WASHINGTON, DC — The Knicks notched their second road win of the season with a gutsy performance over the Washington Wizards last night. You would think it’s too early in the season for games with playoff-like atmospheres, but that’s what we got as Melo answered one his unlikely critics and showed a shooting rhythm that will prove deadly this season.
POOR JARED DUDLEY (NOT REALLY): In May, Jared Dudley went on a NY radio show and proclaimed Carmelo Anthony the “most overrated player” in the NBA. His reasoning was the usual talking points we hear: doesn’t make his teammates better, one-dimensional blah blah blah. He later apologized, but word obviously got back to our Knicks leader, as he revealed in his post-game comments:
It wasn’t really nothing kind of personal against him. I just knew what was said in the offseason. So that was in the back of my mind.
Melo had a field day in the second half when Dudley attempted to guard him. He hit a key long jumper with just 4 seconds left on the shot clock to put NY up 108-106. In the game’s final 20 seconds, Melo iced it with four free throws. Meanwhile, Dudley has 0 points in 17 minutes. His two shots were open three-pointers that would have swayed the momentum back in Washington’s favor.
He bricked both.
I think Melo made his point. His entire stat line read 37 points (11/18), 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block. He had 11 points and 5 rebounds in the fourth quarter alone.
GUARDS HANG TOUGH: Our backcourt had the nightmare task of dealing with John Wall (25 points) and Bradley Beal (26 points). They weren’t exactly contained, but Jerian Grant (7 points) and Langston Galloway made them work and prevented layup drills in the fourth quarter. That was enough to make Wall miss two key floaters. And Robin Lopez altered a Beal layup that would have brought the Wizards within three.
Calderon lack of speed necessitated him sitting in the fourth, but he was a solid contributor with 10 points. Galloway had two clutch threes in the fourth and delivered 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
BENCH BRIGRADE HOLDS MELO DOWN: How many times have we seen Melo worn out in the fourth from carrying the scoring load all game? Once again, the bench players drew fouls and kept the game close, allowing Anthony to sit from a few minutes left in the third to the 8 minute mark of the fourth. Those players included Derrick Williams (7 points), Kyle O’Quinn (10 points) and Lance Thomas (12 points).
THE TRIAL BY FIRE CONTINUES: The Knicks go home to face another high-end playoff team when the Spurs visit Madison Square Garden on Monday. Who came up with our schedule???