The New York Knicks are possibly one of the most random franchises in the NBA right now. There are trade rumors surrounding veteran forward Carmelo Anthony everywhere. There has been some discontent with how Phil Jackson is handling things. And the team that once was 14-10 are no standing 21-28 and possibly looking out of the playoff picture.
But tonight, was another story. Even though this team looks a little dismantled, they all came together and put on one heck of a show against the Atlanta Hawks in a thriller 4OT game. Possible game of the year? Maybe.
It was one wild ride as Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder was hitting layups and putting the Knicks in a tough position. But Anthony wasn’t going to put up with that and he answered every time with a game tying shot to push another overtime.
Anthony has been often criticized for his late plays, but there is no doubt that he has been the best closer for the Knicks this year and the best player (offensively speaking, you may say). He put up one heck of a game, posting 45 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 18-36 shooting (50%). He was PHENOMENAL.
But…then the foul trouble came and that was when things started to look ugly for the Knicks. Having Derrick Rose out wasn’t enough bad luck for New York tonight, as Anthony, Porzingis and Noah were all fouled out. So there were the Knicks…trying to win a game with the bench, who has been known to be invisible sometimes in the year.
This wasn’t the case. The bench stepped up, with only Lee and Jennings as starters, and they fought till the very end. Justin Holiday posted 15 points, going 5-13 from the three-point line and was the engine that kept the Knicks running. Kyle O’Quinn was the defensive presence they needed, pulling 12 rebounds and blocking 3 shots. Kuzminkas also was great, putting 13 points even though he struggled on the outside.
So, what was the formula for the Knicks tonight? Keep fighting. Often they have lost games because they lack on the defensive side of the floor and they tend to play without energy. But tonight was totally different, and even though they couldn’t get away with the win, they sure stepped up and gave one heck of a game.
Throw those trade rumors aside and enjoy. It was a tough game to lose, but surely they can learn from this.