Kristaps Porzingis had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Derrick Rose added 19 points to help the New York Knicks cruise to a 101-90 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
Facing an Orlando team adjusting to playing with a smaller lineup, the Knicks used their superior size to their advantage all night. Porzingis, who returned from missing two games with an ankle injury, presented matchup problems for the Magic when they attempted to put their big men on him outside and he took the smaller players inside.
Carmelo Anthony had 17 points and Justin Holiday added 14 off the bench for the Knicks. Lance Thomas scored 11. >> Read more
- Though Carmelo Anthony struggled, this game was a productive one for many reasons. As the Knicks pushed the pace with a small ball lineup, Kristaps Porzingis looked like a triangle offense savant. The big man was moving well and pivoting towards the basket efficiently. He embraced being a true focus point. Porzingis also looked fatigued, which is to be expected following an injury absence. Still, he fought through it pretty well and Thursday's day off from game action should help. He was very active.
- Porzingis wasn't the only one who played well in the revitalized effort to carry out the triangle. Justin Holiday and Mindaugas Kuzminskas both benefitted from great looks around the perimeter because they kept spacing the floor. Each wingman is intelligent and able to make the right plays. They contribute to the fluidity of the offense because they're always on the move. As New York looks to make determinations for the future, Holiday and Kuzminskas continue to prove their worth. That can't be said for every other player on the court, as the offense fell stagnant when others failed to actively move off the ball or forced poor shots up.
- There are couple of respective skill sets that have seemed to go under appreciated , given the twists and turns of this season. Derrick Rose is an excellent rebounder for a point guard. At 6 foot 3 he's very strong. His ability to crash the defensive glass (and subsequent quickness) often leads to fast breaks on the other end. As Rose runs up the floor, he could stand to control the tempo and make better decisions upon creating additional possessions for his squad. Such organization is what's been missing from his game all season long.
- As for Kyle O'Quinn's passing ability, it's really special. O'Quinn can draw defenders in and then quickly find a cutting man or another waiting on the wing for an open shot. He's averaging 4.3 assists in his last three games.