New York Knicks

The New York Knicks and their suddenly competent backcourt pounced early and finished strong against the Magic.

New York Knicks 108 (25-35)
Orlando Magic 95 (25-32)
Final Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Jeremy Fialkow

With the Knickerbockers of New York, issues – offensive and defensive – always seem to stem from the point guard position. Tonight was…different.

Jose Calderon got the Knicks started early, but it was the play from an electric Jerian Grant that kept New York pushing the pace, and putting his teammates in position to score.

It’s truly incredible how good this team can look at times. Their effort appeared infinite, which meant their defense was stout, for the most part. They were firing on all cylinders. By halftime, the Garden was rocking – not just for the Led Zeppelin/Beatles cover band at center-court, but for the home team as they led 62-44.

Simply put, the Knicks suffocated and stormed the Magic, who played their second game in two nights after being embarrassed at home by Steph Curry and his Invincibles known as the Warriors.

Some thoughts:

  • Mentioned above, Calderon finally decided it was time to step up the intensity, hitting the Knicks first three buckets of the night and his first five shots, as New York jumped out to 32-23 lead after one. Of course, the hardships that come with Calderon (i.e, his defense) didn’t vanish. He also shot his 39th free-throw of the season tonight… Our starting point guard. 39.

  • The real catalyst for the Knicks tonight were Langston Galloway and Jerian Grant. Their strong defense led to fluid and easy offense. Especially for Grant, who’s placement (for no reason whatsoever) in Rambis’ doghouse the past few games left his team without any semblance of athleticism in the backcourt. The Knicks play at a blistering pace with Grant-Galloway in the game compared to a Calderon-Affalo lineup.
  • Another impressively balanced game from frustrated face-of-the-franchise Carmelo Anthony who finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists. Melo’s emphasis on spreading the ball around (more) and feeding his teammates has surprisingly not dwindled…yet.

  • Future Superstar and Savior of Knicks Basketball Kristaps Porzingis had a couple Porz-Swats, Porz-Hooks and another (albeit, less-emphatic) Porz-Putback.

  • Boy, Orlando’s defense stinks. Actually, may be worse than New York’s…for two games, at least. They gave up an astounding 130 points to Golden State last night, followed by more swiss-cheese-D tonight.
  • The more pick-and-rolls the merrier.
  • No minutes for Sasha Vujacic! Good things happen when Sasha (and his 31% shooting from the field, 28% from three) doesn’t play.
  • In Fredette news, The Jimmer is still waiting to play his first meaningful minutes as a Knick. Only Lord Rambis knows if/when that will occur. (By the way, the “WE WANT JIMMER” chants at the Garden with the Knicks leading by 13 after three quarters seemed a little premature. Have we learned nothing, #KnicksNation?)
  • The Knicks will have to finish the season 16-6 in their final 22 games to reach .500…or, in other words: Not gonna happen.

Tweet of the Night:

NEXT: The New York Mets One And Only Position Battle

Jeremy Fialkow was born and raised in Miami, FLA, but currently studies at the University of Maryland. When he's not studying hard, he can be found supporting his sometimes hopeless NY teams: Knicks, Mets, Jets, and Isles. Your sympathy is appreciated.