The Toronto Raptors (26-43) managed to claw back only to see defeat once again, only this time against division rival the New York Knicks (41-26). After falling to the Bobcats the other night, Toronto wasn’t able to get the monkey off their back and dropped another game at home 99-94 in an already lost season. The Knicks seemed to just have too much veteran swagger for the Raptors to overcome, and it didn’t help that Rudy Gay got hurt…again.
The Raptors had an exciting night tonight on the offensive side of things, minus the sloppy turnovers. Bench boss Alan Anderson put up a career high 35 points on an efficient 11-for-18 shooting night. The Raptors ended up taking 31 3pt attempts, which did not bode well until late in the game when the Raptors needed it most. The Raptors were never completely out of the game thanks to their streaky shooting. However, the Raptors’ shooting woes are very evident (when John Lucas III is the go-to option, there’s a problem), and need to be corrected with confidence and better shot selection as soon as possible.
The Raptors defence tonight was average. Carmelo Anthony absolutely torched the Raps tonight for 37 points using his complete arsenal of offensive moves to disrupt the Raptors defence against him aka Landry Fields.The Raps let the Knicks convert on 53.5% of their shots which is absolutely unacceptable if a win is the team goal. The Knicks were able to move the Raptors with extra passes rendering their defence in recover mode for most of the night. The combination of size and speed brought by Melo and Kenyon Martin on the inside was overwhelming due to their constant activity on the inside.
The Raptors were out-rebounded tonight 40-33 and it definitely showed. Large in part to the Raptors going small ball and also due to K-Mart (the real one) discovered the fountain of youth and swallowed 11 rebounds, 5 of which being offensive ones. If the Raptors plan on beating elite opponents, controlling the glass will be the first step.
Game Ball: Carmelo Anthony
Game ball in this matchup goes to New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony. Arguably the most gifted scorer in the NBA, Carmelo WENT OFF tonight. He dropped 37 points and left the Raptors without any hopes of permanently closing the gap. Even though it wasn’t the most efficient night for Carmelo, his misses allowed the opportunity for offensive rebounds, which the Knicks capitalized on tonight.
Honorable Mention: Alan Anderson
Hate to do this, but it’s a must. Alan Anderson gets the honorable mention for scoring a career high 35points off the bench in a losing effort. For some reason Anderson always seems to step his game up against the Knicks, and tonight he did it again. Scoring 20 points in a quarter for the 1st time since the days of Mike James is nothing short is awesome. He came to ball today, and he did just that; it was a great effort on Anderon’s part.