The Knicks come into tonight’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks with a respectable 3 and 3 record after 6 games. Last week the Knicks were 2-1, with wins against the Bulls (120-112)and Wizards (112-91), and a tough loss at home against the 76ers (95-106).
The game against the Bulls was a rare nationally televised game for the Knicks, and they rose to the occasion displaying the potential dynamism of their offense. They simply shot the lights out, and the Bulls, who are led by new head coach and supposed defensive mastermind Tom Thibodeau, could do little to stop the onslaught. If Thibodeau’s game plan was to stop Amar’e at all costs, then the Bulls executed their defense to perfection. The Knicks’ talisman shot an abysmal 5-21 from the field, committed 8 turnovers, and was blocked 4 times. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but while the Bulls focused on stifling Stoudemire, the rest of the Knicks were shooting wide open 3’s, going 16-24 from downtown.
Danilo Gallinari silenced the critics by scorching the nets early, and finished with 24 points on 11 shots. The Rooster hit all 4 of his 3 point attempts, showed some athleticism with a couple dunks, and also had a block, two steals, took a charge, and snagged 6 boards. Despite this crowfest from The Rooster, Toney Douglas was the star of the game. Toney did what he does, and did it some more, dropping a career high 30 points on 14 field goal attempts, and committed larsony 4 times. This was a great win, especially considering how the media loves the Bulls this year, and how little Amar’e contributed.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the vicious two handed tomahawk jam that Derrick Rose threw down in this one. It looked like it could have been a move in Street Fighter or something. Also of note, The Bulls rookie head coach faced a dilemma when his bench squad staged a semi comeback in the fourth quarter, with Derek Rose and Joakim Noah on the pine. Thibodeau decided to stick with the scrubs, despite the Chicago crowd chanting “we want Rose!” I hope he was just spiting the fans for telling him how to do his job.
The Wizards then visited MSG, and John Wall wore some gilded shoes. Early on, it was the Andray Blatche show, as the chubby youngster did his best KG impression, swishing midrange jumpers left and right. Clyde pointed out his protruding belly, and it was lucky for the Knicks that Blatche is rotund and out of shape, as after the early barrage he went ice cold. Wall failed to impress for the Garden faithful, and looked out of sorts on his way to 13 measley points. The Knicks shot blocking has been a godsend this year, and they swatted away all comers and ended up with 11 blocks, led by Amar’e with 4. Wilson Chandler had the highlight of the day, make that the week, make that the year, with a vicious baseline one handed reverse slamma jamma over the giant JaVale Mcgee. The Knicks spread the wealth with 6 players finishing in double figures. The Wizards almost made a game of it behind some vintage chucking by Gilbert Arenas, but the Knicks held out. A good win over a team that they should beat every time.
The Knicks were riding high heading into the Sunday matinee against a Sixers team without their star, Andre Igoudala. The Knicks were up for most of the game after bouncing back from a hot start from the rejuvenated Elton Brand, but they blew the lead in typical fashion of the Knicks of yore, scoring just 15 points in the 4th quarter. The Sixers went to the zone, and as has been the case this whole season, the Knicks were baffled. Youngsters Jrue Holliday and Evan Turner impressed for the 76ers, and nobody on the Knicks really stood out. Also, combo guard Lou Williams looked like Paul Pierce, duping the foolish Knicks into questionable fouls with pump fake after pump fake. The Knicks have to learn to win these games if they want to be any better than mediocre.
All things considered, it was a good week for the Knicks. They went 1-1 over teams they theoretically should be beating, and 1-0 over a team that is theoretically better than them. Toney Douglas has grown into a bonafide scorer off the bench, and rookies Landry Fields and Timofey Mozgov are both contributing. The team is showing good chemistry, making the extra pass, and helping eachother on both ends of the court. Gallinari is seemingly back after his rough first 3 games, and Anthony Randolph has just been added to the mix. I can’t get over all the blocked shots I’m seeing by the Knicks. They still lead the league with 8 per game. Things are looking up, and that’s before you consider that Amar’e has yet to have a decent game. I expect a win tonight vs. the Bucks, but then again, I never expect the Knicks to lose.