[sny-box] The Least You Should Know:
The Knicks looked like a real basketball team tonight. For three quarters. Next time, let's go for a full four.
Melo started out hot and played well throughout, finishing with 30 and 10, 4 dimes and 3 steals.
Amar'e played in his first back-to-back set of the season. After notching 15 and 5 last night, he stayed hot with 14 and 9 in 30 minutes tonight. If STAT can dominate backup big men, the Knicks' second unit might be able to keep this team in some games.
The Knicks defense came to play, holding the Bulls to 32 first half points. Sadly, however, they stayed in the locker room at halftime and the Knicks barely held on for the win. [/sny-box]
Led by Prigioni and Kenyon Martin, the team decided to try something new tonight and actually play some defense. Surprise surprise, it worked. The Bulls shot 33% on the night while the Knicks tallied 7 blocks.
Speaking of Prig, it is impossible to ignore how much better the team plays with him running the show. Aside from hitting a few threes, he just runs a better game out there. Whether Felton is injured, fat or just out of it -- whatever the reason, give Prig the keys moving forward.
Other than defense and Prig, the story of this game was STAT. Playing in his first back-to-back, he looked like a solid role player who can score against second-team bigs. I refuse to get too excited about it just yet, but if he can find his rhythm...
Shumpert knocked knees in the third quarter, forcing the team to call a timeout to make sure he was ok. He did not return with what was reported to be a bruised right knee.
I have been hating all season, so I will give dap when dap is due: JR went to the hoop on consecutive possessions in the third. First he made a nice dribble-drive-pass to Bargnani who finished with a flush, and then got fouled and got two freebies. That he 1. went to the hoop instead of settling for an off-balanced pull-up and 2. passed the ball to an open man were sights for sore fans' eyes. That said, he also had a horrible foul amidst the Bulls' fourth quarter run which earned him a seat on the bench, so, we are not completely there just yet.
The Bulls are far from a healthy team right now, and have no guard play to speak of, and yet still managed to go on a huge second half run that made this game far closer than it should have been. The fact that the Bulls had nobody to lean on for a bucket down the stretch was a big help tonight.
But you can only beat who you play, and for the 6-win Knicks, I think we all agree: we'll take it.
Next Game: The Knicks next game comes Friday night, as the team travels to Boston to play the Celtics at 7:30pm.