Just the way they drew it up...
Stats: 29min 8pts (3-9, 2-4, 0-2) 1reb 3ast 2stl 2blk 1TO
Salmons ( C ) -- you know, at no point had much of an impact on this one, but despite more anemic numbers may once again have helped keep the ball moving, and even got the assist on the game winning three from JJ, after Salmons was heavily contested for his own attempt in the corner and threw it desperately up top. Got his first shot of the game actually blocked, and other than one three in the first quarter, and one more in the early third, it was a parade of little missed jumpers. Was frequently having to check J.R. Smith, and predictably J.R. kind of did what he pleasd, not because Salmons is a bad deefender or wasn't challening him, but just because that is J.R. Smith -- you could put Bruce Bwoen in his prime on him and not make a difference -- he makes or misses shots entirely according to his own internal clockwork. In any case, John was working hard on both ends, and looked very tired by the late third, when he stepped to the line and missed both of a pair of FTs. for the 100th time in the last couple of years, gave us no boardwork at all as a SF, and foir the 100th time in the last couple of years our bigs did not get any rebounding support from our littles, and as a result we got whipped on the glass again.
Stats: 28min 6pts (3-8, 0-0, 0-0) 8reb 2ast 0stl 1blk 1TO
Thompson ( C ) -- nice early work with Cousins as both big guys were unselfishly passing the ball back and forth, but never did get much going offensively, sevral tiems tryign to directly challenge Chandler, which seemed a dumb fascination by both our bigs. Despite all of our rebounding coming from our frontcourt, Jason and Cuz were both having problems not quite getting a lot of boards as the Knicks were expertly tipping and struggling them away. Night got shorter when the Knicks gimmicked Jaosn out of the game in the late 3rd, inserting Novak as a "pwer" forward, adn bombing threes on us until we had tyo pull JT in favor of Johnson in response. Our attempts to do the obvious and feed Jason inside the other way to take advantage of the scrawny wretch were ineffective. Got a few spot minutes in teh 4th buying time until Cousins could return, but wasn't there for the stretch run.
Stats: 31min 15pts (5-14, 0-0, 5-6) 10reb 5ast 3stl 1blk 2TO
Cousins ( B ) -- got off to a solid start to this one, and during the second quarter in particular we got to see how effective the offense could be with an unselfish Cousins passing out of doubles and scoring efficiently. Was on the defensive glass, and while I can't say his defense was great, he was just staying in the area letting the Knicks incompetent offensive centers miss and then snatching the resulting missed shots off the glass. Really began pouring it on in the second, as he was the bigman centerpiece amongst a swirling storm of three point bombers. Took care of the glass, played witin himself. At halfitme he had 11pts 8rebs in about as efficient aan effort as we have seen out of him. Had himself a coupel of little blocks in the third, but as we began to struggle the other way, so did he, or perhaps it was vice versa. Was still battling on the glass, but Chandler was doing a great job of reaching over his back and just barely tipping the ball away before DeMarcus could fully snatch it. Was our strongest boardr with 10...but his guy got 18 the toher way. And with the general decline of his game into inefficeiny, began to rack up his loose fouls again, and went from having only 1 foul at halftime, to having to sit with 4 by the end fo the quarter. For some reason we kept trying to go to him 1 on 1 in the post vs. Chandler in the late going, and the resulting shots were ugly at best as the efficiency numbers plummeted. But came up with a couple of huge plays, including a big reb and kick to Cisco for a three to cut the lead to 1 late in the game, and on our final defensive possession, ti was Boogie who came up with the huge steal reading the backdoor alley oop play to Chandler, then the outlet to start the break the other way which eventually ended with Johnson canning the game winner. Takeaway from this one could be the post game, but I already knew that. So I'm looking the other way, at the return of the passing, in the first half in particular, and how much easier that made it for all the chuckers to chuck effectively.
Stats: 28min 18pts (5-12, 2-6, 6-6) 3reb 1ast 0stl 0blk 0TO
Thornton ( B- ) -- came out in this one very aggressive and dynamic. Was maybe the only guy on the team not joining in the teamwide passing game early, as he was taking his role as designated "finisher" very seriously. Got fouled on an early three and hit all the FTs, then followed with another three point play on a tough drive. Was firing back and forth with J.R. Smith, as trhey have a lot of each other in thier games. Had all of our points in the early third as he was the onyl guy hitting little jumpers to fend off their imminent run. Finally notched his only assist of the night setting up Salmons for a three. Got very quiet down the stretch. Got his 18th point on a layup with 4 minutes to go in the third, and never scored again.
Stats: 29min 11pts (3-10, 3-6, 2-2) 1reb 4ast 1stl 0blk 0TO
Thomas ( C+ ) -- not creating much as the PG in the early going, but not needing to as the ball was hopping and we were getting creativitty from numerous corners. But hit back to back spot up threes on kickouts from that teamwide passing for his first half points. Was ineffective in the third aside from a single assist to Thornton for a three early in the period, began to force a little and get in trouble with 1 on 2 attempts, and by the time IT left the lead has been sliced all the way down to 10. By the time he came back after a wild stint from Aaron Brooks, it had entirly dissipated. But quickly hit his third and final three to staunch the bleeding as we wobbled down the stretch. A near out of control drive with 33 seconds to go got him to the line to cut the lead to 2 with 33 seconds to go and set up the win, but he nearly choked the finish as he was the first King with a shot on that final possession, and he clunked it so badly it didn't even draw iron.