No Amar’e. No Chandler. No Melo. And that meant one thing: A whole lot of J.R. Smith. Unfortunately for the Knicks though, the quantity didn’t come with much quality Sunday afternoon as New York’s only hope for offense finished the game with a 4-for-20 shooting effort. That’s not pretty. But this dunk is. Now, onto Last Call:
New York Knicks
Recap | Box score
Los Angeles Clippers
MVP: The matinee game was marred with sluggish play, but Blake Griffin’s huge dunks were a cup of coffee. All he did was dunk in this game, but that was enough against a short-handed Knicks team.
LVP: J.R. Smith. Could it be worse? 4-for-20 shooting from the field. Three turnovers. Absurd shots. Clueless defense. The Knicks needed a great performance from Smith, and they got the exact opposite.
Well that was … unrevealing. New York’s roster makes no sense without Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler, and we know the Clippers can beat up on bad teams. What did this blowout teach us? Not much.
- D.J. Foster
Tweets of the Game
This is one of those awesome games where Good JR and Bad JR can happen AT THE EXACT SAME TIME … #Knicks
— Mike Vaccaro (@MikeVacc) March 17, 2013
Let’s be kind and say there are some vintage matchups out there today. Like Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups.
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) March 17, 2013
Kenyon Martin on Clippers: “I don’t care about them. I hope they lose every game.”
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) March 17, 2013
ClipperBlogLive’s Best Moment
In Sunday’s episode of ClipperBlogLive, former ClipperBlog writer Charlie Widdoes comes back for one last hurrah.
Check Your Messages
With Apologies to Kurt Thomas
Clipper fans shouldn’t get too excited over beating a Knicks team that’s missing all three of its key bigs (Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Amar’e Stoudemire). But hey, it’s the business end of the season and a win’s a win. And any time you have an advantage (as L.A. did down low today) you need to exploit it.
The Clippers did just that, dominating the rebounding battle (51 to 39) and doubling the Knicks’ total points in the paint (40 to 20). A few of those were of the electrifying variety: Blake Griffin’s distressingly good one-handed alley-oop and DeAndre Jordan’s why-wasn’t-he-in-the-dunk-contest windmill. Others (especially from the perspective of the Knicks) were just stupid: DeAndre’s incredibly high, extremely close missed alley-oop, after which he somehow retrieved the ball and shoved it into the basket; same goes for Matt Barnes’s parting-of-the-Red-Sea dunk off the dribble.
Ultimately, the starting bigs’ raw numbers tell the story of the day. Blake and DJ: 20 points, 22 rebounds, 4 blocks. Thomas and Martin: 6 points, 14 rebounds, 1 block. If Griffin and Jordan had managed even mediocre nights from the free throw line, it might have been a true blow out.
- Patrick James
Knicks forward Kenyon Martin played for the Clippers last season, but it’s clear the breakup between the two sides was a bit messy and Martin still holds some bitterness.
When asked about the Clippers, Martin quickly snapped: “I don’t care what they do, to be honest with you. I hope they lose every game.”
After a few more game-related questions, the topic of the Clippers’ fast breaking and dunking style arose, and Martin said, “They can’t do it in the playoffs, so it doesn’t matter. Regular season, it’s all up-and-down. We know how the game goes in the regular season.”
Finally, I asked him why there was bad blood between him and the Clippers and he simply said, “Next question.”
- Jovan Buha at ESPNNewYork
While trying not to take a page from their hallway neighbors at Staples Center, the Clippers sounded like a team that was beginning a new season on Sunday. Or at least beginning the stretch run to this season and forgetting what has happened since the midpoint of this season.
“I was just telling the guys that we have to start playing playoff basketball now,” Chauncey Billups said. “You can’t just turn on a light switch and say, ‘All right, it’s playoff basketball.’ You have to start playing now, especially with the positioning that we’re going through and going to face for the final 15 games. You have to start playing that way right now.”
- Arash Markazi at ESPNLA
Big Apple Turnovers
Turnovers aren’t everything. Teams have to execute once they get them. That was the problem with the Knicks on Sunday. New York trailed by seven points at the half even though they led the turnover battle 10 to 3 at the time. Why? They didn’t take advantage of those takeaways. The Clippers finished with 12 turnovers (compared to only nine for the Knicks), but New York’s tepid offense was only able to score four points off those takeaways and that’s what gave the Clips their biggest edge.
- Fred Katz