The 6th best game of last season was the Knicks 110-108 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. This game is important because not only was it an entertaining game but Carmelo Anthony showed his value as he hit the game winning shot with .5 seconds left in the game. It was a game the Knicks dominated for 3 quarters but, as most NBA games go, the Grizzlies stormed back in the 4th quarter and almost took the game. To me, it was a great team victory as Fields, Douglas and Roger Mason Jr all pitched in with significant contributions with Billups injured.
The Knicks got off to a good start with Stoudemire hitting 3 of the Knicks first 4 baskets. Melo hit his first 2 shots, both 3 pointers, and had 12 in the first quarter. Knicks led 30-27 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter got off to a good start as Mason and Fields pushed the lead to 35-27. STAT and Melo contributed with 18 second quarter points and the Knicks led 61-53 at halftime. The third quarter was a scoring bonanza for the blue and orange as they scored 35 points. Melo had 5 and Amare had 6 but this quarter was about the team. The scoring was spread out between Mason, Douglas and Fields. Hell Jeffries even hit a jump shot! Jeffries!!! That should have been a sign that the team was going to win the game. The Knicks led 96-82 after the third quarter and it looked like they would cruise to a victory in Memphis. The 4th quarter was a completely different story than the third quarter was. The Knicks did not score a point until a Shawne Williams jumper at the 7:24 mark put the Knicks up 98-90. They completely went cold and let Memphis back into the game. Darrell Arthur had the first 8 points of the quarter for Memphis as they had all the momentum going forward. The Knicks then found their rhythm as they started to hit some shots. A second made free throw by Carmelo Anthony put the Knicks up 108-98 with 3:36 to go. Jeffries then had 2 turnovers and the momentum began to sway towards the Memphis bench. A Darrell Arthur poster dunk over Jeffries made it a 108-104 game as the Knicks went cold the rest of the quarter. Then Carmelo committed a terrible foul with the Knicks up 3 on a Zach Randolph 5 footer right in front of the rim and gave him a 3 point play. Randolph’s free throw tied up the game at 108 with 14 seconds to go. The Knicks went right down the floor and gave it to Melo isolated on Tony Allen. Game Over. Melo drained the shot with .5 seconds to go and the Knicks went on to win the game 110-108.
This was one of the best games all year because of its excitement but also how every player chipped in. It was a total team win over a very very good Memphis team. Melo and Amare again played well together scoring 31 and 26 points respectively but they were not the sole scorers in this game. Fields had 16, Douglas had 18 and Mason had 10. I have always said going forward that if the Knicks can find consistent scoring from somebody like Douglas off the bench, or at least 10 a game from Fields, that they will be in great shape. With Amare and Melo getting theirs and Billups doing his thing, the Knicks do not need a ton of bench scoring but basketball is not played with 3 guys. The Knicks need a consistent bench and supporting cast and this game really was the epitome of what I am talking about. That is why I chose it as the 6th best Knick game of last season.
I chose 2 games for the 7th best game of the 2010 season. I chose two blowouts that the post Melo trade era teams. The scores of the two games were Knicks 131 Raptors 118 and Knicks 131 Jazz 109. In my opinion these games, while they look like old fashion NBA blowouts, have a little bit more meaning than people believe. These were games in which Amare and Carmelo meshed together and both had great games. These games to me, showed the potential that this team has on the offensive side of the basketball.
In the Toronto game, the Knicks were flawless on offense. Amare and Carmelo both had 23 points, Douglas had 28 points. Billups only took 8 shots and had 9 assists, a style that I think benefits the team more than having him take 20 shots and having 5 assists. Billups ended up with 13, Fields had 10 and Derrick Brown got some playing time and had a monster dunk. It was a great game where the whole team meshed on offense. It was a great blueprint of what the team should be next year, Amare and Melo touch the ball, Billups is a distributor, other guys score then Melo and STAT get to rest for the 4th quarter.
