This afternoon at the O2 Arena in London, England the Knicks (25-13) defeated the Detroit Pistons (14-25) by the score of 102-87. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 26 points on 8-19 shooting. He also added four assists, three rebounds and two blocks.
Amar’e Stoudemire scored 17 points off the bench on 3-5 shooting and making 11 of 12 from the free throw line. He had four rebounds and played 20 minutes.
Will Bynum led the Pistons in scoring with 22 points on 10-16 shooting. He had four assists and two rebounds. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond both had 11 points and 10 rebounds a piece. Kyle Singler was second on the team in scoring with 15 points.
Tyson Chandler had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. J.R. Smith off the bench had 16 points with six rebounds and four assists.
Iman Shumpert started for the Knicks, playing only 15 minutes, scoring eight points, hitting 2-3 from three.
This was only the second time the Knicks have led after the first quarter in the past 13 games.
The Knicks led by only four, 67-63 late in the third quarter but outscored the Pistons 35-24 the rest of the way.
This is the Knicks 5th consecutive win against the Pistons.
This was the first time the Knicks have participated in an NBA regular season game outside of North America.
The Knicks took care of business today. Plain and simple. The Pistons are a bad team and the Knicks, who played poorly for stretches of this game, still were able to lead for nearly the entire game and put them away. Carmelo has not lost that loving feeling for London, Stoudemire did a nice job getting to the line and Iman Shumpert looked good in only 15 minutes of action. 16 turnovers and the lack of energy for a long stretch in the third quarter were concerns but, the Knicks finished the quarter on an 8-0 run and made the game a blowout in the fourth. With another three days off before their next game, this was a nice win to get and now they can rest up before they play the Nets, Celtics and 76ers next week.
- Carmelo Anthony loves playing in London. After winning the Gold Medal at the Summer Olympics in this same building, Melo was once again leading the way on offense. He got the team going with a big first quarter, with 11 points, and hitting three pointers from way downtown. The fasting story, which I even wrote about, was pretty ridiculous and just part of the deal when it comes to playing in New York. The point is that it really doesn’t matter what he is eating, as long as he keeps playing like he has all season, the Knicks will be just fine.
- Iman Shumpert got the start tonight and after missing the past eight months with his Knee injury, played very well. He hit a couple of corner three’s, played solid defense and helped the Knicks defense in the first quarter, helping hold the Pistons to only 17 points. His energy and ability is a welcome addition to this older team and the defense he brings to the floor against guards is going to be key as the season continues. If he had been able to finish that Dunk along the baseline in the second quarter, I think London Bridge would have literally fallen down.
- Nice job by Stoudemire getting to the foul line 12 times, making 11 and being a hassle for the Pistons down low with his new post moves. I also like that Tyson Chandler was able to control the boards against a good rebounding team like the Pistons. Chandler, who had trouble getting rebounds when the season began is now almost a lock for a double-double every game. I do worry a little bit about Smith who needed 15 shots to get 16 points. He has had stretches where his shot doesn’t fall, and the Knicks don’t want those to linger because his scoring is needed off the bench.
- The Pistons came out flatter than a pancake today and Brandon Knight, who is the kind of guard that has given the Knicks trouble, played terribly. The Pistons do have a dynamic front court possibility with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond that can be trouble for the East in the future. The guard play for the Pistons has got improve and Knight is still a young kid and can get better with time. They have given teams, like the Heat and Bucks, trouble this season, but the rebuild is still going strong for the time being in Detroit.
- 46 points off the bench with scoring only coming from three players, Smith, Stoudemire and Novak, shows the fire power that this bench can provide. With Felton possibly returning against the 76ers, you could see a bench lineup of Prigioni-Kidd-Smith-Novak-Stoudemire. Not exactly the best five guys when it comes to playing defense, but I doubt they would all be on the court together for long. The offense these guys can provide can be key for keeping the Knicks energy high when the starters are off the floor. The point is that the depth on this team is getting better and better, a problem that most teams would love to have.
The Knicks have won two in a row against teams they should beat and will be well rested for their next four games against the Nets, Celtics, 76ers and Hawks. Iman Shumpert is back, Amar’e continues to improve and with other teams in the East struggling, the Knicks have a chance to be #1 in the East by the game on Monday. The Knicks will have had six days off in seven day by the time they play the Nets and to get a win in the one day they had a game is great and keeps up the momentum they earned against the Hornets before this whole trip. Things can certainly improve and beating the Hornets and Pistons is not a cure-all, but it’s better than losing to them as well.
Coming up next, the Knicks will have another three days off before the traditional Martin Luther King Day matinee at the Garden against Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and the Brooklyn Nets. The game will begin at 3:30 pm on Monday and will be shown on MSG.