You didn’t think Carmelo Anthony was going to miss this one. Not with his former team in town. After missing the past two games with a lacerated finger, Melo returned in style by lighting up the Nuggets for 34 in a come from behind 112-106 win. With the exception of a technical foul, he was fantastic making big shots and locking in defensively. The display impressed ex-coach George Karl, who paid homage to Anthony by hinting that he’ll win a championship soon. One can only hope so.
The great thing about this year’s Knicks is they’re bounce back ability. When they had back-to-back stinkers against Dallas and Houston, they went on a tear- soaring to the top of the East. The effort at Chicago was subpar. Lousy possessions and enough turnovers for a bakery while not getting the job done down the stretch. Defensively, they weren’t much better against Denver. However, when push came to shove the Knicks persevered.
Trailing by eight in the fourth quarter, New York went on a 12-0 run turning it around. Steve Novak drained a pair of treys from each corner and Jason Kidd set up Tyson Chandler for a slam. Kidd was spectacular finishing with 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds. He is simply amazing. Even pushing 40, his basketball IQ is off the charts. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in brains, anticipating where the ball and teammates are going to be. It’s like watching Wayne Gretzky when he was at the end of his career for the Rangers. Oddly enough, Kidd donned a Ranger helmet before the game. Considering that they’re not playing, it was pretty comical. My favorite moment was when Kidd waited in the perfect spot to steal the ball and feed Chandler for a dunk. It’s subtle plays like that that make him so valuable.
You have to give credit to Glen Grunwald for this team with even James Dolan getting kudos. They decided not to re-sign Jeremy Lin, letting him walk to Houston for overpayment while swinging a deal for Ray Felton, who fits this team better offensively and defensively. Plus he’s a true pick-n-roll player who should make things easier once A’Mare Stoudemire returns. Underrated additions such as Ronnie Brewer are noticed by true Knick fans. While he doesn’t score a lot, he continues to do the little things that made him a nice piece for Chicago. And don’t forget Rasheed Wallace, who’s still got it despite that spot in his head since his Tar Heel days. What the heck is that?
Five Knicks hit double digits include JR “Starks” Smith who nailed a triple from deep to help put away his former club. There were an awful lot of players who once played for the other side. You had Melo, Smith, Felton and Camby while Denver had leading scorer Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov and Anthony Randolph. Gallinari played well for the Nuggets scoring 21 inside and out. One play featured an off balance driving lay-in that went for a three-point play. Terrific move by Gallo drawing the hack on Kidd and finishing. He still is inconsistent but paces the Nuggets with nearly 16-per-game. Ty Lawson also stood out for the guests posting a team best 23 along with six dimes. His speed is killer. It’s like watching the Road Runner dust Wiley E. Coyote.
The Knicks (15-5) are back in action Tuesday against the reeling Nets, who have dropped four in a row including a deflating home loss to the Bucks. They’re not the same without center Brooke Lopez. No matter what, the Knicks owe them one.