It was clear in his pregame interview tonight, Mike D'Antoni was subdued. It could have been his normal, West Virginian nature, or it could have been an end of the season exhaustion. I tend to believe the latter. I also tend to believe that the New York Knicks basketball team is tired, and sick of being an Eastern Conference door mat. The evidence? Friday night's game against the Suns.
For four quarters the Knicks played uninspired, sloppy basketball. The Suns countered with an efficient attack and solid defense. The result was pretty predictable. When a Mike D'Antoni team doesn't make shots, they're going to lose. We know they can't win a game with defense.
The Suns played their game tonight, anchored by Robin Lopez and Jason Richardson, and a bench who received plenty of court time. The Suns made shots and were easily able to dominate inside over a much smaller Knicks squad.
So what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Did the Suns D stymie the Knicks, or are the Knicks just that awful? I tend to believe a little of both. But let's be honest, the Knicks were mostly awful managing 19 points in the second quarter off of 30% shooting and were outscored by ten in the third after shooting 28% and scoring 22 points.
Gentry called off the dogs late in the third quarter as the Suns lead swelled to 30. A lineup of Barbosa, Dudley, Amundson, Dragic, and Frye held the Knicks at bay in the 4th until the like of Earl Clark and Jarron Collins took the floor.
- The Suns magic number is now 2.
- The Suns now trail the Jazz by .5 a game for the 4th seed in the West as Utah was defeated on the road in Indiana.
- The Suns have won 6 straight games, which is the longest winning streak in the NBA. PHX is currently 9-2 in March.
- The Suns are now 20 games above .500, which is the highest since the end of the 2007-8 season
- Los Suns han ganado 46 juegos esta temporada, que iguala el cantidad total de victorias de última temporada
- The Suns are 20-5 since January 28, second in the NBA (Cavaliers) in that time span.
- With 4 minutes left, the crowd filing out, and the Suns up by nearly 30, Mike D'Antoni still had All-Star David Lee, former All-Star Tracy McGrady, and Danilo Gallinari in the game. HMMM.
- Leandro Barbosa looked solid in mostly garbage time. Garbage time or not, his shot looked smooth.
"I thought we played well throughout, from the start to the finsih. The only thing that was disappointing was giving up three early and ones where I thought we made some touch fouls. Other than that I thought we played great. Shot the ball well, did a good job of moving it, managing our turnovers and rather than try to match their small size, we decided we'd handle the ball on the inside."
"We knew we had to come out and play. They got us up in New York, we were better prepared tonight and we executed our plan..."
"Was a huge win for us especially having to go on the road tomorrow...We're not worried about anyone giving us any help. We've gotta just take care of business, things will fall our way...We definitely take every game we play as important no matter who play."
"We'll bounce back. They understand that they messed up. But we played the Suns, these guys are playing as well as anybody in the league. They are about to go on a road trip so they didn't want this one to get away. They are a good team who is playing well. But I'm not worried about us. They are good guys and they'll bounce back."
- Amare- 18 and 9
- Robin-14 and 7
- J-Rich 17 and 7
- Nashty- 9 points, 9 assists
- The bench scored 66 points (albeit in extended time), including:
- 10 assists from Dragon, 11 rebounds from Channing Frye, 3 3-pointers by JD, 11 points from Lou, 18 from LB.