There were so many great games from this past season that I didn’t know where to begin, so I started from the beginning. The 10th best Knick game from this past season is the 98-93 season opening victory over the Toronto Raptors.
This game was exciting through its duration. Amare got the show going with a transition dunk early in the game. Turiaf had a poster dunk in the 2nd quarter. Jarrett Jack played a great game with 16 points and Reggie Evans dominated the boards with 16 rebounds for Toronto. In the 4th quarter with the Knicks down 1, Chandler hit a beautiful step back jumper to put the Knicks up 1 then minutes later spins and fires another jumper in the cup to stick the Knicks up 4. At about the 5 minute mark Amare packs Andrea Bargnani on a layup attempt to preserve a 2 point lead. As the 4th quarter winds down, Amare hits his second of back to back post shots at the 2:40 mark to put the Knicks up 96-88. On the next two possessions, STAT misses a layup and turns it over. Chandler takes control of the ball the final few possessions and goes cold. He misses from 3 and he misses a 10 foot runner. Jarrett Jack hits the last 4 points for Toronto to put them down 96-93 with 59 seconds remaining. The Raptors then miss a 2 3 pointers followed by 2 Ray Felton free throws and Jack’s missed 3 with time running out ends a season opening thriller. Knicks 98 Raptors 93.
This game for me is important because it got the team off to a great 1-0 start. It wasn’t a perfect game but for the first time since they were 7-6 to start the year in ’08 the Knicks had a winning record. One of my favorite things about this game was that no one player dominated the game for the Knicks. Wilson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton were the offensive cogs in this one. Chander had 22, Amare 19 and Felton 15. The Knicks even out-rebounded Toronto 49-45 (a trend that didn’t stay for the rest of the year) and held them to 38% shooting. It was a great way to start a great season for the Knicks.