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New York Knicks Crush Portland Trail Blazers After D’Antoni Reportedly Resigns: A Fan’s Reaction
Playing with an energy that fans haven't seen in a while, the New York Knicks absolutely crushed the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night (March 14). After coach Mike D'Antoni decided to resign earlier in the day, it seemed like the team was out to prove something in front of the Madison Square Garden crowd. They did exactly that.
On the way to a 121-79 victory, the Knicks did everything that they should have done the past three weeks. They spread the floor on offense, the players worked hard on defensive rotations and everyone was having a lot of fun on the court. Maybe it was the energy of simply playing for a new coach, but hopefully this game serves as the team turning the page and moving on to more success.
The defense was pretty stifling for the Knicks, but the Blazers were also turning the ball over a lot. In fact, the Blazers still had only 29 points total at the nine-minute mark of the third quarter. The low scoring offense allowed the Knicks to take a 25-12 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 55-29 lead into halftime. The second and third unit poured it on in the fourth quarter as well where the Knicks reserves out-scored the Blazers reserves 43-23.
All 13 players on the active roster for the Knicks played and 12 of them scored at least 2 points on the night. That included seldom used Jerome Jordan, who hit two free throws in the last moments of the game. Leading the way in scoring were J.R. Smith with 23 points and Steve Novak with 20 points off the bench. The tandem combined for 13 three-pointers in the game, showing what this Knicks team can do when they are spreading the floor correctly.
In just 25 minutes, Amare Stoudemire scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Carmelo Anthony finished with 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Maybe the best statistic of the night was the 35 total assists that the team put together against the Blazers. The teamwork was nice to watch, the game was exciting with all the offense and it was really fun to stay on the right side of a blowout this season.
The Knicks improved to 19-24 with this win, but the Milwaukee Bucks also won to keep the tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. It is extremely important that the Knicks now build upon this victory and put together some wins and a momentum as the regular season comes to a close.
The first chance to prove that this game wasn't a fluke is on Friday night (March 16) against the Indiana Pacers. If is the first of back-to-back games against the Pacers , with the first game in New York and the second game in Indiana on Saturday (March 17). Winning both games would certainly help a lot.
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*Ryan Christopher DeVault is a fan of the New York Knicks that has followed the team since the days John Starks, Charles Oakley, and Anthony Mason instilled their defensive will on the rest of the league.
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