Mamma always said there would be days like this. Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire combined to shoot 24 of 31 from the floor and a perfect 13 of 13 from the line, and N.Y. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni hopes this is the first of many when he said,”We’ll have nights that they’re unstoppable.” Melo and Amare caution that it won’t always be this easy.
“We’re not going to shoot like that, I don’t think. There’s not going to be a game where we only miss six or seven shots combined,” said Anthony, but for the Utah Jazz that seems to be what’s happening every game lately. Players, albeit not of the Superstar caliber of these 2, seem to consistently shoot considerably higher than their statistical average against the Jazz. Call it bad luck, or more likely I like to call it deplorable team defense.
The Jazz looked intimidated & shaken, and were competitive for exactly 2 minutes and 12 seconds in the game. Then the Knicks got up in their faces, went on a 23 to 8 run in the next 5 minutes of the first quarter, and had it not been for Al Jefferson 36 pts & 12 reb, and rookies, Derrick Favors 16 pts and 8 reb, his best game as a Jazzman, and Gordon Heyward 11 pts including 2 - 3′s, the Jazz may have lost by 40. For more solid Knicks coverage visit our friends over at Buckets Over Broadway
The Jazz held true to a frustrating season long form by falling behind early, turning the ball over and giving teams too many 2nd chance points on offensive rebounds. Then the 3′s started falling and when Melo and Amare started cooking the kitchen basically closed after the 1st quarter with the Knicks up by 16.
The Knicks put up 40 1st quarter points, and reached the century mark with 2 minutes left in the 2nd quarter in a 131 - 109 beatdown of the reeling Jazz. Utah has now lost 18 of their last 24 games to fall from 4th to 10th in the Western Conference playoff hunt, and are 2-8 under new Coach Ty Corbin.
Corbin clearly looks and sounds frustrated and his rotation combinations seem quite odd at times, for example, extending Raja Bell’s minutes when Gordon Hayward is clearly the more effective shooter & defender and needs the minutes, refusing to put CJ Miles and Andrei Kirilenko on the court together (although AK has a boo boo and may not be seen for awhile), and giving starting point guard Devin Harris less minutes in the 1st half than his backup, Earl Watson, even though Harris wasn’t in foul trouble. Huh?
“As individuals, as a group, as a franchise, that’s embarrassing the way we came out and played tonight,” said coach Corbin. “Even if you lose a game, you can lose with some dignity.” Jazz Nation that sums up exactly how I felt about that vomit in my mouth type of effort. What do you the readers think, is this the proverbial fork stuck in the Jazz indicating they are done? Wednesday at Toronto now becomes a must win, that game will go a long way towards determining if this team in transition can gel into a playoff contender.
One happy thought is Jazz fans dont have to see Amare and Melo 4 times each anymore, now that they are in the East.
Lee is back tomorrow to get you ready for the Toronto game Wednesday, which is a must win game. To read up on the competition and see what they’ve been up to lately, besides losing 2 in a row to the Nets in London and more than likely locking the Jazz in at the 6th pick in the upcoming draft in the process, check out our friends at Raptors Rapture
I’m off to go wash the awful taste of this debacle out of my mouth with a little Spartacus: Blood and Sand on Netflix thank you to whoever invented instant streaming on the PS3, you are truly giants among men.