In the Jazz game, the Knicks came out of the gate firing. They scored 40 points in the first quarter. Once again, Melo and Amare played well together and couldn’t be stopped. Carmelo had 34 and Amare had 31 to lead the Knicks. Jeffries was the only player not to score in the game. The Knicks shot 56% and 50% from 3. The game was a flawless offensive one for the Knicks.
These 2 games show the potential that the Knicks have. If they can learn to play together, this team will score with ease and will be damn near un-guardable. These games were flashes of how this team can play. That is why I chose these 2 games as a combo for the 7th best game of last season.
Being a Heat hater, this was one of my favorite games of the year. This wasn’t as great as the 2nd Heat victory (more on that later) but this was one of the better games all season. It was the first time this season that the Knicks knocked off the new look Heat and the fact that they did it in front of a loud, celebrity filled MSG crowd made it an awesome game.
It was a competitive game throughout that saw the Knicks make an epic late game comeback. The first half was close as Miami won each quarter by 1 point and lead by 2 at halftime. Wade suffered from his migraine that caused him to wear orange goggles. He had 34 points but missed all 7 shots he took in the 4th and was 6/14 from the free throw line. Amare kept the Knicks in the game with 24 points but the Knicks trailed by 9 to start the 4th. Fields had his best game of the season with 19 points and Gallo had 20. Gallo was the man in the 4th quarter. Shawne Williams and Gallo led the Knicks on a great comeback. Gallinari’s 3 with 5 minutes to go gave the Knicks a 77-76 lead. Fields then hit a 3 followed by STAT getting to the line. The Knicks led 86-84 when Gallinari and Fields hit back to back 3’s to ice the game. 4 Raymond Felton free throws later the game was over, Knicks 93 Heat 88.
It was a great win for the old Knicks, they once again showed great heart, passion and effort. This was my favorite game of the old team, it personified their teamwork in that Fields, Shawne Williams and Gallinari all played just as big of a role as STAT did in winning this game. This was the 8th best Knick game of this season and it was beautiful to see our boys take out the big 3 in front of a passionate Madison Square Garden crowd.
The 9th best Knick game from last season was the Knicks dominating victory over the then 29-4 San Antonio Spurs. To me this was the game that most illustrates what the pre-Carmelo team was all about. They were a fast paced, exciting team with great team chemistry and heart. They played with great passion and togetherness and this was illustrated as they picked apart the then best team in the NBA.
The game began in excitement with Amare finding Landry Fields on an alley-oop. It was a back and forth game throughout the first half as DeJuan Blair dominated on the boards. He had an insane tip in on a rebound and then a big dunk that drew a shoulder from Turiaf resulting in a technical foul. Turiaf then tried to say that Blair initiated the contact which, even in my biased eyes, was a bit ridiculous but it was comical. Both teams were dominant on offense and sub par on defense. It was a fast paced half as the halftime score was 72-69 in favor of the Knicks. In the second half and primarily the 4th quarter the Knicks just out ran the Spurs. Chandler was fantastic with 31. Felton and STAT had 28 a piece. The game was still close up until about the 6 minute mark when the Knicks started to pull away. Felton had 2 buckets, Douglas hit a 3 and after a Stoudemire layup the Knicks led by 11, 122-111. San Antonio then called a timeout and pulled all their starters which was beautiful. The Knicks cruised the last 3 minutes of the game and won 128-115.
I chose this as the 9th best game of the season because it was a great illustration of the old Knicks beating down on a team that was more talented. This team won with hustle and heart and it was a pleasure to watch them play. I throughly enjoyed watching them night in and night out as they won game after game that they weren’t supposed to win. This team brought the Knicks to where they are today. This game was a great win for them and shouldn’t be forgotten.
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.
With the lack of news due to the upcoming lockout, I’m getting innovative. I’m going to recap what I believe were the 10 best Knick victories from this past season. I’ll put on highlights from the game and recap the game below. Hope you enjoy!
[Image via Bull City State of Mind ]