After a frustrating six game losing streak, the Knicks put an end to their skid by stomping all over the struggling Bobcats, 111-78.
Many Knicks teammates were dancing and prancing along the bench as the team made its way to victory, outscoring Charlotte 38-21 in the fourth quarter. Though it's clear the Knicks needed an uplifting win to build up their confidence, it's important the team doesn't get too cocky.
After suffering losses to some of the NBA's weaker teams already this season, all the Knicks can hope to do is allow their momentum from the win in Charlotte to propel them to more victories on the road. A win is a win, but the Knicks have to understand beating the Bobcats should be considered an expectation more so than an accomplishment. With the kind of talent currently on the roster, winning needs to be a consistent expectation. The focus needs to be on improving the disappointing 7-10 record. No celebrating just yet.
The Knicks learned that they could very well indeed win without Carmelo Anthony dominating the game. Anthony had a career-low 1 point, shooting 0-7 from the field. That said, Amar'e Stoudemire poured in 18 points and Landry Fields continued his steady play by adding 18 as well.
What was more impressive, however, was the 20 points recored by Tyson Chandler, to go along with a massive 17 rebounds. While Chandler has not been expected to score in bunches, his field goal percentage this season has been phenomenal. Furthermore, his scoring outbursts usually result in a Knicks victory. It's obvious his defensive presence has elevated his team in that regard, but perhaps the Knicks should look to feature their big man on offense more often as well.
The contributions of the likes of Fields and Chandler are key to any future Knicks success. This team clearly needs strong play from its supporting cast. STAT and Melo cannot carry the team on their own, and it's refreshing to see that when they have off-nights, their teammates do have the ability to provide a pick-me-up.
The team was also paced by strong bench play, with a surprising 11 points by Jared Jeffries. Toney Douglas and Steve Novak each had 9 points off the pine as well for the Knicks, who go into Cleveland tonight seeking a second straight win.