Is it the beginning of the season? Are the Knicks 6-0 again? It certainly felt like it last night when NY brought back that early season defensive intensity to bully around and finish off what was already a weary Spurs team to post one of their wins of the season. What wasn’t there to like? With Marcus Camby and Tyson Chandler starting together, the Spurs could get nothing going inside. They scored only 12 points in the paint (where they are averaging 44 points per game). The Knicks were content to live with the Spurs shooting long jumpers and it worked with San Antonio shooting only 36%. The 83 points is the lowest total the Knicks have held a team to this season. To make it more sweet, this is the first Spurs sweep in 10 years.
The most promising aspect of this win is that everyone contributed. Novak went 5-7 from downtown and even notched some good steals and deflections. JR Smith went for 20 points or better in his fifth straight game. Pablo Prigioni had several excellent steals and dropped 9 assists, one of which being a sick alley oop to JR. Melo got his points but with the balanced scoring didn’t have to work as hard. Amar’e Stoudemire is still getting back in the swing of things, but looked much better defensively and contributed 10 points. Once he gets his legs back, he’ll start finishing better around the rim (he was blocked 4 times after getting by his man).
And don’t forget the rebounding — NY won that battle handily 48-35 thanks in large part to Chandler (14), Camby (6) and Melo (8). Let’s hope we keep this poise tomorrow when we head back to Orlando.