So with Mike D’Antoni gone, the Knicks wouldn’t be a three-point shooting, fast break team, right?
It’s the Knicks; did you really think this was going to make any sense?
The Knicks hosted Portland Wednesday evening in what was their first game of the Mike Woodson era, following the resignation of the Seven-Seconds-Or-Less offense originator. They treated the lowly Trail Blazers like practice dummies, torching them for 30 fast break points, draining 19 shots from beyond the arc, and, music to the ears of Knicks fans, forcing 27 turnovers and allowing only 79 points. The Knicks won 121-79.
After looking borderline dead the last six games, the Knicks came out energized playing for interim head coach Mike Woodson. Carmelo Anthony, who according to all reports got his wish in D’Antoni jumping ship, looked as quick as he’s seemed all season. He looked comfortable with the offense and was even getting others involved, namely Amar’e Stoudemire, who also looked rejuvenated. Melo and Stat combined to outscore the Blazers in the first half, 30-29.
That was all before JR Smith finally, and I mean finally, showed everyone why he’s wearing a Knick uniform. It started with a straight-away three-ball sank with three minutes remaining in the third (See what I did there?).
From then on, Portland just couldn’t stop the rain.
Smith tacked on 23 points, seven total threes. Add that to Steve Novak’s six treys, Melo’s three, Iman Shumpert’s two, and Josh Harrelson’s goofy looking thing in the closing minutes, and that’s 19 three pointers made. More importantly, the team shot 50% from downtown– un-heard of.
The defense looked was active and the rotations were crisp: everything that wasn’t happening the past two weeks. And of course, it wouldn’t be a win if Jared Jeffries didn’t draw a charge. Jeffries played for the first time since March 4th in Boston due to a knee issue, and drew a pleasant applause from the Garden crowd.