Knicks Win Streak At Six In ’06’

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: January 15, 2006

NEW YORK – Don’t look now ladies and gentlemen but the Knicks are starting to play like a quality basketball team. “Playin’, the game the right way,” is how Hall of Fame and current Knick head coach would say. Brown, who celebrated his 1,000th NBA win, (he already celebrated a 1,000th when you combine his ABA days—which he staunchly supports—and now, has the team playing really inspired basketball. The Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks 105-94 to extend their winning streak to six games, and improved to 9-8 at home.

The good relationship that is starting to brew between Brown and his star point guard, Stephon Marbury who had 19 points and nine assists, looks like an infusion of energy to the rest of the team. And while this is all happening, Marbury is starting to make a late mid-season bid for All-star honors. He is not only showing wit and grit by guarding opposing teams’ top guards but he is communicating with his teammates a lot better and his moping seems to have decreased. Brown said of Marbury’s play against the Hawks, “I told him how proud I was of him. This was the best game (for him) because of what he had to go through.” Marbury, who admitted, “I was kind of tired tonight, but I play,” had to guard the high scoring Joe Johnson who had him by 5 inches and at least 35 pounds.

Marbury’s play isn’t the only rave of stellar play among the guards. Although neophyte Nate Robinson has calmed down considerably and is playing under a lot more control, Jamal Crawford, who had to adjust to a Sixth-man role, has been magnificent of late. In the calendar year Crawford has been averaging 26 points per game. Crawford’s shot selection has improved greatly, although he did admit, “Coach Brown still hates it when I take those runners.”

The Knicks, who have not lost a game in this calendar year, as a whole seems to find some one or some thing to focus on during a game or a stretch. Against the Dallas Mavericks, the Knicks made an eye-popping 30 straight free-throws. Against the Hawks, when they needed it most down the stretch in the 4th quarter, the Knicks played lock down defense, as mega-man center Eddy Curry (6-11, 285 pounds) dove on the floor for a loose ball.

The fans at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden is starting to treat regular season games as if they were Playoff contests. The crowd towards the tail end of the game and once the Knicks had it in the bag, began to chant, “Lar-ry! Lar-ry! Lar-ry!” So now when someone asks, ‘What can Brown do for you?” just show them a picture of the Knicks.

GAME NOTES: With Larry Brown’s 1,000 win, he now trails Lenny Wilkens (1,332), Don Nelson (1,190) and Pat Riley (1,120). Channing Frye has hit his last 78 out of 90 free throws. Crawford has hit 97 out of 113 while Marbury has hit 93 or 112. The Knicks team is first in the NBA in free-throws taken. The Knicks outscored the Hawks’ bench 44-28. This game also marked Marbury’s 278th straight; the fifth longest active streak behind: Morris Peterson (312) of the Raptors, Joe Johnson (307), Bruce Bowen (305) of the Spurs and Kevin Garnett (305) of the Timberwolves.

TORONTO, —Jalen Rose helped put an emphatic end to the New York Knicks’ winning streak yesterday.

Rose scored 21 of his season-high 31 points in the first half and Morris Peterson added a season-high 28 as the Toronto Raptors halted the Knicks’ six-game winning streak with a 129-103 win.