Record during the week: 2-1
Game results: Win @ Spurs (105-101); Loss @ Rockets (102-100); Win @ Mavs (92-80)
Overall record / Games Behind: 11-22, 5.5 GB
Melo's Ankle: After missing back to back games (loses) against Toronto, Melo returned on Thursday and looked strong in all three contests this week. He put in nights of 27, 25, and 19, on 44% shooting all while playing solid team basketball. Moreover, watching Melo lead the team in ways other than points -- you know, like being the actual leader -- has been a pleasure. Please don't get injured ever again, ya?
First Half Defense: Nobody topped 50 in the first half this week against the Knicks. The Spurs had 47, the Rockets 48, so a good effort but nothing to write home about. But last night the Knicks held Dallas to 35 -- a team that scored 70 first half points the night before.
Iman Shumpert: Shump finally put on the offensive performance fans have been waiting for for the last three years. Getting hot from outside happens, and he won't hit every corner three he takes moving forward, but Shump's aggressiveness is something that he can control. The Knicks desperately need him to grow into the role of a second-scorer, looking for ways to score aside from simply standing on the outside. The Spurs and Rockets games simply need to be the norm and not the exception.
JR's Shot: Also could have been labeled "Beno's pass" but this was the single play of the three-game road trip that reminded us why the team is 11-22. Given the horrible play we have seen this season, asking for perfection would be a bit much.
Ray Felton: You never lose a job to injury, right? Even with Beno being a defensive liability, Felton's fate as the team's starting PG is a bit murky. All things being equal, Felton never ran the offense with the ball movement we saw from the Knicks this week. His ability to re-integrate the pick-and-roll with a healthy Tyson Chandler will be the determining factor.
THE WALT CLYDE
Boston Bitchin': Walt could not hold back watching Rockets coach and ex-Celtic Kevin McHale stomp around as he complained about a call on Friday night. "Those Boston guys are always cryin' about something, man."