There are big expectations in New York this season for the Knicks, especially with the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony. But the Knicks are now 6-3 since picking up Anthony (and the injured Chauncey Billups) from Denver, and he showed why the Knicks are improving with a nail-biting win (on the NBA spread too) in Memphis on Wednesday.
Anthony scored a game-high 31 points, including the game-winner with 0.5 seconds remaining, in a 110-108 victory over the Grizzlies, and he added six assists, five boards and a couple of steals, which made up for six turnovers. Amare Stoudemire chipped in with 26 points for the Knicks, who shot 53.4% from the field and hit 12 of their 24 three-point attempts.
Anthony has settled into his role on the team very quickly, and last night proved that the Knicks are going to be a force to be reckoned with on the offensive end of the floor as they’ve now won three straight games.
But it wasn’t all good for the Knicks, who allowed the Grizzlies to shoot 53.7% from the floor, but that’s not really surprising because no one will ever mistake the Knicks for Boston when it comes to defense.
A bigger worry is that the Grizzlies outscored them 26-14 in the fourth quarter to make this game closer than it should have been, and the Knicks were also outscored 52-28 in the paint.
Stoudemire and Ronny Turiaf are the Knicks’ only legitimate big men, and Stoudemire isn’t known for being a defensive stopper.
That the Knicks had to name Jared Jeffries as their starting center for the rest of the season shows how badly New York needs a big man before they can become a legitimate title contender.
But with that being said, the Knicks have two weapons to make sure they’ll never out of a game.