New York Knicks vs Indiana Pacers
Game 28: December 20, 2016
Knicks 118, Pacers 111
‘Member Carmelo? ‘Member how he can score efficiently? Yeah, I ‘member!
The Knicks finally returned home after their long west coast trip to face the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. After falling behind in the third quarter, the Knicks stormed back and took the lead back in the fourth quarter to win the game 118-111. Carmelo Anthony snapped out of his shooting slump to lead the Knicks with 35 points on 13-25 shooting, which was the first time he shot over 50% in what feels like forever. I’ve been incredibly critical of Carmelo the past few weeks, but he showed his elite offensive game tonight. The returning Derrick Rose had 24 points and 6 assists, and Kristaps Porzingis 21 points and 8 rebounds. The big three put on a show for the home crowd and brought the Knicks all the way back. Thad Young and Myles Turner led the Pacers with 21 points each, and Paul George had 16 points.
Takeaways from this game:
Superteam? (Just kidding, but not really):
The big three of the New York Knicks went absolutely Knuts tonight against Indiana, combining for 80 of the Knicks 118 points. This was the outcome that Knicks fans everywhere were salivating over, the fact that KP and Carmelo have a star caliber point guard to play with in Derrick Rose. Rose is a former MVP in this league and knows how to get it done on the offensive end, and the collective effort of those three was the difference tonight. Anthony was the key in the second half, as he really heated up from downtown to get the Knicks back in the game. If these three can play anywhere near the level they played tonight, the offense could be unstoppable.
Joakim, thanks for showing up:
No sarcasm here. Joakim Noah came to play tonight. Like Carmelo, I have been really critical of Noah, considering the money he makes and what is expected of him. Joakim had his first double-double since 2014 (not really, but it seems that way) and was a real difference maker on both ends of the court. 11 points and 11 boards for the 72 million dollar man in this one, and he played up to his contract tonight. Joakim brings so much to this team in theory, and he could be another positive, and could perhaps make this a big 4? One can dream.
The Knicks have another home game coming up this Thursday against the Orlando Magic, another game the Knicks should win. Orlando has been struggling so far this season, but they should not be taken lightly. As we saw last week, the Knicks dropped games to Phoenix and Denver, two teams they should have handled no problem. The Knicks can’t be one of those teams who plays down to the team they are facing, and need to come out of the gates fast and look for the game to be over in the third quarter. If they can pick up their defensive intensity and continue to shoot well from the outside, this game should be another easy win. 15-13.