The word clicked is thrown around often in sports. Sometimes, like all cliché’s, it’s way overused. But there is no better a descriptive to use about this Knick team then “clicked.” Four weeks ago, we were writing about how stilted and confused some members of this team looked in the D’Antoni offense. Now, that’s as far from the truth as possible. This team has gelled like no team in the past decade has ever gelled, and it’s not even Christmas yet!
The Knicks continued their winning ways on Wednesday night with a 113- 110 win over the Toronto Raptors. It was the team’s sixth straight win and their 11th in the last twelve games.
Here are the five things:
1. Raymond Felton – Ok, so it wasn’t a good shot. But it went in, as shots tend to do when you’re playing well. Felton’s game winning three pointer was probably not the smartest choice in the world, but after over a decade of dumb decisions with horrible results, isn’t it nice to see one turn out well? The shot was one of those. Felton didn’t shoot the ball tremendously well, 10 of 20 from the field and 2 -5 from behind the arc – but finished with 28 points. He drastically outplayed Jose Calderon. Calderon finished with 11 points and seven assists. Felton had 11 assists.
2. Can Felton keep on playing like this? – The Knicks need a backup point guard, quickly. As well as Felton is playing is as poorly as his backup is. Toney Douglas had 7 points and 1 assist in 22 minutes. The burst of energy seen last year isn’t there. The scoring prowess? Nope. The ability to contribute in a quick offense situation? Uh – uh. The backup point guard situation isn’t a huge issue right now because of how hot Felton is, but can the Knicks afford to wait until it becomes an issue to act on it.
3. Amar’e Stoudemire – Is the MVP race even close at this point in the season? Maybe that’s overstating it a tad, but there’s no doubt that Amar’e is in the top three. Once again, Amar’e finished with more than 30 points – 34 to be exact – it’s the sixth straight game the Stoudemire has passed the thirty mark. Good stuff.
4. Knicks continue to shoot well from the free throw line – I don’t think this gets enough mention. The Knicks have generally been excellent from the three point line. They shot over 86 % on Wednesday night. Stoudemire was 4 – 4, Felton was 6 -6, and Gallinari was 8 – 9. Not losing a ton of games with those numbers.
5. The Knicks weren’t dominant at all in this game and still won- In fact, maybe you could make the opposite case. Toronto, a team that looked asleep on Sunday, dominated most of the first half. The Raptors shot 52 % in the opening 24, feeding the ball early and often to a red – hot Andrea Bargnani. The Knicks needed a 23 – 8 run at the end of the half to take a two point lead. This shows that the Knicks can win any type of game. They fell behind early, allowed an opponent to drop 41 and still managed to win the game. Yes, the Raptors are awful. But aside from a few team in the East (coincidentally all on the Knicks schedule in the next three weeks), who’s that good?
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