Usually teams give full effort when they come to play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. For some reason, Orlando gave negative effort tonight and it showed. New York dominated Orlando in a 108-86 blowout laugher that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. Orlando, one of the better defensive teams in the league, gave no effort defensively and allowed the Knick offense to explode. The Knicks finished the night shooting 50%, but was at 61% shooting mid-way through the third. Carmelo Anthony was the star (finally) scoring 25 points on 9/15 shooting. Iman Shumpert also had a strong offensive game, scoring 25 points.
Here are my notes from the game:
- Its about time Carmelo!!! He finally played like… well, Carmelo Anthony tonight. These kind of performances should be, and used to be, the norm for Melo. Playing on an injured groin, the Knick star showed toughness and heart as he led the Knicks to victory tonight. He scored 25 points on an efficient 9/15 shooting. In the first half, Anthony killed Orlando in the post where he is a dominant force. Despite having Howard, the Magic had no answer for Anthony’s inside game. His game moved to the perimeter as the game went on. He hit some mid-range shots late in the first half and then buried Orlando with sharp shooting 3 point shooting in the third quarter. With the Knicks up 86-49 at the 3:18 mark of the 3rd, Anthony took to the bench and got his well-deserved rest for the night. These last two games have been great for Anthony. The lack of heart and punkish attitude Anthony showed in the D’Antoni era of 2011 have made me dislike Carmelo, but he is winning me back with performance. Tonight, was truly dominant. This is the guy the Knicks traded for. If New York is to make a deep playoff run, they need Melo to step up like he did tonight.
- Its awesome when the Knicks actually make shots. The fact that they shot 35% isn’t indicative of how they actually shot tonight. They hit 12 three pointers in the game and at one point were shooting over 50% from downtown. I know its an obvious statement, but this Knicks team is really good when they hit their shots. It’s miraculous the Knicks win any games shooting 31% from downtown on the season. I loved the way the Knicks moved the ball tonight. Melo would often penetrate and kick. Then the Knicks would move the ball around the perimeter and got an open shot. The Knicks must do more of this to help their poor outside shooting.
- Tyson Chandler owns Dwight Howard. Tonight, Chandler completely held Dwight Howard in check. Howard was no superman tonight. He looked like a flailing Aquaman, dying in the middle of the Sahara desert. Chandler held the best center in the league to 12 points and 5 rebounds. In the two Knick-Magic match ups this season, Chandler has held Howard to 20 points and 15 rebounds. On the season, Howard averages 21 ppg and 14.7 rpg. This season, Howard has had a lot of big games. He’s dominated Andrew Bynum, Roy Hibbert and Joakim Noah. Against Tyson Chandler, Howard has been completely neutralized. The Knicks may have found their kryptonite to deal with the best center in the league. This is kind of how tonight went:
- The Knicks dominated the boards tonight. No Magic player grabbed more than 6 rebounds on the night. New York out rebounded Orlando 49-34, including 16-9 on the offensive glass. It was a truly dominant performance down low for the Knicks.
- Jerome Jordan scored a basket late in the game and a wide grin made its way onto my face.
- Toney Douglas was freed from the depths of the Knick bench. I was rooting for the shooting guard from Florida State to do something, anything well tonight and he really didn’t. He missed his only shot and had a turnover. Oh well…
- The fat booty hunter had a sweet alley-oop tonight also. Here it is: