The Sixers had an inauspicious start after Jason Richardson sprained his left ankle in the game's opening minutes. It was an unfortunate and freak injury, as J-Rich appeared to trip over a cameraman underneath the basket. He soon followed trainers back to the locker room and did not return.
New York, similar to Friday's win over the Heat, jumped out to a quick lead thanks to a barrage of three pointers. New York buried five threes in the first quarter, aided by some shoddy Sixers defense and a steady stream of clean, uncontested looks (7-16 from three point range in the first half). New York had terrific spacing and nice ball movement, which must be a breath of fresh air for Knicks fans after watching piles of plodding, isolation basketball last season. The Sixers looked consistently late on rotations, leaving them to implement a cross your fingers and hope they miss defensive approach.
The Kicks upped their lead to double digits early in the second, as Collins used a Maalik Wayns and Evan Turner backcourt that can best be described as... unique. It was two and half hours of ugly, turnover-prone basketball, and by my watch, 12:48 EST is when Mike Levin lost his first appendage. A thumb, I believe. Congrats to those who had November 4th in your appendage office pool. New York exposed the ball handling skills, or lack thereof, of our wings, and the Sixers never seemed to find a rhythm offensively. The Sixers trailed 57-44 at half, leaving us three miles short of Mixville city limits.
Jrue Holiday and his 27 points (11-18 from the floor; 5-6 from three point range) kept the team within striking distance, but the new, developmental night shift was really outplayed today. Any sort of run made by Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young was quickly offset by another run by the Knicks' bench. J.R. Smith torched the Sixers with 20 points and 9 boards. Maalik Wayns (0 points, 0-5 from the field, 2 assists; 10 minutes) looked every bit like an undrafted rookie, and Nick Young (5 points; 2-10 from the floor in 32 minutes) reminded us that even Swag has to rest on the Sabbath.
The only dramatics in the game's waning moments was the MSG crowd chanting for Sheep, which was a bit odd since Maalik had already played nine minutes to that point. But, after further review, I guess the fans wanted Sheed. Mike Woodson obliged, and the Knicks coated to a comfortable 100-84 win.
The Sixers and the Knicks square off again tomorrow back in Philly.
Hawes for MVP Update
Mt. Spence only played 15 minutes because of foul trouble.
Unsolved Mysteries: Where Is Evan Turner?
We found him! He was wandering the baseline in New York. Turner knocked down two jumpers, including one three pointer. But, otherwise, it was a very typical Turner line: 11 points, 2-9 from the floor, 6-6 from FT line, and 11 boards.
What's the Frequency, Kwame?