From the desk of: DUTCH PANTS CAN'T JUMP
NEW YORK KNICKS: Tonight's Early Season Clash In Chicago Should Be The First Of Several Contentious Affairs Against The Bulls.
With Game One in the books, Carmelo Anthony is eighty-one games closer to exercising his right to test free agency. Good for him. I do not appreciate that kind of talk when there is a season to be played first. I additionally did not appreciate when Patrick Ewing did the same exact thing back in the mid-90's. On the one hand, a player would have to either be very comfortable in his situation, or be an idiot not to exercise his rights under collective bargaining. That's fine. The problem is, no fan wants to hear their player express that stuff out loud.
That's the way the Knicks 2013-2014 season starts for me - with crap like that.
On the court, the Knicks also already have something to worry about. Raymond Felton's hamstring paid him a return visit. He toughed out last night's game however, and clocked in 34 minutes against the Bucks. He scored eighteen points but only issued three assists. It was Pablo Prigioni who topped the Knicks with five assists. But if Felton is feeling tender already, that may spell trouble. He's the one I feel who will maintain order between Melo and J.R. Smith.
Carmelo Anthony pulled down a team high ten rebounds, and scored a game high nineteen points, to rescue the Knicks from what would have been an embarrassing loss, considering the Knicks led Milwaukee by twenty-five points at one point.
Is Iman Shumpert on the precipice of a break-out season? Many people think so. He was 5/13 from the field, and 5/5 from the line for sixteen points. I'd like for him to continue playing near thirty minutes a night.
Tyson Chandler was the fourth Knick player to score in double-digits, with ten points and five blocked shots in thirty-two minutes.
All five Knicks starters played over thirty minutes. No wonder though, as the game almost slipped away from them. The Knicks were up 56-31 at the half, but allowed Milwaukee to explode for 33 points in the third quarter. The Knicks barely won the battle of the boards by a 34-31 margin. They shot 50.7% from the floor, while the Bucks finished at 45.9% and took three more shots from the field. But the Knicks edged out Milwaukee at the stripe, making 15/17 shots for 88.2%, versus 83.3% for the Bucks.
Andrea Bargnani struggled in his season debut, scoring six points in seventeen minutes off the bench. He was 0/3 from beyond the 3-point line, and committed three turnovers.
Is tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls a foreshadowing of a possible encounter next Spring? Why not enjoy it that way, considering both teams have their full compliment of players, minus Amare Stoudemire that is, who did not play in last night's opener. I'll be curious to see him if he plays tonight, how he meshes, and how many minutes Coach Woodson allots him.
Derrick Rose is also attempting to come back from ruinous injuries. He complained of a sore neck after the Bulls opening game against the Miami Heat, but he will reportedly suit up and play this evening. He missed the entire 2012-2013 regular season and playoffs. It looks like the Bulls, Heat, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets and Knicks will all be battling this season for the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference. Should be fun.
For now, the time has finally come for Derrick Rose to reintroduce himself to the New York Knicks. If Rose's neck is stiff, then the Knicks are playing off a quick turn-around from last night at the Garden.
It's all good.