, this game blog (that I'm watching on DVR today as I went to the game last night) will concentrate on the 32 three point shots the Knicks took last night, and the 13 that they made.
BUT....before I get to that, some very quick observations:
Andray Blatche played fairly well (and under control) at the end of the 1st and into the 2nd....Had a couple nice passes, something we know he can do, some strong rebounds. I especially noticed him being communicative on defense and giving direction to Nick Young....not sure what happened to him in the 2nd half.
- Antonio Daniels was not happy about being taken out with about 5 minutes left in the 4th....his body language was clear as he flipped the ball away. I know he's got some pride, but when AD is sucking as much as he is, there isn't much of an excuse for all the negative body language.
Darius Songaila is the only Wizard who did not play.....good, because I don't know if I could have taken the sight of him trying to flap-jack up and down the court, arms flailing, struggling to keep up with everyone else.
Attempt #1: 11:45: Chris Duhon and Zach Randolph set a double screen off the ball for Jamal Crawford in the corner. Crawford doesn't even come tight off the screen, and cuts right to the 3-point line. DeShawn Stevenson leaves so much space that he is forced to go behind both screens (I don't know why you'd do that against a shooter). Crawford open, pass from Wilson Chandler, MAKE (1-1) 3-0 Knicks.
Attempt #2:11:00: Duhon makes a quick drive to the FT line against Antonio Daniels. Caron Butler steps in to help, but leaves too make space and can't recover to a shooter, Quentin Richardson, MAKE (2-2) 6-2 Knicks.
Attempt #3: 10:33: Duhon drives inside against Butler, Etan helps and the Wiz play good D to stop Duhon, so he makes a bailout pass to Z-Bo beyond the 3-point line, he fires and drains.....can't do much about that. MAKE (3-3) 9-2 Knicks.
Attempt #4: 7:26: The Knicks get the ball in the paint. Randolph is hanging out in the corner for some reason. He gets the ball and fires, and misses....Butler was in the area, but couldn't exactly get out there. Guess the big man has the green light, but the Wizards really can't be concerned with guarding Randolph way out there. Miss (3-4) 13-10 Knicks.
Attempt #5: 7:00: Knicks push after a Wizards make. For some reason, Etan is slow to get down the court, so Butler has to help on Randolph down low....this leaves a lot of space between Caron and Q-Rich.....luckily he misses an attempt three seconds into the shot clock. Miss (3-5) 13-12 Knicks.
Attempt #6: 5:05: Wiz press a little in the backcourt after a made Butler FT....Etan gets caught having to pick up Crawford in the half-court. Chandler makes a brief dribble drive, Crawford fades behind him gets the pass....Etan is in the lane, Butler is there to contest, but....MAKE (4-6) 20-17 Knicks - mismatches are what happens when you press.
Attempt #7: 4:31:Off ball screen by Lee for Crawford...but DeShawn fights through and recovers fairly well...Crawford gets ball from Duhon. Caron steps back off Duhon to help on a potential Crawford drive, but I don't think it was necessary. Ball back to Duhon, and.....MAKE (5-7) 23-17 Knicks.
Attempt #8: 1:59: Wilson Chandler gets a look, but Antawn is in the right position to contest. Miss (5-8) 29-23 Knicks.
Attempt #9: 11:11: Nate Robinson brings it up court, passes the ball, goes behind the recipient, receives the hand-off....Dominic McGuire leaves too much room and the little man elevates and drains. The Taser contested to no avail. MAKE (6-9) 34-30 Knicks. After the shot, Robinson did the "I Can't Feel My Face" move.....seems like every team is doing that against the Wiz these days...I know Richard Jefferson did it.
Attempt #10: 10:37: Mardy Collins drives baseline. Dominic McGuire turns his back on his man in the corner, Anthony Roberson.....McGuire also fails to play the passing lane....easy pass to Roberson. MAKE (7-10) 37-32 Knicks.
Attempt #11: 5:22: Nick Young gives slight help on a Chandler drive, but leaves himself in position to contest Crawford in the corner from three. Good effort by Young in this instance. Miss (7-11) 47-45 Knicks.
Attempt #12: 4:16: Bad assignment communication in transition....luckily Duhon misses a wide open three from the top of the arc. Miss (7-12) 49-47 Knicks.
