With no David Lee (one-game suspension) and Andrew Bogut (back spasms), Tyson Chandler feasted on the Warriors' smaller lineup. Chandler had 13 rebounds and 7 points in the first quarter, leading the Knicks to their best start in weeks. Carmelo Anthony had 9 points and J.R. Smith added 7 points, while the Warriors have lagged behind somewhat. Their only life has been Stephen Curry, who scored a game-high 27 points and shot 4-for-6 from 3-point range.
Here are three other main observations at the half:
1. Knicks' half-court rotations are on point. They look quicker and more predictive; not slow and reactive. Iman Shumpert was especially effective as he finished with three steals in the first quarter. After rattling Jrue Holiday a bit on Sunday, forcing him into a turnover, he was all over Curry and Klay Thompson. In fact, on one possession, Shumpert got in the grill of Curry and, using his quick hands, stripped the ball away, leading to a fast-break Smith dunk.
However, the Knicks need to improve their transition defense as Curry went off in the open court. In addition, Mike Woodson needs to figure out his second-unit defensive lineups. When Chandler and Shumpert sit, the subs encounter some problems.
2. How about some more 3s? For most of the first half, Smith was the only Knick with a long ball. He was 2-for-4, and the team finished 4-for-14. Anthony and Raymond Felton connected on one each toward the end of the second quarter. On the flip side, the Warriors were 7-for-11.
On a positive note, the Knicks got to the foul line. They shot 18-for-21, while the Warriors were 14-for-15. Chandler was extra aggressive tonight, shooting 4-for-5 from the stripe. He finished the first half with 12 points and 17 rebounds.
3. Kenyon Martin debuts: But that's about it. After he checked into the game to a rousing ovation from the Garden crowd in the second quarter, he played five minutes and didn't record a single stat.
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