Beginning a three-game Western Conference road trip, the Knicks got off to a flying start, routing the Anthony Davis-less New Orleans Hornets by a score of 102-80. The win was the second in a row for the Knicks, who are now 8-1 in the young season and maintain the NBA’s best record. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points, six rebounds and four assists. The Hornets were led by Ryan Anderson’s 15 points and eight rebounds.
It was not the prettiest game, in some aspects, hardly anything to be proud of, but the Knicks improve to 7-1 with an 88-76 win over the Indiana Pacers this afternoon. The matinee effect – slow starts, sloppy basketball – carried over through the whole game as neither team could ever really find their offense. For the Knicks, some sound defense combined with the Pacers’ abysmal performance shooting the ball was enough to get them back to their winning ways.
The Knicks take their 5-0 record into the Home of the Alamo to take on the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. The Spurs come into tonight’s game with a 7-1 record, tops in the Southwest division and Western Conference. They have won three straight ballgames and are coming off a close, two-point victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center this past Tuesday.
To say the Knicks are playing on all cylinders doesn’t do justice to how incredibly the team has performed. The defense has been tremendous, as the team currently leads the league in opponent’s points allowed (87.5), opponent’s field goal percentage (41%) and defensive efficiency (95.7). While the numbers and rankings may be a major surprise, the team was fifth in defensive efficiency last season and Mike Woodson-coached teams have a history of playing hard-nosed defense. His Atlanta Hawks improved every year in defensive efficiency, going from 28th in 2004-05 all the way up to 13th in 2009-10. The major surprise, and what was a concern during the pre-season, has been the Knicks’ performance offensively. They ‘re currently second in the league in scoring (104.5), eighth in field goal percentage (45%), second in three-point shooting (44%) and lead the league in offensive efficiency (114.3), while averaging the lowest turnovers (11.3) per game. There are many contributing factors to the Knicks’ offensive onslaught early this season, but the most notable is the play of their leader, Carmelo Anthony.
With the NBA’s and Knicks’ season in full swing, the time has come for the return of TheKnicksWall’s “Three Man Weave” column. This week, we’re taking a look at the Knicks top rated defense, the play of their three-headed monster at point guard and the change in the overall play of Carmelo Anthony
Through three games, the Knicks have yet to struggle, and yet to meet an opponent to give them a real challenge. Yes, it’s only been three games – a sample size so small that it hardly has any real bearing on the season, or how good or bad a team will be. Yet, through 12 quarters this season, the Knicks look like a well-oiled machine, finely tuned on both sides of the floor to just slowly, efficiently unhinge their opponents.
After a stressful and emotional week in New York City due to the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy, the city was in need of a huge pick-me-up. The Knicks were more than happy to abide. In front of an emotional crowd in Madison Square Garden, the Knicks defeated the defending NBA Champion Miami Heat by a score of 104-84. It was the home and season opener for the Knicks, after what was supposed to be their first game agains the Brooklyn Nets Thursday night was postponed. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and 10 rebounds while the Heat were led by LeBron James’ 23 points along with seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks.
The official announcement came two days ago – after a premature national television goof – that the Knicks-Nets season-opener would be postponed, due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy. The announcement only further prolonged anxious fans’ wait to see the Knicks officially kick off their season. In the meantime, there’s a lot to think about: injuries, rotations, lineup adjustments, etc. Since we now have to sit anxiously for the next for hours to see the Knicks take the court – a home-opener vs. the Heat – what better time to run through how excited/how terrified we should be for the Knicks?
Regarded as one of the NBA’s most prolific offensive talents, Carmelo Anthony has had no problems scoring in his career. After spending just one season at the University of Syracuse (in which he led the school to its only NCAA Tournament championship), Anthony was selected third in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. A five time NBA All-Star, Anthony has never averaged less than 20.8 points in any of his nine seasons. In his seven full seasons as a Denver Nugget, he led the team to the playoffs each year, including a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. In that 2009 season, he set an NBA record for points scored in a single quarter when he went off for 33 points in the third quarter in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Traded to New York midway thru the 2010-11 season, he has been a part of the first two Knicks playoff teams since the 2004 season. Anthony is also a three-time Olympian, winning a bronze medal in 2004 and gold in both 2008 and 2012.
The Knicks dropped their third consecutive game of the preseason, a 98-90 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers. The game was played at the Syracuse University Carrier Dome, making it a homecoming for Carmelo Anthony. Anthony didn’t disappoint his fans at his former stomping ground, scoring 23 points and filling up the stat sheet (six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Raymond Felton also had a strong game, scoring 23 points while shooting 5-for-7 from three-point land. However, it wasn’t enough for the Knicks, as they fell into an early hole they couldn’t recover from.
With the Knicks set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers in their fifth preseason game, let’s take a look at notes from their two losses this weekend against the Toronto Raptors (a 107-88 loss on Friday) and Boston Celtics (a 109-88 loss on Saturday).
The left knee injury that Amar’e Stoudemire has had for the past week, which has been described as a bruised knee, is actually much more than that. It was learned today that Stoudemire actually has a ruptured cyst in his knee, which will keep him out of action for the next two to three weeks. Two weeks would mean Stoudemire misses the Knicks’ first two games of the regular season (Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat), while three weeks means he would miss the first five games of the regular season, pegging him for a return on November 13th against the Orlando Magic.