The Knicks are in Memphis on Friday night trying to start the season 7-0 for the second time in franchise history. So far, they're hanging in through two quarters, trailing, 54-49.
Here are a few observations from the first half:
WALLACE WORKS THE PAINT: One of the reasons Rasheed Wallace decided to come out of retirement and join the Knicks was because he noticed that there weren't enough NBA big men playing in the post.
"It doesn't happen anymore," he said earlier this month.
In the first half against Memphis, the 38-year-old Wallace showed the young guys how to get it done down low.
Wallace converted several moves in the post, including a drop step on Zach Randolph, to finish with 10 first-half points on 5-of-7 shooting. Wallace also had three rebounds, three blocks and three personal fouls.
He subbed in for Chandler, who was limited to just 14 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.
MELO BOUNCES BACK: Though he impacted the game in different ways (defense, rebounding, sharing the ball), Carmelo Anthony had a season-low nine points Thursday against San Antonio. He bounced back well on Friday, reaching the nine-point mark in the first quarter and finishing the half with 14 points on 5-for-11 shooting.
DEFENSE RESTS? The Knicks took the floor with the best defense in the NBA. And while they played physical with the Grizzlies, particularly in the second quarter, they allowed Memphis to hit 53 percent of their attempts in the first half. The Knicks, of course, countered that by torching Memphis (57 percent). But on defense, the Knicks looked a step slow early on -- which is understandable, considering they are playing the second game of a back-to-back.
The Knicks, though, were hurt on the boards by Memphis, one of the best rebounding teams in the league.
They were outrebounded, 20-13, including seven offensive boards for Memphis compared to just two for New York.
New York was able to slow down the pace in the second quarter and control things better defensively, forcing Memphis into 9-for-19 shooting in the quarter. Still a high percentage, but better that the first quarter.
J.R. VS. BAYLESS: J.R. Smith and Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless got into a small skirmish midway through the second quarter. Smith hit Bayless with an elbow to the face while they were tangled up and Bayless retaliated with an attempted punch (don't know if he landed).
Bayless and Smith received a double technical on the play and Bayless was hit with a personal foul.