Before the entire basketball world crowns the New York Knicks the Eastern Conference champions following their 102-84 dismantling of the Miami Heat on Friday night, let’s have a little bit of perspective. This was just one game. The Miami Heat are still the best team in the NBA and LeBron James is still a far cry of a better player than Carmelo Anthony.
However, with all of this being said, it’s important to note that tonight’s game told us a hell of a lot about the Knicks.
While the final outcome may have surprised the majority of the basketball world (ESPN ranked the Knicks 15th in their power rankings), it didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was the way that the Knicks won the game. For 48 minutes, New York took it to the Miami Heat, punching them in the mouth with every opportunity that they got.
The Knicks held the defending champions to a mere 84 points, keeping each member of their now “Big 4” in check, and did so without their best perimeter defender, Iman Shumpert, who is likely out until January.
New York was almost as impressive on the offensive side of the ball. The ball movement was nothing short of a clinic, as newly acquired point guard Raymond Felton made it very easy for Knick fans to forget about Jeremy Lin.
Felton dished out nine assists compared to just three turnovers, while appearing to be in complete control of the offense throughout the night.
Felton was great, as were Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd and Steve Novak, but one man stood out more than anyone.
Yes, I speak of Mr. New York himself, Carmelo Anthony.
No, Anthony’s 10 of 28 shooting performance was not desired, but from the opening tip he made one thing very clear: he is on a mission this season. A mission to silence the critics and shut up his doubters.
This was a Carmelo Anthony that we have not seen since he arrived in New York, and it was an even better one than we saw dominate the Eastern Conference for a straight month at the end of last season.
Carmelo was aggressive on both sides of the ball, getting second chance opportunity after second chance opportunity on the offensive end and was more physical on the defensive end than we have ever seen.
The scoring always has always been and always will be there for Carmelo Anthony, but it’s the little things that he always seems to lack. If he can bring to the court on any given night the same effort and intensity that we witnessed tonight, then this Knicks team could be a true contender to not only win the Atlantic, but win the East.
Yes, it’s just one game of a long 82-game season, but Friday night showed us something very important about the New York Knicks: they will not back down from anyone this season, including the mighty Miami Heat.
About the Author
Written by Michael Burke
I'm Mike. I'm 16 and love sports. I'm a Knicks, Yankees, Colts and Notre Dame die-hard. My dream is to cover the Knicks professionally, so I hope that PSB can help me reach that goal. Follow me on twitter: @michaelburke47