The short-handed New York Knicks played like they had 6 men on the court the entire night in a blow out victory over the Orlando Magic 108-86.
Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert led all scorers torching the Magic for 25 points each with Shumpert reaching a career high in his point total. Baron Davis filled in for the injured Jeremy Lin (knee) tallying 11 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
A quick and aggressive start by Jameer Nelson had the Magic off to a promising beginning but it would be wasted. Nelson attacked the weak legged Davis to score 11of his 17 points in the first quarter as the Magic took a 29-25 lead at the end of the first period.
The second quarter was a vastly different story from quarter one for Orlando. The Knicks brought in specialist Steve Novak (16 points) along with J.R. Smith (12 points) and enjoyed as the two fueled the New York bench attack in the 2nd quarter. Melo, Shumpert, and Davis re-entered the game midway through the quarter to cap off a 32-12 period for New York giving them a 57-41 half time lead.
The third quarter turned the game into a laugher for the Knicks. Melo scored 8 points in the opening 2 minutes and 9 seconds setting the tone for a 33-18 quarter for New York. Orlando’s slow defensive rotations became even more so as the Knicks hit shots from every angel and crevice on the court breaking what little spirit the Magic had in this game.
The Knicks shot 14-21 (67%) in the quarter drilling 5 threes to put the game out of reach.
Dwight Howard had a Clark Kent type peformance with a pedestrian 12 points, 5 rebounds and 6 turnovers. The Magic didn’t involve their star early as Nelson and Richardson were taking (and hitting) jumpers to open the game. Their success seemed to have an adverse effect on Howard as he did appear uninterested to some degree. Once the contest was out of hand the referees got caught up in the Knicks’ momentum making some questionable calls on Howard which futher sent his mind adrift with thoughts of Krypton.
The Knicks improved to 8-1 under interim head coach Mike Woodson with the win. New York could very well be a first round opponent of the Magic depending how things shake out the rest of the season.
For Orlando they will likely consider this a throw away game but I feel like it means more than they will admit to.
How many games will their effort come into question?
A team with “championship aspirations” can not play with this type of inconsistency and lets be clear the Knicks are very good but they are not elite.
Then again neither are the Magic.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com