For the Knicks last nights game was so much more then a regular season win. The passion in the garden was so evident that even Derrick Rose had to acknowledge it. Their was a playoff atmosphere in the air, and the Knicks didn’t disappoint. Let’s take a deeper look inside the numbers.
Their are a few numbers I want to take a look at and the first is 30. The Knicks held the Blazers under 30 points per quarter, expect for the first quarter where Portland put up 33 points. After the first quarter the Knicks clamped down on defense and held the Blazers to 25, 23, and 22 points per quarter the rest of the game. With such a tight game ( their were 20 lead changes) the Knicks needed to defend in order to win. The club also held the Blazers to 27% from three (6/22). The Blazers average 108 per game but were held to 103. So the numbers show the Knicks put up a very impressive defensive effort.
Now let’s take a look at the offense, the Knicks have to move the ball in order to score. With 26 assist ( only 13 turnovers) on 45 made shots they did just that. Jennings doing his best Mark Jackson impersonation had 11 assist off the bench. All this ball movement led the Knicks to a 46% shooting clip. From the three point line they shot a respectable 31%. The offense primary ran thru KP as he put up his second 30 point game of the season. Porzingis used an offensive array of moves to power his way to 31 points. Step back 3s check, Cuts to the basket check, Alley oops check, fade away shots check, post up moves check. KP was firing on all cylinders last night.
However when it came down to the 4th quarter Derrick too charge. It was his pose and composure that allowed the Knicks to hold the lead. Derrick took charge of the game and dictated the offense. Rose sealed the win with a step back jumper with 3:15 left on the clock. Rose had this to say about his performance
”I’m not here to bust or brag but I’m used to being in positions where I have the ball in my hand, playing in Chicago,” Rose said. ”I’ve really played like that my entire life, through grammar school, high school, college and here.” – D.Rose
The Knicks used a group effort to pull this one out with six players scoring 7 or more points. All in all the club looks to have come together after holding a team meeting a few days ago. Since that netting the Knicks have won two in a row and climbed back to 500. The Knicks are currently in the 7th seed and look to continue to climb up the standing.
The Knicks hope to create a winning culture after three consecutive years of missing the playoffs. If this club continues to build on their chemistry they can become a team no one wants to face in the playoffs.