The Knicks played three games this week, against the Pelicans, Nuggets and Nets. In each game, since Thanksgiving, they’ve scored more points than the night before but that comes against weak defenses like the Pelicans and Nets. Still, it’s nice to see a sign of life from the team. Best of all, the offense is finally coming from people other than Carmelo Anthony. In all three games, the team had four or more players in double figures and even had Tim Hardaway Jr. and Andrea Bargnani crack the 20-point mark.
Another sign of life is from Raymond Felton who has scored 12 and 13 points over his last two games, adding 19 assists over the past week. Felton is a key reason the team got off to a slow start and his play could drive the team forward. Also impressive has been the aforementioned Bargnani and Hardaway Jr. Both are scoring consistently and at times, it seems as if Bargnani can’t miss.
On defense, things remain inconsistent. They lost games to the Nuggets and Pelicans, giving up a ton of easy points to guys that are not elite scorers. In particular, Ryan Anderson picked them apart with 31 points on 7 for 11 from behind the arc. He beat the Knicks in and out of switches and seemed capable of pulling up at any time and at any spot on the court.
Against the Nuggets, Ty Lawson was the guy who burned them. Similar to many other games this year, Lawson took advantage of the Knicks defense at the point guard position and worked the pick and roll to perfection. The only team that the Knicks stopped on defense was the Brooklyn Nets who are completely anemic without Paul Pierce and Deron Williams. In that game, the team did a fantastic job of making guys outside of Brook Lopez beat them. While Lopez scored 24, it could have been much worse. The Nets stopped going to Lopez who should have been able to score at will against Bargnani, Amare Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin.