After losing nine of their last ten games going into Tuesday, it's clear the New York Knicks had been reeling, and no end to their misery seemed to be in sight.
Aside from Carmelo Anthony playing through pain before sitting out the last two games, the team has also been slowed by a severe lack of ball movement. Their stagnant offense has constantly led to their demise in demoralizing losses this season, even against the weaker teams in the league. Thus, no matchup has nearly guaranteed the Knicks an easy win this season.
With otherwise no momentum in their favor entering Tuesday's game vs. the Pistons, the Knicks received a big boost in the form of Anthony, who decided to play in a game-time decision.
Though Anthony did end up leading all scorers with 25 points in the Knicks' 113-86 win, his scoring was not what ultimately propelled the team to victory.
Ball movement turned out to be the Knicks' friend rather than foe, Tuesday. The team distributed the ball, perhaps displaying their most fluent offensive game of the season. Teammates were hitting each other in the right spots, finding one another in ideal places.
While Anthony can create his own offense at all, Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields provided sparks as well. Chandler attacked the basket, grabbing rebounds that started fast breaks, as well as dunking the ball for an array of sweet, easy hoops. His teammates found him again and again as he made it to the charity stripe ten times. He finished with 17 points and 8 boards.
Fields has been on a roll over the last two weeks, and last night was no different. Letting his solid defense lead to strong offense, Fields also led the fast break often by stealing the ball five times, running and gunning as he dropped in layups and dunks. What's more, he also sank in four shots from long range, all coming in the flow of the offense. Nothing was forced from Fields, who poured in 18 points and also dished out three flashy dimes in the victory.
In addition to his 25 points, Anthony was tied with Iman Shumpert for the team-high in assists with six.
The only Knick who really didn't seem to find his flow completely was Amar'e Stoudemire. Though he added 15 points in the win, STAT still seems to struggle, his jump shot flat with no floor general to set him up. With that said, he did seem to attack the basket a tad bit more last night, helping him get to the free throw line quite a bit. As he searches for his rhythm, perhaps the Knicks should look to help him capitalize by finding him inside more often.
Aside from their impressive ball movement, the Knicks continued to step up their defensive game, finishing with 12 steals and 6 blocks in the win.
Though the Pistons now stand meekly at 4-19, any win is a good win for the Knicks at this point. They should take positives from this game and hope they can carry those with them, providing some momentum going into their matchup at home vs. the Bulls on Thursday.