Monday, March 4, 2013
Halftime Report: Cavaliers 61, Knicks 49
By Jared Zwerling
That's what the Cleveland Cavaliers were shooting with seven minutes left in the second quarter Monday night. Unreal. Starting power forward Marreese Speights shot 10-for-10 from the field in the first half (21 points), and Luke Walton had nine assists in only 12 minutes off the bench.
Things were so ugly that Carmelo Anthony only scored six points in the first half, and then he appeared to trip over his own feet with 6:42 to play. Anthony immediately walked to the locker room. Soon after, the Knicks announced that Anthony injured his right knee and will not return.
A day after going toe-to-toe with the East-leading Miami Heat, the Knicks simply refused to play defense for most of the first half. They were late with their perimeter rotations, and down low Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire were out of sync guarding the basket. At one point after a Cavaliers blow-by dunk, the two just looked at each other.
A positive? Iman Shumpert's offense early on. Against the Heat, he over-dribbled and looked hesitant to shoot, but against the Cavs he is doing less thinking and utilized a quick, comfortable release to score eight points (two 3-pointers). In addition, Stoudemire provided an angry punch inside, finishing with a team-high 10 points.
When the Knicks were struggling to produce points, Stoudemire helped his team go on a 10-0 run towards the end of the second quarter. At one point, the Knicks were down by 22. They cut it to a nine-point game with just over two minutes remaining, on a Raymond Felton to Chandler alley-oop. It was their NBA-leading 35th alley-oop connection of the season.
One can only imagine what Mike Woodson will say to his guys at halftime.