Only One Game, but Knicks Appear Pointed in the Right Direction

Brian DiMenna

If you recall last season, aside from that brief period of Linsanity, the Knicks had quite a time finding quality play at point guard.

When you consider that the team openly talked championship before last season while trotting out Toney Douglas at the one to start the year it kind of boggles the mind. This mind was boggled.

And so putting aside the raging forest fire that is the debate over whether Jeremy Lin should still be on this team, the Knicks’ 104-84 win over Miami on Friday night gave hope that even without Lin, New York is far better situated at the point guard position than a season ago.

With Mike Woodson often playing them together, Ray Felton and Jason Kidd were impressive, combining for 26 points, 12 assists and five steals on the night.

Felton looked fit, clearly eager to put last season’s fat jokes behind him, and genuinely energized to be back playing in New York, while Kidd was the veteran presence Baron Davis was supposed to be, only with less of the silliness and actually effective. Even aging Argentine rookie Pablo Prigioni had his moments. While not an electric debut, Prigioni did look capable of running the team for a spell, as long as those spells don’t linger.

New York’s offense was especially in sync during the opening quarter, scoring 33 points and racing out to a sixteen-point lead that pretty much set the tone for the night.

Aside from a little bit of a lax second quarter when Carmelo Anthony briefly fell back into trying to do a bit too much, the offense was smooth throughout the night, with Knicks guards able to find open three-point shooters almost at will en route to 19 threes in total. Some poor rotations from Miami defenders certainly played a role, but let them worry about that.

In all, it was another reminder of the merits of competent point guard play, and how superior that is to guys just sort of wandering around, and it was definitely an encouraging sign for New York’s prospects going forward.