This afternoon, the New York Knicks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers by 16, 100-84, to better their record to 2-0 on the young season. The Knicks have not started a season 2-0, since 1999-2000, so it’s safe to say they’re off to a very solid start.
After last night’s exhibition against the Wizards, the Knicks record improved to 31-28. A Sixers (31-28) loss moved the Knicks back into seventh in the Eastern Conference and an Orlando (34-25) loss left the ‘Bockers three games behind for the sixth seed. They remain two games ahead of the Bucks, who defeated the Pistons last night. Let’s take a look at the three “other” teams the Knicks are fighting for a playoff spot.
In what turned out to be a scrimmage before their nationally televised matchup with the Miami Heat on Sunday, the Knicks completely destroyed the Washington Wizards Friday night at MSG, 103-65. J.R. Smith led New York with 23 points and six assists off the bench. The Wizards were led by Jordan Crawford’s 17 points.
Another game, another win for interim head coach Mike Woodson. This one was a 82-79 victory over the division rival 76ers in Philadelphia. Amar’e Stoudemire had one of his best games of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds, while showing energy and tenacity that has been missing all year. Jeremy Lin scored 16 of his 18 points in the 4th quarter, while the Sixers were led by Elton Brand’s 12 point, 12 rebound, five block performance. The win gives the Knicks the season series over Philly 2-1, meaning the Knicks own the tiebreaker in case both teams end up with the same record at the end of the year.
Tonight was the New York Knicks’ most important game of the young season, so far. The 76ers were coming into town with an offense that was aggressive and tough to defend; Their defense was ranked first in points allowed coming into tonight. They were coming in as one of the hottest teams in the league.
The going could get pretty bad for the Knicks if they do not start playing at the elite-level everyone envisioned they would, before the season started.
The Knicks’ next 10 opponents provide far more competition than the first nine did. Of their first nine opponents, only two of their prior opponents were playoff squads last season: The Celtics, who were missing Paul Piece for the Christmas day matinee, and the Lakers who were missing Andrew Bynum.
New York Knicks fans are celebrating their most successful season since the 2003-04 NBA season to be precise. The whole city has fallen in love with all-star forward-center Amar’e Stoudemire, who has enjoyed “MVP” chants for the majority of the season.
On Friday the Knicks are set to play the Sixers in Philadelphia in the first game of a home-and-home. Both of these games seem like games that the Knicks should win, as they have a 25-23 record compared to the Sixers who are slightly worse at 22-26.