Knicks Need a Standing 'O' for Their Outstanding 'D'
I have to say that I've watched just about every minute of basketball the Knicks have played this season, and last night I was, as the kids say, LOL'ing. Man it was hoot -- for my old-timers out there! To see the Knicks moving the ball, at times have all five players on the court touching the ball was a shock. Larry Hughes had 11 points, 12 assists and four steals. David Lee dropped 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, eight rebounds and four steals. And the big star of the night, Danilo Gallinari, had a game-high 27 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and six three-pointers. The first place Suns were just awful, as the Knicks dismantled them 126-99.
The Knicks should be lauded for the defense last night. For the first time this season, the Suns failed to score 99 points. And that was more of a testament to the Knicks defense than anything. The Suns had 18 assists to 17 turnovers, while the Knicks dished 31 dimes and turned the ball over just 10 times. If you want me to knock a Knick, I can easily do that. Nate Robinson was held scoreless last night in 10 minutes. He looked like he was in a pick-up game with his no-look passes, and to make matters worse, he was outscored by Marcus Landry. Nate was nasty -- old folks nasty, not street nasty.
Also In the Headlines
• Jose Calderon had an encouraging performance last night against the Wizards. He was active and aggressive on offense, scoring 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting with four rebounds, five assists, a three-pointer and zero turnovers. Given that Calderon had scored a combined 16 points over his last three games, it was a pleasure to see him creating his own shot. This, I like.
• Gilbert Arenas notched 22 points and nine assists after scoring just 15 points over his last two. He's been a big disappointment this season, mainly because he can't seem to shoot over 40-percent from the floor. I'm not asking for much. If he can give me 20 points, nine assists, three treys and a steal, I'll allow him to shoot 40-percent from the floor.
• Ray Allen scored a game-high 27 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc and 10-of-10 shooting from the line. This guy never gets old, huh? The same can be said for Steve Nash, who scored 20 points and dished nine assists against the Knicks in 31 minutes of action.
• The livin' is easy in Denver, especially when the Warriors are in town. The Nuggets had seven players score in double-figures against Golden State last night. Ty Lawson was one of the magnificent seven, scoring 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting, five rebounds and five assists. It was against the Warriors, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. Chris Andersen was another strong Nugg last night with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, eight rebounds and, count 'em, five blocks. I'm more interested in Andersen than Lawson, if only for his blocks.
• Anthony Morrow had a game-high 27 points last night on 12-of-20 shooting. While he more than likely can't be had in your league, look at C.J. Watson who scored in double-figures for the second straight game -- 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting, five rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. He's got the talent to be a nice spark-plug add. He was shooting 47.1-percent from the three-point line heading into last night's game, so don't read much into his 0-for-4 showing from beyond the arc.
• You have to give it to Greg Oden for his 13-point, 20-rebound, and four-block performance. Last night also happened to be the first time in eight games in which he logged at least 30 minutes. Teammate Andre Miller came off the bench to score 18 points and dish six assists in 31 minutes. He bested starting point guard Steve Blake. Between the two, you really never know which one to start. This week, with just two games, hopefully you sat them both in weekly leagues.
• Darren Collison had another nice game -- 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting, five assists, two treys and two steals. It's a shame, for Collison, that Chris Paul seems to be about a week and a half away from returning. Collison filled in nicely but no one, literally, could replace Paul.
• The concern, yet again, watching the Lakers game was the lack of scoring from Lamar Odom. He scored under 10 points for the fifth straight game. I know he's not in your lineup for his scoring, but it would be nice to have him contribute more than just eight points per game. Is 14 too much to ask for?
Lost and Found
• LaMarcus Aldridge sat out last night with soreness in his knee. He's questionable for Saturday's game, so keep an eye on his status heading into the weekend.
• Anthony Randolph missed last night (ankle) and is know likely out for the next two-plus weeks. I started him in one of my weekly leagues. Great.
• Jarrett Jack had his third straight strong performance -- 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting, three assists and two treys. Even though rookie DeMar DeRozan is the starting two-guard, it really is Calderon and Jack who are the two lead guards in Toronto. I might consider adding him in 12-team leagues, but certainly will in any league deeper than that.
• Nick Young played 30 minutes, but managed to score just six points on 3-of-9 shooting. And scoring is his bag, so when you take away the points you have a non-factor fantasy player. Earl Boykins closed out the game at the two-guard. I think Young still has nice upside for owners looking for a scoring boost, but remember that he's still just Nick Young.
• Kendrick Perkins was a star last night -- 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Those in leagues with Perkins on the wires need to re-evaluate their center situation and see if he's worth the add. It's hard to imagine that in 12-team leagues he's not rostered.
• Nazr Mohammed came of the bench to score 16 points in 19 minutes against the Celtics. He was all fired up last night, slapping away Kevin Garnett's hand and going chest-to-chest with him. The fire might inspire Larry Brown to keep him on the court for about 15-18 minutes, but that's not good enough in standard leagues. Mohammed and Tyson Chandler can't play on the court at the same time, so I think it won't be enough to get him rostered on any of my teams.
• Robin Lopez played 12 minutes in a blowout loss, scoring seven points on 3-of-3 shooting with five rebounds. I still think he's worth a look in deep leagues, due to his size and the Suns eventual need for an interior presence. In related news, Brook Lopez was at the game cheering his brother on. With the loss, this makes Brook 0-18 on the season. While losing might be contagious, we can't say the same thing about skill.
• Dante Cunningham got the start with LaMarcus Aldridge out -- six points on 2-of-6 shooting and five rebounds in 18 minutes. However, it was Juwan Howard who had the impact game going for 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting with five rebounds. Neither is an add, since Aldridge is simply day-to-day.
Also In the Headlines
• We get 10 games on the schedule for Wednesday night.
• The Knicks will try to follow up last night's win against the Suns with a tough matchup in Orlando.
• New Jersey welcomes Dallas into town. Here's hoping -- for history's sake -- they pick up their first victory of the season. I'm not holding my breath.
• Michael Redd is out, while Luke Ridnour is questionable. I think Charlie Bell is worth a look tonight against the Wizards.
• Eric Gordon (hamstring) is questionable at home against the Rockets. For Houston, Luis Scola is Out.
• Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva are both questionable. I'm not confident in one more than the other, so follow the updates.
• Mike Conley is likely out, while Rudy Gay should be ready to go for the Grizzlies.