Here are 5 somewhat connected thoughts on Wednesday nights win over Charlotte. 5, of course, representing the Knicks winning streak:
1. Where did this team come from? That’s a positive question, obviously. Every season has a few turning points. I’ve never been a big proponent of the idea that there is one singular moment where a season turns from bad to…not so bad. Not in a league as dynamic as the NBA. Not with a season that lasts nearly half of a calendar year. It’s almost a ridiculous premise that, with 82 games played, one of them determines the direction of the season.
It certainly seems that this current Knick team has hit its first turning point of the season and, somewhat surprisingly, it’s a good one. Somewhere between the Houston game two Sundays ago and the Sacramento game three nights later, something clicked with this team. The chemistry wasn’t there. The continuity wasn’t there. This looked like it could get bad, and it could happen fast. But it didn’t.
Call it veteran leadership, call it pure talent, call it what you will. But the slippery slope we wrote about after the Houston loss doesn’t seem so slippery any more, does it? The losing has turned into winning. Games the Knicks routinely dropped (home and away) are now games that they’re emerging victorious in.
2. Raymond Felton – He’s one of the two players (read along for the other) that are the main reasons for the Knicks turn – around. Felton finally looks comfortable in the offense, and it shows. Going back to a place where a career began is a very emotional thing for a player. Some handle it well. Others find the night a bit overwhelming. Luckily for the Knicks, the former was the case for Felton. He led the team with 23 points and 13 assists. Is it a little disconcerting that he was the only player with more than four assists and one of two players with more than one? Yes, but that’s not his fault. He looks a lot more comfortable with the players around him and its showing.
3. Danilo Gallinari – He is the other whose success seems to be directly related to wins and losses. Ever since Gallo started a) scoring at an even rate b) scoring huge baskets in huge moments, the Knicks have won. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. He didn’t have one of his better nights on Wednesday, but even that can be looked at as a positive. The Knicks haven’t won when Gallo doesn’t shoot well because he’s been shooting too much. Last night he didn’t. Only five three pointers when he didn’t have his stroke shows tremendous improvement from the chuck- till – it – goes mentality of earlier in the year. He also made a contribution in another way, 7 rebounds. I still think Gallo has a lot to learn about the strategic part of the game, but he’s clearly getting there.
4. Toney Douglas- Reverted back to early season form. That’s ok on an occational basis, but it will be interesting to see if he can get that hot stroke back by the weekend, instead of having it linger for days. Clearly, the Knicks are not completely out of the woods with Douglas’ struggles yet. I’d keep an eye of that.
5. Nice to see a win where the stats aren’t overwhelmingly good – 8 offensive rebounds, 9 non – Felton assists (22 total), outscored 62 – 26 in paint…and they still won…on the road…against a team that made the playoffs last year….
Good to beat Larry Brown two nights in a row isn’t it?
Enjoy Thanksgiving. We here wish you a happy and healthy one.
I’ll leave you with a final thought: I love cranberry jelly, but hate cranberry relish. Weird.
About the Author
Written by Jordan Lauterbach
Jordan Lauterbach began his career in sports media when he was just 15 years old at WKWZ - Syosset. He hosted a sports talk show for nearly four years before moving on to WCWP - Brookville in 2006. Lauterbach currently hosts a sports talk show every Wednesday night from 9pm - midnight (eastern) and a College Football talk show on Saturday mornings from 11am - 12:30 (eastern) (can be heard online at wcwpsports.com and on Long Island on 88.1fm). Follow me on twiiter: jlauterbach1