Thats 11 of 12 and 6 in a row. Wow.
Tonight was the type of game where the Knicks needed their star to pick them up and Amar’e certainly delivered. As the game was slipping away in the 4th, STAT took over, scoring 18 of his 34 points and was serenaded with MVP chants from the Garden crowd. Raymond Felton scored 20 first half points which helped give the Knicks the lead at the half and most importantly hit the game wining three pointer with 2 seconds remaining. The shot bounced on the rim five times before dropping through and certainly wasnt the shot the team was looking for, but when you are winning 11 of 12 these are the kind of breaks that go your way.
Landry Fields was his usual self tonight and got the crowd going with a putback dunk. His tremendous rebounding has been key in hiding one of the team’s few deficiencies during this win streak. Nice to see Gallo hit the 20 point mark tonight and get to the line 9 times. Wilson Chandler played yet another good game tonight and finished just about every time he took it to the hoop.
Shawne Williams came back to earth tonight, failing to score a point or do much of anything in 11 minutes. Ronny Turiaf’s knee is still preventing him from playing big minutes, as he only saw 8 minutes of action tonight. D’Antoni is starting to lean towards the small rotation he preferred in Phoenix, as he went with 8 guys tonight. This will make it harder for guys like Anthony Randolph, Roger Mason and Bill Walker to play themselves back into the rotation and it will create an interesting dilemma when Kelenna Azubuike returns. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Knicks packaged some of these bench players for a backup point guard or big man.
The Knicks have struggled defending talented big men all season and tonight was no different. Andrea Bargnani went off for 41 points on 16/24 shooting. He was a very difficult matchup for the Knicks as he took the big men outside and posted up when the Knicks tried to guard him with Wilson Chandler.
The Raptors are not a very good team and you would like to see the Knicks put them away a bit easier at home, but when you have won 5 in a row and are due for a letdown, anyway you win the game is acceptable. The last time the Knicks won 11 out of 12 games was during the 1994-95 season and their 14-9 record is the team’s best since the 2000-01 season.
Felton on his game winning shot: “It was bouncing and bouncing. I was praying, praying, praying.”
Amar’e on the winning streak: “Any time you can win the way we have been and play with this type of swagger and enjoy all the camaraderie, it’s so much fun, we just want to keep that feeling going.”
D’Antoni on his two captains: “Those two guys are unbelievable, willing us to win, whatever phase you want to talk about, they’re doing.”
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