The New York Knicks were expecting to open their season with a relatively easy victory against the rebuilding Milwaukee Bucks. While that may have been the story in the first half, the Knicks ended up in a close one.
Like any team in their first game of the season, there were a lot of high points and low points for the Knicks. Something that was surprisingly good was their team defense, especially in the first half. They forced 23 total turnovers in the game, and while they committed 22 of their own, they won that battle, especially at the end.
The Knicks’ shot balance was surprising as well. Their usually a team that takes a ridiculous amount of 3-pointers even when they’re not making them, and especially when they’re trying to come back. The Knicks only took nine 3-pointers last night. I’m not ignoring the fact that they only made two, but it’s still a nice stat to see as a longtime Knicks fan.
Finally, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler came up big in the clutch. Melo hit some big shots at the end of the game and he finished with 19 points. Chandler had five blocks, three steals and 10 points last night, and he forced some big turnovers at the end of the game. Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert added 34 combined points as well, and the Knicks shot 51 percent from the field.
There were some causes for concern, however. Obviously, 22 turnovers won’t help you win games, in fact, you’ll probably lose most games you play with that many turnovers. If the Knicks hadn’t played as well as they did in the first half, they very well could have lost this game.
Another negative was the huge halftime lead being blown. The Knicks were up 56-31 and were winning in blowout fashion at halftime. After allowing the Bucks just 31 first-half points, they came back and scored 33 in the third quarter. The Knicks need to be more consistent than this.
Overall, there were more positives than negatives and the Knicks did grab the win. Judging by that game, it looks like fans are in for another roller coaster ride. I expect the Knicks to have a streaky season, but what else is new? Knicks hopefuls should be happy with this win, but should also be concerned for the overall season.
Jon Bruno is an NBA and NFL writer for Rant Sports. Check out some of his other stories by clicking here.