Game Thread: New York Knicks @ Portland Trail Blazers 10:00 pm 3/23/2017 [Game#72]


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(27-44) -- (32-38)

Moda Center, Portland, ORMSG10:00 PM EST

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Injury Report

New York KnicksPortland Trail Blazers
Joakim Noah - Sore Left Hamstring (OUT)Ed Davis - Left shoulder surgery (OUT)
-Festus Ezeli - Left knee surgery (OUT)

Game Preview

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers are very much in the race for the NBA playoffs. The New York Knicks are very much not.

The teams will be of different mindsets when they collide Thursday night at Moda Center.

Portland (32-38) is chasing Denver (34-37) for the Western Conference's eighth and final postseason berth. New York (27-44), which has lost six of its last seven games, is out of the playoff chase in the East and playing out the schedule.

The Trail Blazers will try to turn things around after losing a tight 93-90 decision to the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. Portland rallied from a 15-point, third-quarter deficit to take an 88-85 lead late in the game, but the Blazers missed their final seven shots and didn't score in the last 3:12.

"It was a game we needed for our playoff run," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "We're disappointed to lose it. Other than (Damian Lillard), we struggled offensively for a good part of the night. We made a good comeback, but it wasn't enough."

Lillard scored 31 points, topping the 25-point mark for the sixth consecutive game. However, he got too little scoring helping from his teammates, especially those on the bench. Portland reserves combined for only 13 points on 4-of-21 shooting.

The Blazers traditionally own one of the NBA's best home-court advantages thanks to one of the league's most rabid fan bases. Portland is only 17-15 at home this season, though, a marked contrast from the past few seasons (28-13 in 2015-16, 32-9 in 2014-15, 31-10 in 2013-14).

"It's good to be at home, but we know it doesn't guarantee anything," Stotts said. "We have to play with the same energy we did during the last three games on (a recently completed) road trip. It's going to be a grind. It's not going to be easy."

Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic said, "We need to play with an edge for 48 minutes. We're going to get back to work and get back to winning."

The Knicks have told veteran forwards Carmelo Anthony his minutes will decrease over the final weeks of the season. Coach Jeff Hornacek will take a closer look at the team's five rookies -- centers Willy Hernangomez and Marshall Plumlee, forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas and guards Chasson Randle and Ron Baker.

"Coach (Hornacek) mentioned he's going to start shortening my minutes," Anthony said. "I understand."

It could be the final weeks for Anthony, 33, as a Knick. He has another year on his contract at $26.2 million, but New York likely will attempt to trade him during the offseason.

"My role won't change as far as helping guys out," Anthony said. "When I'm out there, I'll play. When I'm not, I'll help everyone else. I'll still come in here and get my work done.

"It's an opportunity to get all the young guys that game experience against top-level opponents instead of getting practice experience. It's best to take advantage of that, and for me to help them. I've come to peace with that. I'm not happy about it. I'm not sad about it. I'm at peace with it."

Thanks for another great game thread, Rady.

Portland is not a good team, but they are only 1.5 games out of the 8th seed in the West, so they will be playing to win. Still, if you were going to pick one surprise win for us on this west coast trip, this would be the game you'd think we'd have a chance of sniping. It will all depend on Hornacek's rotations whether or not we're even going to make a show of trying to win though.


Nice Game-Thread Rady .... Its funny how the team Portland traded their starter center Plumlee to are the same team they will be fighting tooth n nail for the 8th seeded spot their final 10 games of the season.
My money is on Denver Nuggets frontcourt rotation .. Plumlee / Jokic / Faried / Gallo /W.Chandler .. earning the 8th seed.

Tonight game will be on the Knicks backcourt guards at stopping Blazers high scoring backcourt tandem Lillard & McCollum from winning a home game to stay in the race with Nuggets for the 8th seed.
No Melo, no Rose, and no Lance Thomas tonight.

Blazers crushing us in the 1st quarter. We are playing for the pick now and not much else


KP looking like brickhouse tonight. Growing tired of him settling to be a perimeter player. Defense nearly allows 40 in the first.


A DAL win and NY loss pretty much eliminates Mavs from catching Knicks. Mavs have a 4 game lead with 10 left.

Knicks 5-10 since All-Star break.

Looks like it's down to 4 teams jostling for the 4-7 spots (Nets, Lakers, Suns locked up 1-3).


Didn't see it but if this is a glimpse of what the Knicks look like w/o Melo and running the offense through Porzingis the Knicks are in trouble. Its one game but we need to see more of this KPcentric offense to see how the kid handles it the rest of the way.


Lillard & McCollum combine for 50 pts .. our Knicks could use a scoring backcourt like the Blazers ......

Well .. we know one thing for sure .. coach Horn is not gonna accidently win another game for the rest of the season.
Do we really want to keep coach Horn for next season? we were down 21 pts at half-time.
Tonight, Knicks starters prove without a doubt none of them are NBA starters .. allowing opponents to score 38 pts in the first quarter!
I been lying to myself all season bout Lee is a better fit than Afflalo.
KP performance this season were to raw an inexperienced to be a starter or receive 30 minute playing-time .. KP did not gell with any of the starters nor did KP gell with any of the bench teammates this season .. KP is doing a great job following Melo


Didn't see it but if this is a glimpse of what the Knicks look like w/o Melo and running the offense through Porzingis the Knicks are in trouble. Its one game but we need to see more of this KPcentric offense to see how the kid handles it the rest of the way.

i dont recall Hornacek putting a 2nd unit lineup of all bench-players on the court throughout the past 4 months .. all of Hornacek lineup throughout the season had one or more of the starters in it.


Rotation player
i'm not going to pass too harsh a judgment on most of the guys on this team, not while master-manipulator phil action jackson is running things and manipulating the situation to suit his ego. i just don't think that would be very fair or wise. i just don't think we can really clearly see what we've got while we're all forced to look through this filter that is the triangle. in other words, if we got rid of EVERYONE and replaced them next season, we'll get pretty much the same results so long as we're still doing things phil's way. in other words, you take half the guys from our roster and put them on other teams where they actually design their philosophy based on the talent they have, and i'm pretty sure they'll look and perform a lot better.
phil has to go.
here's what's going on with KP, imo. KP is not going to develop as a well rounded big under phil and rambis. phil's got his people whispering all kinds of sweet things into KP's ear, jacking him up to be the star and yadda yadda. in other words, he's manipulating the kid to suit his own deranged ego. but all he's going to do is have KP work on his cross over some more and jack up more jump shots. that's not going to get us, or KP, anywhere. and our defense is going to continue being a joke as long as rambis has anything to do with it.
phil is sabotaging this team with his insanity. we saw it play out with our own eyes throughout the course of the season. we saw the high, and we saw what happened, what phil did, in order to bring about the low so as to re-establish the triangle into our scheme. when i read that interview with jennings, well that pretty much verified what i suspected was going on.
here's what phil is probably going to do. we're going to be tanking again next season, and probably the season after that too. we'll be going the way of the 76ers in recent years, tanking for higher draft picks.
now, if phil actually came out and said that, i might look at him a little differently. but he's not going to come out and say that, which will leave us all wondering what the hell is going on, and that's not very cool.
I've concluded that Porzingis is part of the problem. We've been focusing on how bad Melo sucks we haven't noticed that he can't guard anyone. Too slow for the small forwards and too skinny for the centers and power forwards.

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