The long six game slide is over. The Knicks defeated the woeful Washington Wizards on Monday night 115-106. Here are, after a little, unintended, absence from this space, the 5 things…..
1. Wilson Chandler slowly coming out of his slump – Percentage-wise it wasn’t a great night from Wilson, but he’ll take it. Of all the Knicks slumping during the losing streak, Chandler’s woes were the most pronounced. Chandler had 25 points on 9-20 shooting. He also had seven rebounds. Having him get back on track would be huge with a few big games coming up.
2. Raymond Felton – Huge game from Felton. The formula is simple – if he plays well, the Knicks generally win. Felton had 17 points and 15 assists. Prior to Monday, he hadn’t had double digit assist numbers since the MLK day loss to Phoenix. Overall, it was the most he’s had since December 12th vs Denver. Although not as pronounced as prior matchups, he outplayed John Wall once again.
3. The bench – Outside of Toney Douglas, I thought the play off the bench was good last night. They got 22 from four players, including nine points and five rebounds from Ronny Turiaf. The big man also had two blocks.
But something has to be done about the backup point guard spot. Toney Douglas is way too inconsistent for such an important position. If the six game slide shows anything, it’s not that the Knicks need to go out and trade for Carmelo Anthony, it’s that they need to go out and find another point guard to spell Felton. Douglas was one for six on Monday, scored three points, and dished out three assists.
This is not going to cut it late in the season. Point guard depth, or lack thereof, will kill the Knicks if they don’t do something fast.
4. Second half defense – Or rather, fourth quarter defense. This game was way too close for way too long. It looked like the Knicks might have been in for another Kings/Suns style embarrassment. But, to their credit, the buckled down in the fourth and made stops when they had to. The Knicks allowed 15 points in the fourth, 11 less than they had in any other quarter. What a difference that is from the other night in OKC!
5. Building on it – This win came at a perfect time. With two tough games coming up in back to back fashion later in the week (Miami and Atlanta), they couldn’t carry a long losing streak into that. Raymond Felton needed to have this kind of game. Wilson Chandler needed to have this kind of game. The team needed to make a few defensive stops, even if it was against the Wizards. If nothing else, for confidence sake. That confidence that exuded throughout the month of December just hasn’t been their in 2011. Monday night, it began to return.
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