On Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (19-6) defeated the Brooklyn Nets (13-12) by the score of 100-86. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony, in his first game back after spraining his left ankle last Thursday, led the Knicks in scoring tonight with 31 points on 12-22 shooting. He added three rebounds and two steals.
Tyson Chandler had 16 points and 12 rebounds including a couple of ally-oop dunks. J.R. Smith came off the bench and added 19 points on 7-11 shooting with five rebounds and three assists.
Joe Johnson led the Nets in scoring with 17 points on 5-14 shooting from the field. Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each had 16 points. Williams had 10 assists and Lopez had 10 rebounds as they both had a double-double.
Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton and Pablo Prigioni combined for 21 points, 11 assists, 13 rebounds and only three turnovers.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler have now hooked up for an NBA-leading 24 alley-oops, the most in the league.
The Knicks are 8-0 since November 26th with Carmelo in the lineup
The Knicks are now 17-2 when scoring 100+ points.
The Knicks are now 19-6 which is the third best 25 game start in team history. The previous two times they did that, they won the NBA Championship.
Life is so much fun for us Knicks fans when Carmelo Anthony is on the floor playing instead of sitting on the bench, right? The return of Carmelo, coupled with the return of interior defense helped the Knicks defend home court against the Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks have done a great job of not letting one loss snowball into a losing streak all season, and after Monday night’s loss, they did it again tonight. Everything really clicked for the Knicks and after some early struggles in the third quarter, they put the hammer down on the Nets and cruised to a victory. This game was a lot like the games we saw earlier in the season, and what I believe, was a complete performance from the Knicks to get back to winning at MSG.
Carmelo Anthony is so much fun to watch. If you had any questions about how he would perform, coming back from his ankle injury, he left no doubt tonight. He, as Clyde would put it so elegantly, moved and grooved quite well, and shot the ball effectively throughout the evening, scoring 31 points. His presence on the court seems to lead to a trickle down effect for the rest of players on the floor with him. The spacing is better, everyone is in a role they are used too, and the flow of the offense is just crisper. I have discussed before all the ways Melo can score the basketball, and he was doing it again. But, considering the fall he took less than a week ago, it is impressive to see him perform the way he did tonight. Welcome back Melo, please don’t get hurt again.
Watch out everyone, I think Felton and Chandler just had another alley-oop against the Nets. I really don’t understand how the Nets let those happen when Felton is shooting so poorly again. Clearly, Avery Johnson needs to work on pick and roll defense during practice. The stat mentioned above from Elias about alley-oops is actually quite interesting, since I never knew they actually kept track of those, and I wonder if more teams will roll with Chandler and dare Felton to shoot.
Felton is now shooting 10-45 this season against the Nets and has struggled in games against both Deron Willams and Jeremy Lin. Obviously that chip on his shoulder is not helping him against the two guys he wants to beat the most. Chandler did a much better job on the interior than the last time these two teams played and can change the momentum with one of those thunderous dunks he gets from time to time. His dunk with the Knicks down 61-57 in the third helped kick start a 23-7 run that put the game away.
The Nets are starting to fall in line with the other “-ets” teams that happen to be apart of the sports landscape in New York. Avery Johnson’s seat is beginning to get warm and his best player, isn’t helping much, both on and off the court. The highest paid player on the roster is a shell on himself and Brook Lopez isn’t good enough to make up the difference from a struggling back court. When Andray Blatche is the only player on your team playing up to and exceeding expectations, you have issues. Now the Nets have a good team, that can and more than likely, will get better. But right now, they are in a rut and the excuse of no Brook Lopez can’t work anymore. I don’t know what the future holds, but with their sky high expectations, the more losses that pile up, the more pressure they will feel.
J.R. Smith has gotten back on track for the Knicks, and his instant offense off the bench is key as we wait for the return of Amar’e. He had been struggling for an extended period of time earlier in the month, but those days are a distant memory. He mentioned to reporters that he is not hesitating as much now, shooting in rhythm, which definitely leads to more makes and more confidence in his shot. His scoring off the bench is a great compliment to what Melo provides in the starting lineup and gives the team a shot of energy when needed. The thought of a possible second unit trio of Novak, Smith and Stoudemire coming into the game is just awesome.
I do feel bad for Gerald Wallace. I gotta think every time he closes his eyes to go to sleep, he sees Carmelo Anthony hitting another jumper.
At the end of the day, the Knicks took care of business tonight in a fashion we had not seen since earlier in the season. Tough defense, a good flow on offense and just a complete effort that leads to extended garbage time in the fourth quarter. Beating the Nets and not allowing them to shake off their struggles was a great way to get back to winning at home. The Knicks are now 3-1 on this home stand, and with a tough Bulls team coming up next, we will see if the good vibes from tonight, carry over to Friday, and keep them from succumbing to the Robert Randolph Curse.
Coming up next, the Knicks continue their home stand as they welcome in for the first time at the Garden, Luol Deng, Joakin Noah and the Chicago Bulls. The game will begin at 7:30 pm on Friday and will be shown on MSG and NBA TV.