The New York Knicks are 1-0 in the Phil Jackson Era. In seriousness, the Knicks continued their solid play, notching their most impressive victory of their current 7-game streak with a close but nearly wire-to-wire win over the Indiana Pacers, owners of the most victories in the NBA this season. The Knicks are now a still-ghastly 28-40, but have come within 4 games in the loss column of the Charlotte Bobcats, who are in 7th in the Eastern Conference.
- First on Phil. The last 36 hours or so have been sort of surreal. It was surreal seeing Phil stand on a stage in MSG in front of a Knicks step-and-repeat, and it was surreal hearing Mike Walczewski introduce him to the crowd during a TV timeout as the President of the Knicks. The honeymoon stage rocks.
- Onto the game, one in which Carmelo Anthony was brilliant in. The Knicks ran a lot of isolations, early, late and in between, but when Anthony makes more than half of his shots it’s all gravy. Melo was consistently able to shoot over Paul George, David West, and – for a strange period – Chris Copeland, whether it was from the elbow or on the low block. Melo also got to the line well and converted 10 of his 12 attempts from there. The highlight play was Melo’s spin off of West on the low block and finish with a two handed dunk, a play that many people remarked was similar to the play in Game 6 last season where Roy Hibbert turned Melo away right at the rim. Melo was a bit quicker this time, and the result was much nicer for the Knicks.
- It certainly helped that Paul George was awful, shooting 4-for-17. He finished with 17 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter, so it was a bit too little, too late. Really, the Pacers were pretty terrible on offense for the most part outside of Lance Stephenson and a big 3rd quarter from Hibbert. And really, this is not a surprise. The Pacers’ offense has really been struggling as of late, and it ranks as the 20th most-efficient in the league. It’s going to be damn near impossible for them to win a title if their offense doesn’t get markedly better.
- Rebounds – Tim Hardaway, Jr.: 5; Roy Hibbert: 3. I THINK THE ZEN STUFF IS WORKING YOU GUYS
- It is pleasantly surprising how effective the frontcourt trio of Melo-Amar’e Stoudemire-Tyson Chandler has been during this winning streak. Heck of a time for those guys to figure out how to play together, huh? Stoudemire, especially, is at least holding his own on defense every now and then, and not totally destroying things out there. And offensively, Stoudemire has been really good as of late. In order for that trio to work, Stoudemire has to be able to be a viable option on the offensive end as to offset his usual poor defense, and he has been during this winning streak. Another efficient-enough 8-of-15 tonight.
- Iman Shumpert got hit in the face at least 4 times in this game, which is more than the amount of points he had (3).
- This, and all of this:
If Knicks get in the playoffs , they will win it all I think.
— Real Talk With Metta (@RealTalkWithMWP) March 20, 2014