Harris DeckerOn Thursday night, we learned something very important about this Knicks team.
While things are still bad and they still only have four wins, the Knicks are capable of scoring and are capable of winning. Keep in mind that the win was against the Brooklyn Nets, who play about as much defense as the Dallas Cowboys (worst ranked defense in the NFL). But still, winning is winning.
The game itself was a blowout. Halfway through the first quarter, you could see how the game was going to play out. The Knicks were hitting every shot they took and were playing hard on defense. They shot an incredible 57% from the field and an even more impressive 59% from behind the arc. Carmelo Anthony led the team with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, while a number of others scored in double digits. Even Amar’e Stoudemire looked great (5-for-6 from the field).
What a game like this does, is show the team what it feels like to win again. After nine straight losses, the team needed to win a game in convincing fashion and do it without getting 30 points from Anthony. Instead, it was a balanced attack, with Iman Shumpert playing a much larger role. He often pulled down a rebound and then sped up the court, pushing the Knicks to play a faster, more Knicks-style of basketball. His energy effected the entire team.
Finally, there was Andrea Bargnani and Kevin Garnett’s little spat. They got tangled up on an awkward play and a few minutes later, Bargnani hit a three right in Garnett’s face. As they were running up the court, they exchanged words and Bargnani was immediately thrown out of the game by Joe Crawford. This had almost no effect on the game except that it infused a little bit more juice.
Hopefully, this was a preview of what this matchup will look like in late January when the teams may be back on track and occupying the No. 1 and 2 spots in the Atlantic Division.