The New York Knicks had put on probably their best performance of the regular season after it rained 3′s at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. They followed that up by clinching a playoff spot by beating the Nets with another commanding performance from their main man, Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks have had their problems this season with CA under performing, Lin and Stoudemire picking up injuries and the LA press all over them for almost missing out on the playoff spot. Over the last couple of weeks though, things seem to have gone back to normal, CA has been immense and the bench has stepped up to add to the points. The Nicks have always been talked about as a tight defensive unit with CA and Chandler at the heart of it all. In fact, they currently have the fourth-best defensive rating in the NBA, even better than the Miami Heat. Having said that, the spectacular night of shooting against the Celtics really encapsulated what this Knicks team can do offensively as well.
Firstly, let’s take the case of the man himself — Carmelo Anthony. He’s been on fire off late, averaging just over 32 PPG in his last 10, hitting the jams, 3 pointers and the fade aways, all with ease. Big man Tyson Chandler has been getting in on the action at the offensive end as well. CA and him have combined for an average of 47 points in the last 10games.
Add to this 3 point magician Steve Novak, hitting an insane 47% of his three-pointers this season along with J.R Smith who has been at 50% from beyond the arc in his last five games, and you’ve got yourself 20-25 bench points per game from just the two of them. Novak’s ability to come off the bench and hit a quick 10-12points will be invaluable in the playoffs.
Rookie Iman Shumpert and Landry Fields have also had their fair share of moments from down town, giving New York, sometimes, an extensive cast of shooters that can keep teams guessing. Shumpert oozes confidence in the shot and averages almost 10 PPG for the season.
With Amare Stoudemire returning from injury in the next game, the Knicks are getting hot just at the right time and if they can keep it going, all I can say is, BRING ON THE HEAT!