For the first time this season, the Knicks went into a game they were expected to win, and actually took care of business. As bad as our boys in blue have been this season, they’ve started to gain traction after entering the new year, notching wins against San Antonio, Dallas, Detroit, and Miami since putting 2013 in their rearview. After an impressive victory at home against the defending champs two days ago, the Knicks headed to the city of brotherly love for a 7:30 matchup with one of the few teams worse than them; the Philadelphia 76′ers.
The table was set for an emotional letdown, but New York left no doubt who was the better team was, as they took control with a 32-point second quarter and never looked back. Powered by an efficient 21 from Amare, and an impressive bounce back performance by JR, New York grabbed their 4th straight win, the longest win streak of the season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
- Amare reads TKW, I’m positive (editor’s note: PROOF). If you remember, last year I declared that Amare was more or less done as a productive basketball player, but as of late I’ve been busy trying to remove my foot from mouth, as the 11 year vet has been solid during this win streak. Spencer Hawes simply didn’t have an answer for him, as he finished with 21 points on 10 shots and with 5 rebounds.
- I’ve still got both feet planted firmly in “trade JR” territory, but it’s impossible not to be impressed by the bounce back performance he turned in last night. Shoe-gate aside, Smith has logged plenty of stumbles over the past several months, so to respond to a statement benching with a 14 point, 6 assist, and 3 rebound stat line in 27 minutes of play is big.
- Knicks finished with TWENTY SIX assists and just 13 turnovers. The offense was flowing.
- Shumpert’s defense on Evan Turner was something. Turner, who is averaging 19 points this season, finished last night with just 12 on 11 shots, and a whopping 6 turnovers. The former Buckeye was kept out of sync all night.
WHAT WENT WRONG:
- Knicks had a tough time defending Philly’s guards at the point of attack, surrendering an alarming 52 points in the paint. Chandler’s presence inside is still indeed missed.
- Tyson missed his third straight game with an upper respiratory infection. Hopefully the rest is doing the big guy some good.
- The Knicks return home for a Monday night matchup against the Suns at 7:30 PM.