Attempt #13: 3:35: Jamison helps on a Duhon drive down the middle, but turns his back on Wilson Chandler. AJ was there to contest Chandler.....no matter. MAKE (8-13) 55-51 Knicks.
Attempt #14: 1:31: Crawford fires from the corner, Jamison is there with a good contest. Miss (8-14) 56-56 Tie.
Attempt #15: 0:02: Dixon is guarding Crawford who stops on a dime and drains a trey in Juan's grill. MAKE (9-15) 64-58 Knicks at the half.
Note: Halftime stats show that the Knicks were 9-16 from deep....I must've missed one.
Attempt #17: 10:38: Crawford gets a look, but Stevenson is there to make a good contest....airball. Miss (9-17) 66-59 Knicks.
Attempt #18: 10:26: The Knicks have good spacing, the Wizards have bad spacing.....dribble penetration and they forgot about Quentin Richardson....wide open trey. MAKE (10-18) 69-59 Knicks.
Attempt #19: 8:29: Daniels misses. Stevenson goes for an offensive board. Crawford leaks out. Knicks run immediately off the Daniels miss. Butler and Daniels are back. Duhon passes across half-court to Richardson from the 1/4 court mark, ball doesn't touch the floor, Q-Rich hits Crawford unguarded in the corner. MAKE (11-19) 72-63 Knicks.
Attempt #20: 6:22: Crawfod dribbles left to right on Young. McGee is there to help....but Dixon also sinks too far and leaves Duhon wide-open. Miss (11-20) 76-67 Knicks.
Attempt #21: 5:52: Nick Young has a great contest against Nate Robinson in the corner....airball. Miss (11-21) 76-67 Knicks.
Attempt #22: 0:38: Roberson fires in transition, but Dixon is there with his man and a contest. Miss (11-22) 89-86 Knicks.
Attempt #23: 0:00: Robinson misses an open attempt from half-court at the buzzer. Miss (11-23) 89-88 Knicks after three.
Attempt #24: 9:41: Nick Young gets caught going behind a David Lee off ball screen...Robinson gets a good look, Young makes a decent recovery, Nate misses. Miss (11-24) 95-90 Knicks. Still, Nick needs to go over the screen in that situation.
Attempt #25: 7:45: In transition, Young lets Roberson sneak into the corner, but he misses. Miss (11-25) 99-95 Knicks.
Attempt #26: 7:15: Roberson is hanging in the corner again, this time in the half-court. The Wiz get confused in their zone, or are insistent that McGee protect the basket...so instead of Young going to pick up Roberson, Nick goes up towards Lee at the elbow. The ball changes sides and gets to Roberson...McGee, even with his length, can't get out there in time. MAKE (12-26) 102-97 Knicks.
Attempt #27: 6:41: Roberson in corner....again....Nick Young is kinda there to bother him with a chest tap as he shoots. Miss (12-27) 102-99 Knicks.
Attempt #28: 6:24: Coming down the court, Caron Butler isn't as aware as he could be, gets caught behind a David Lee screen....Duhon misses a wide-open shot (The Wiz are lucky Duhon can't really shoot). Miss (12-28) 102-99 Knicks.
Attempt #29: 5:45: Butler misses a tough layup, Knicks run, have 3 on 2 numbers....Nate Robinson misses a wide open three in the corner. Bullet, dodged. Miss (12-29) 102-99 Knicks.
Attempt #30: 5:11: Randolph sets a ball screen for Crawford. Nick Young goes over the screen and is able to contest the long three attempt. Airball Miss (12-30) 102-101 Knicks.
Attempt #31: 4:39: Then again, keep leave Duhon open and he'll make you pay. Dixon and McGee communicate that JaVale is assigned to Duhon in the corner. Young is assigned to Chandler who cuts in the lane near McGee. Young and McGee both get caught on Chandler and everyone has forgotten about Duhon who moved up from the corner to the wing and nailed a hugh three. MAKE (13-31) 105-103 Knicks.
Attempt #32: 1:45: Crawford pulls up in Nick Young's face off the dribble. Miss (13-32)
FINAL: Knicks 114 - Wizards 108
Uhh....at least the Wizards made the Knicks shoot worse from deep in the 2nd half....4-16. But overall, even Stephon Marbury should smile at the shooting of the Knicks for the game.
Unfortunately, the Orlando Magic are a top 5 NBA team in threes made per game....tonight may not be good for the Wiz.