Quantcast 2012 New York Knicks Basketball: Knicks vs Clippers

 

"Mob Deep" Leads the Way

Smith & Novak Keep Knicks Hot

 

-In what was nothing more than a playoff tune up for the Knicks, Mike Woodson kept his rotation fresh and allowed his deep bench to close out a Knick victory over the visiting Clippers. Despite a late 4th Quarter 14-1 run by the Clippers, Woodson allowed his bench to finish the game. J.R. Smith and Steve Novak did just that. With the Knicks up one point and under 1 minute left in the game, Smith hit a step back jumper to put the Knicks up 3 and then Novak created a turnover with a deflection to seal the deal. This Knicks bench continues to dominate opponents (outscored the Clippers bench 43-20) and provide balance to a dangerous and peaking Knicks team. On a night Woodson monitored the minutes of his big stars, his bench made sure the Garden crowd was treated to a win in their last regular season home game. There were many positives to take away from this game besides the bench play. Carmelo scored 17 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and dished out 3 assist in his 28 minutes. Amare Stoudemire (10 points and 7 rebounds in 29 minutes) continues to look healthy and is close to the form he showed right before his back issues. But the two most encouraging performances from this game may have come from Mike Bibby and Landry Fields.

 

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The Knicks need Bibby to keep the offense flowing when Baron Davis and the starting unit goes to the bench, so to see Bibby play 21 minutes with 5 assist and no turnovers was definitely a confidence booster. Landry Fields has struggled in the Knicks offense since last season's trade that brought Carmelo over and now has lost his starting job to rookie Iman Shumpert. Shumpert is better suited for starting unit because of his defensive presence on the perimeter and the fact that he doesn't require plays called for him to score. Fields looked very aggressive in his 22 minutes, chipping in 8 points and 3 rebounds as well as a highlight alley-oop. If Fields is able to regain the confidence in his game that he showed early on last season, the Knicks bench will be that much better. With the Knicks fairly healthy, (Jared Jefferies is questionable for the first round of the playoffs and Jeremy Lin will miss at least the first round if not the rest of the season) they will go into their playoff match-up with either Chicago or Miami with a ton of confidence. As I mentioned before, the NY Knicks will be a tough match-up for anyone they face. Mike Woodson has his star player playing at an elite level and he has a bench that will put a lot of pressure on opposing teams, comfortably playing a 9-man rotation without Jefferies and Lin. I hope the Knicks lock in as the 7th seed and face Miami, I think all basketball fans should hope for that. Melo vs. 'Bron, Stoudemire vs. Bosh, Shumpert vs. Wade.....all would be great match-ups. But I'll also be looking forward to JR Smith, Steve Novak and the rest of the bench, aka "MOB DEEP" to turn the Knicks into "48 minutes of hell" for any opponent they face!

 

 

 

By: Eric Sanchez
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer


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