Block parties seem to be an increasingly popular trend in The World's Most Famous Arena these days. Propelled by another five blocked shots by rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks took a rather commanding lead over visiting Milwaukee on Sunday night. Letting their defense spark different opportunities on the offensive end, it was easy never to look back.
The Knicks didn't shoot well from beyond the arc, but everything else went really well for the team in this latest double-digit victory. Realizing the long ball wasn't in their favor early on, New York moved the ball especially well throughout in order to create higher percentage looks instead. Everyone seemed to get involved and contribute here and there, creating a very healthily balanced offense. The likes of Porzingis and Robin Lopez were very solid on the defensive end, in turn making plays that pumped the team up to run and gun on the other end of the floor. The momentum was clearly in their favor, resulting in an easy victory.
Here's a look at some other observations from the win.
- Carmelo Anthony has become a passing machine. Much of it has been a result of more trust in his teammates, and rightfully so. Anthony (eight assists) now has guys around him who aren't afraid to take the big shot at the end of a sequence instead of passing it off. They're confident. Ironically enough, the more passes he makes, the fewer All-Star votes Anthony seems to get. But the important number is the increased amount of wins New York has.
- One could even argue that Anthony is rising up more like an MVP candidate than ever before. His fingerprints are all over some of the Knicks' more spirited efforts as of late. He's a grinder. He can still step up and knock down key shots when necessary, but he's also fighting his way inside and physically competing for rebounds, while also sharing the ball more. He's been a very versatile talent.
- It's becoming increasingly clear that the Knicks made the right moves this offseason, but Greg Monroe still showed them what they missed out on. Tallying 28 points and 10 boards, the big man was downright dominant. The Knicks' frontline couldn't slow him down, but unfortunately for the Bucks, New York did a good job on everyone else as Monroe received little help.
- Able to control the tempo of a game while letting their defensive effort lead the way, the Knicks are getting used to putting up very physical fights. This is a team that doesn't back down. They are beginning to understand how to pester opposing teams and apply pressure. A game like this even suggests that the team is learning how to put forth such an effort and maintain it from start to finish, something the Knicks had struggled with for years.