Knicks continue momentum, beat Sixers

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Oh how sweet it is. The new look New York Knicks kept the momentum from Friday’s win going this afternoon as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 104-84 at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony was absolutely fantastic on both ends of the court, scoring 27 points on 18 shots and making countless great plays on defense. The offense was efficient once again, shooting 50.6% for the game. JR Smith chipped in with a cool 20 points on 8/15 shooting. Defensively, the Knicks were great as has become the norm with this team. Sixers not named Jrue Holiday shot just 37.7% for the game and the Knicks forced more turnovers then they committed. Up 13 in the final minutes, Mike Woodson put in the Knicks human victory cigar. Rasheed Wallace came in, grabbed some rebounds, dished an assist and made a shot. All around, it was a great afternoon for the Knickerbockers.

Here are my notes from the game:

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  • I could not be more impressed with Mike Woodson in these first two games. I, like many, had numerous concerns about Woodson’s offense coming into the year. From what we had previously seen in his stint as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Mike Woodson’s offense was one that was based heavily on isolation sets. Given that Carmelo Anthony is his featured offense in New York, I feared that he would run that same offense here. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Through these first two games, the Knicks offense has looked nothing like the Woodson offenses of old from Atlanta. We’ve seen Anthony as the featured player, as he should be, but not how we would think. Anthony has not been used in isolation as much as we thought. Woodson has done a good job of designing the offense to get Anthony touches in positions where he can succeed. We’ve seen a lot of Anthony in both the high and low post, places where he will succeed. As a result, the defense has been doubling down a lot on him. Anthony has done a great job, especially in this game, of effectively passing out of double teams. New York has done a great job swinging the ball which has set up a lot of open jump shots. We have also seen a lot of off-ball movement from this Knicks offense. Lots of off-ball screens to set up open shooters. Lots of screens that have caused the defense to switch and get the Knicks more favorable match-ups. There is a lot to like about what we’ve seen from this Woodson offense and I think this style of basketball is sustainable. In terms of pace, the Knicks have been somewhat slow offensively, but that should tailor to this personnel. There’s no secret there is a lot of old players on this club and this is a long 82 game season. This isn’t the D’Antoni Suns. The Knicks don’t have the legs to just run up and down for 82 games. I like the more methodical, half-court offense. I think it will suit these guys very well moving forward. Woodson seems to have connected with this club in a way D’Antoni really didn’t, at least in the Melo era. The Knicks have bought into what Woodson is selling. They’ve played hard on defense and they’ve been unselfish on offense. I think both of those things can be attributed to Woodson’s ability to connect with this group of players. Great job by the coach so far and there isn’t a reason why this style of Knicks basketball can’t continue. Read more…
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