Have the New York Knicks finally turned the corner? The team that could easily have been the laughing stock of the NBA this season – if it wasn’t for the Brooklyn Nets – has looked like an altogether different side in their last few games. They provided more, solid proof of their rejuvenation on Thursday night when they stunned the Miami Heat 102-92 at Madison Square Garden and snapped the two-time champions’ three-game winning streak.
Coach Mike Woodson’s side has now won three straight themselves and are just a game away from getting back among the playoffs spots. Their superstar guard Carmelo Anthony poured in 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds and generally played hard all night to inspire his teammates. But that isn’t the reason why they dimmed the Heat’s heat. The major positive to draw here is the fact that it was a combined effort in which all the five starters – with the exception of Kenyon Martin – chipped in with their share. Even Amar’e Stoudamire came off the bench to add 14 points on a 7 out of 12 shooting.
Melo’s old adversary LeBron James won their individual battle by scoring 32 points, but unlike the former, the latter didn’t get much of help from most of his teammates. Dwyane Wade was excellent as usual, nailing 11 of his 15 shots for 23 points, but the top two guys had their work cut out when the Knicks were hot as they were.
The suspended J. R. Smith wasn’t missed even for a little bit, which makes one wonder if the Knick even need to have him around. Yes, he is the league’s reigning Sixth Man, but is he really worth the baggage he comes with? The trade deadline day is next month, and what the Knicks need to do is replace some of their egomaniacs with more team players.