A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis...
Melo and Knicks Eclipse Suns in OT
Win wasn’t pretty but team extends win streak to 5 games
NEW YORK – A win is a win is a win as the New York Knicks bested the Phoenix Suns, 98-96 in overtime. The New Year continues to be really good to the Knicks who are now 6-1 in the calendar newness. The Boys from Gotham are still a ways below .500 at 15-22 which includes an improved 7-12 at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks are playing with a renewed and committed defensive mentality to where they are holding opposing teams to around 30 percent from the 3-point line. At one point early in the season the opposition shot 3’s against the Knicks as if they were free-throws. Our defense…we got stops,” JR Smith offered, playing well in his second game after being benched against the Miami Heat. “When we get stops, it is going to be tough to beat us.”
“I think now as a team, I think mentally we’re a different type of team,” All-star Carmelo Anthony said. “I think now we’re starting to believe that when we do get down, we still have a chance to win the basketball game.” That wasn’t the case just a few short weeks ago as mental lapses and lack of confidence seemed to be the norm. Carmelo, who led the way with 29 points and 16 rebounds, played a team high 46 minutes. Carmelo also had a double-double in the first half for the first time this season and the fourth of his career. The last time was against the then New Jersey Nets, April 8, 2014.
Power forward Kenyon Martin added, “We had a few lapses but we are trying to make each possession. We are locking in and realize how we have to play each and every night.”
Everyone on the Knicks appear to be taking playing defense personal. Their help defense is a lot better and at the same time taking more individual pride in guarding the ball.
Some Knicks improvements: Knicks are now 8-6 when they equal or outrebound its opponents. They are now 5-4 on the frontend of back to back games. Knicks are an astounding 11-4 when they shoot equal or better than its opponents. When the Knicks hold their opponents under 100-points they are 12-8. And now the Knicks also improved to 14-5 when they lead after three quarters.
Jerald L. Hoover