There haven’t been many easy games for the New York Knicks, who were finally dominant enough through the opening stages thanks to some excellent Carmelo Anthony shooting that it allowed them to give their big star some much needed rest in the fourth quarter.
Anthony scored 31 points in a 117-90 win over the Denver Nuggets which earned him an entire fourth quarter worth of rest. Anthony scored almost all of his team’s points in the first quarter (13 out of 20) but the Knicks really made their break late in the first half with the game tied at 44. Their defense came swinging out of nowhere, causing five consecutive turnovers, getting the momentum to end the half and to open the second in the same way, scoring 97 points in the final three quarters.
Everybody played their part tonight. It was a great team win and we want to build off that.
The Knicks shot 64% from the field in the second half as the game got away from the Nuggets, now playing without a real backup option to Ty Lawson. Andre Miller is pretty much shut out for whatever reason, while Nate Robinson’s injury means that either Randy Foye or Evan Fournier handle the point guard position at times, which doesn’t look that good. The Nuggets turned the ball over 23 times in the game, off which the Knicks scored 27 points.
Aside from Anthony, no one in the starting lineup put in a ‘wow’ performance, but it was a good game for Tyson Chandler who didn’t have too much trouble in the paint, scoring 12 points and adding 8 rebounds on 6-of-7 from the field. Pablo Prigioni didn’t score but his defensive efforts didn’t go unnoticed, finishing the game with six assists and four steals.
However, the guys coming off the bench were the real helpers for Anthony in the easy win, with Jeremy Tyler making the most of his minutes on the floor, scoring 12 points and adding 11 rebounds. Amare Stoudemire had a good game as well, scoring 17 points and adding 8 rebounds in only 20 minutes, making the most of the Nuggets’ awful garbage time shooting and defense.
The Knicks gave Orlando the dog his spotlight moment with their Sweetwater Clifton award. For those who don’t remember, he made a lot of headlines by saving his owner from a train after he fell onto the tracks last year. It seemed he was quite happy (hence the tail wagging) when John Starks gave him that medal.
Back to more serious business, which happens to be Mike Woodson’s job security, which is still looking quite shaky. The Knicks can make the playoffs and maybe even will, but it’s easy to forget after these kind of wins that the Knicks also lost to the Bucks this week, which is something few teams in the league have managed to do. Another rough result in the coming days, with the Oklahoma City Thunder being potentially one that brings his firing a little bit closer.
You know what, you can’t change the past. So I would say more so that it gives us the opportunity to rally, because we see what it’s going take for us to win. We’ve just got to put more nights like this together.