Written by William Lee
New York matched their longest winning streak all season, collecting their fifth straight win Wednesday night defeating Boston 116-92.
An extremely thin frontline, got thinner Wednesday night, as Tyson Chandler did not play due to personal reasons for a second consecutive game, and Amare Stoudemire sat out to recover, who has been playing tremendous basketball both on offense and defense. Without Chandler and Stoudemire, Cole Aldrich stepped into the starting lineup. To the Knicks credit, every player stepped up to the challenge, especially Aldrich and Earl Clark, who saw meaningful minutes due the decimated frontcourt. Aldrich collected a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, along with three blocks for a +19 +/-. While Earl Clark didn’t have an impressive stat line, his impact overall was felt, stepping into the rotation, giving excellent back up minutes (particularly in the second quarter when Anthony was resting), proven with the best +/- of anyone, +22.
The Knicks scored 68 points in the first half, which were the most points scored in a half by New York. New York put on a three-point shooting clinic in the first half, connecting on 9-of-10 from beyond the arc. Both Carmelo Anthony and Tim Hardaway Jr. connected on three-threes. Anthony started off strong, as per usual, with 13 points in the first quarter. J.R Smith got off to a hot start as well, scoring nine of his 13 points in the first quarter, helping build a 36-24 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
Tim Hardaway Jr. provided a huge lift off the bench, scoring 12 of his 22 points in the second quarter. New York was unconscious on offense Wednesday night, scoring at a 60.5% clip in the first half, leading 68-48 at the half. The Celtics defense looked like they were imitating the Knicks’ defense, constantly switching out bigs onto New York’s perimeter players, which forced mismatches in favor of the offense. This is scenario that played out for most of the first half, if the double didn’t come, Anthony easily scored on crossover dribble pull ups, and if the double came, the ball swung around the perimeter for a wide open three. New York handed out 15 assists on Continue reading