March 22, 2013
Portland Trail Blazers defeat the New York Knicks
The future is looking a little bleak for the New York Knicks as the squad is certainly shorthanded as they face the final stretch of the regular season.
By Stephen Lars
The future is looking a little bleak for the New York Knicks as the squad is certainly shorthanded as they face the final stretch of the regular season. At 38 and 25 for the season, the Knicks are going to be able to fight for a spot in the Playoffs without having to suffer too much, but once they are there it is unclear whether they’ll be able to shine. The Knicks have suffered a series of setbacks, most of them came from injuries that have seriously hurt the starting five. Tyson Chandler suffered a bruised knee in a collision Wednesday at Denver and was not able to play last night. They are also missing their leading scorer Carmelo Anthony, who returned to New York City to have his right knee drained. He had to leave the game on Wednesday early and it is still unclear when he will be back. Amar'e Stoudemire, on the other hand, is expected to miss at least six weeks after having knee surgery on Tuesday. So, it wasn’t that big of a surprise that the Trail Blazers dominated from the start to take a 105-90 win last night.
The Knicks have suffered a series of setbacks, most of them came from injuries that have seriously hurt the starting five.
It was a good night for the Trail Blazers point-guard Damian Lillard who finished the night with 26 points and 10 assists. LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Nicolas Batum added 18 points for Portland. The fans were not too excited about the Knicks’ own point guard Raymond Felton, who returned to Portland after a very disappointing sting with the Blazers last season. As a matter of fact, Felton was boo every time his name was announced or whenever he had the ball on his hands. This is a rough crowd and they are truly passionate about the team and despite Felton saying it didn’t bother him, his numbers weren’t too impressive anyway. He finished the game with 11 points and 3 rebounds.
Felton certainly was criticized for playing well under the expectations last season. And just to make thing worse, he got on everybody’s nerves earlier this week by telling Newsday about his return: "There are certain people there I don't want to see and better not come near me." Many have said that he was physically out of shape early in the regular season last year, and his numbers weren’t great overall. The Portland Trail Blazers however were able to solve this quite nicely. Portland drafted their new point guard Lillard with the sixth pick in the NBA draft to replace Felton. And so far he has been nothing short of phenomenal during his first year as a pro. Felton has averaged 19.0 points and 6.4 assists a game to emerge as a front-runner for Rookie of the Year.
The Knicsk had a very decent first half against Portland. But everything went south after the halftime break. J.R. Smith guided the visiting team efforts with 33 points and 3 rebounds while Kenyon Martin added 12 points and 4 rebounds to lead New York, which shot for just 33 percent in the second half. "Being short-handed didn't affect us at all (tonight)," said veteran Jason Kidd who had a very poor performance this season. "We got off to a good start. But that second half, we just didn't play like we did in the first".
Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.