After their most dominant first half of the season, the Knicks managed to hold on and get a win over an inferior team, which as fans know, is not always an easy feat for this team. Although there were some lags in the second half (usually involving players who don’t normally see the court), the team played a great all around game tonight. Guys were hitting their shots, playing active and aggressive defense, and came out of the gate running.
A constant problem this season has been the Knicks inability to sustain their intensity when playing other teams. When the games matter, the team seems to go into another gear, and accessing that level of play on a consistent basis is one of the main things that this new group of guys has to improve.
Lately, it has seemed that as Carmelo Anthony flows, so too do the Knicks. Melo opened up the game seemingly unable to miss a shot, and grew so cocksure that he started launching 82 footers (okay, not really, but it was getting ridiculous). Finishing with 23 points, what stands out the most about Carmelo’s night might be the fact that he only played 29 minutes tonight. There has been much talk of fatigue as of late, and as the season’s pages turn to the playoffs, it’s important to rest our top guns.
But the game ball tonight probably goes to Toney Douglas, who seemed determined to match Melo shot for shot in the first half. He wound up with a team leading 28 points off the bench, making 10 of 15 shots from the field, including 6 of 9 from behind the arc. The interesting thing about Toney Douglas, who has lately begun to finally at least partially fulfill my preseason comparison of Manu Ginobili (yeah, okay, he has a long way to go), is that teams don’t seem to have an answer for him; he’s a match up problem because of his size and speed, and by coming off of the bench, he can capitalize against team’s lesser guys. He’s even occasionally showing an ability to be the team’s first scoring option when he gets hot, which could be a huge asset come playoff time.
The Knicks got a win that they were supposed to tonight, and hopefully can carry over to tomorrow night’s battle for the sixth seed against Philadelphia. I’ll be watching the game with some Philly fans tomorrow, so if you come up with any particularly good insults against the 76ers, hit me up on twitter.
- Box Score – NBA.com
- Game Book – NBA.com
- Shot Chart/Game Flow – ESPN
- First Half Highlights (Video) – NBA.com
- Knicks rout Raptors, pull closer to 6th place – Brian Mahoney – AP
- Knicks Enjoy a Rare Laugh – Howard Beck – New York Times
- Knicks roll over Raptors, 131-118 – Alan Hahn – Newsday
- Knicks run over Raptors – Mike Ganter -Toronto Sun
- Knicks 131, Raptors 118: Dominant First Half Leads Knicks Over Raptors – Chris Celletti – SB Nation New York
- Knicks 131, Raptors 118 – Will Woods – Buckets Over Broadway