The New York Knicks (28-40) are currently undefeated in the Phil Jackson Era, thanks, in part, to a gritty victory over the Indiana Pacers, 92-86.
With Jackson in attendance for last night’s game, the Knicks had no problem continuing on their winning way, thanks to Carmelo Anthony and his big offensive evening. During his lavish, introductory press conference on Tuesday morning, Jackson said that Anthony is part of the future for the New York Knicks, “[And] I think I was on record saying a year ago that I think Carmelo, as great a player as he is, still has another level he can go to. And I hope together, with the team we create, he can get there.”
‘Melo did not disappoint last night and showed to the new Knicks president that he can thrive under pressure. Maybe Jackson can further help him by building a team around him. You would have to assume that he needs to be surrounded by the proper players, be led by the right coach, and be playing under the correct system in order to achieve an even better ‘Melo, but more importantly, a championship win for the Knicks.
Who knows? But, for now, they still have an uphill battle to climb. They still need to make the playoffs and they’re still four, long games out of that eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
Keep on pushing, Knickerbockers. Seven down and 14 to go.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
- ‘Melo cooked a heartier type of soup last night. He knocked down a couple of big shots throughout the entire game and ended the night with 34 points on 12-of-23 shooting. He finally missed his first free throw in four games, but he was able to knock down 10 of those for the evening. ‘Melo added on three rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Keep on cookin’, ‘Melo. Keep on cookin’.
- The renaissance man, Amar’e Stoudemire! Last night was the seventh straight game, in which he played in, where he scored in double figures. The man they call STAT finished the evening with 21 points on an efficient 8-of-15 shooting to compliment his four rebounds.
- Raymond Felton had himself a good game, offensively. He knocked down a clutch jumper towards the end of the fourth quarter and was able to feed the ball to his teammates whenever they were open. He ended the night with 11 points, six assists, six rebounds, and two steals.
- It looks like Tyson Chandler is ready to start a new streak of double-digit rebounding games. After dealing with some personal matters for the past week or so, he showed up to Madison Square Garden ready to play. He was able to walk away from the game with eight points, 14 rebounds, one steal, and one block.
- The Knicks, as a team, looked good defensively. Aside from a minor bump during the third quarter, they held the Pacers to only 14 points in the first quarter, locked down Paul George for the evening (17 points on 4-of-17 shooting,) and forced the Pacers to 13 turnovers.
WHAT WENT WRONG:
- Meanwhile, the Knicks won, yet they couldn’t buy a bucket. They shot a ghastly, 39 percent from the field, 24 percent from beyond the arc, and only had three players scoring in double-figures. The Knicks leading scorer off the bench was Pablo Prigioni with five points. If Pablo is your leading scorer off the bench, something is wrong. But, anyway, go Pablo!
- Tim Hardaway Jr.‘s bout with streakiness continues. THJ was coming off a streak of 20+ points scoring in three consecutive games, only to put up a goose egg from the field. He made two free throws for the evening, but went 0-for-7 from the field, including 0-for-4 from behind the three-point line.
- It also seemed as if J.R. Smith is allergic to playing the Pacers. His streak of scoring 10+ points in a game ended at 14 games last night. He was able to contribute in other categories, though, finishing the night with six rebounds and two assists.
- Phil Jackson got a well deserved, standing ovation from the Garden faithful when he was introduced to the crowd as the Knicks president.
- After gutting out a tough win last night, the Knicks will now head to the Wells Fargo Center to face the ever-so-tanking, Philadelphia 76ers (22 straight losses) on Friday. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m. Somebody call Admiral Ackbar, because this game IS A TRAP!