Knicks Get Full Team Effort Against Sixers, End 4 Game Losing Streak
The Knicks win on Sunday night marked their first win in exactly 2 weeks. New York only played 4 games during that stretch due to the all-star break, but they lost them all. The 99-93 victory over Philadelphia may have signaled a turnaround for the struggling Knicks.
On paper this game against the Sixers set up perfectly for the Knicks. Philadelphia is in a serious rut, playing all season without Andrew Bynum. Bynum was acquired from the Lakers during the off-season. Philly is also a normally low-scoring team, and the Knicks defensive intensity was a question coming into the game.
The Knicks started out strong, playing well together. The first quarter was close throughout and the Knicks led by 2 going into the second quarter. New York was able to separate from the Sixers before halftime. Amare Stoudemire provided a huge spark off the bench, something the Knicks had been missing lately. Stoudemire finished with 22 points on an astonishing 9-10 from the field.
The second half played out worse for the Knicks. Philly outscored the Knicks by 6 points in the half, but their first half deficit couldn't be erased. Philly was led by all-star guard Jrue Holiday, who has combined for 65 points in his last two games against the Knicks. Holiday torched New York's guard combo of Felton and Kidd. New York may have problems down the stretch with it's on guard defense. At times, they may have to put Shumpert on the pg and allow Kidd or Felton to guard the opposing 2 guard.
Carmelo Anthony shined for the Knicks, scoring 29 points on 16-18 form the free throw line. Anthony and Felton combined for 43 points, while the rest of the starters only scored 12. Newly signed Kenyon Martin failed to get into the game. Hopefully, Coach Mike Woodson will give Martin some run in the next couple of games.
Going back to the third quarter, there was a small skirmish centered around Tyson Chandler and Spencer Hawes. The big men got into a shoving and yelling match, but there were no punches thrown. On the one hand, it was nice to see the Knicks fired up. On the other, if Chandler had ended up throwing a punch, he could've cost himself a few games. At this point, with the East and the Atlantic division being so close, the Knicks can ill-afford a suspension of one of their best players.
The Knicks certainly didn't play great, but the win was all that mattered. New York will host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday in an expectedly heated matchup.