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Knicks continue impressive start by taking care of Sixers

Nov 4, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

Carmelo Anthony, Thaddeus Young

A tip-off time of 12 noon in the NBA can often be trouble for both teams. It’s a quirk in the schedule for a league whose players are used to gearing up to perform at their peak sometime after 7:30 p.m., so the broken routine can result in some rough basketball during those early afternoon starts.

That certainly wasn’t the case Sunday afternoon for the Knicks.

New York seemed to pick up right where it left off after its season-opening blowout win over the Heat, and got big performances from Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith on the way to a 100-84 victory over the Sixers — one that really seemed to come fairly easily.

Anthony was aggressive on both ends of the floor from the very start, scoring efficiently from inside and out while busting it on defense at the same time. He had a vicious blocked shot early on, and was seen diving into the stands to chase down loose balls.

The Knicks had excellent ball movement on offense, thanks to Jason Kidd playing alongside Raymond Felton in the starting lineup. And when they needed a little extra firepower, there was J.R. Smith lighting it up from deep off the bench.

Anthony had 15 points by halftime, and finished with 27 on just 18 shots. Smith had 20 points and nine rebounds, and drained four of his five attempts from three-point distance.

The ball movement, spacing on offense, and team defense — all of which have been great for New York consistently through its first eight quarters of the season — are pleasant surprises from a team that hasn’t showed positives there regularly in even one of those categories in a very long time.

The absence of Amar’e Stoudemire due to injury has helped Anthony’s efficiency so far, as he has the space to operate on the wing from mid-range without having a power forward who demands touches on the low block getting in his way. Yes, right now the Knicks are better without Stoudemire, but if he can return as a healthy contributor, Mike Woodson will find a way to integrate him into the offense.

On the Sixers’ side, maybe this was just one of those tough early starts where they were out of sync, or maybe the talent level of the Knicks, along with the energy level they brought this afternoon was too much to match for them at this point. It didn’t help offensively that Jason Richardson left the game just two minutes in with a sprained left ankle, and did not return. Jrue Holiday kept this from being a complete blowout with his 27 points and seven assists, while hitting five out of his six three-point attempts.

Philadelphia will improve greatly whenever Andrew Bynum is able to get back on the floor, but there’s no telling when that might be. In the meantime, these same Sixers will get another crack at the Knicks Monday night at home in Philadelphia to complete the home-and-home series, where it wouldn’t at all be a surprise to see a similar result.

  1. drunkenjunk - Nov 4, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    amare will mess this all up. nothing against the guy, just feel like him and melo won’t ever mesh.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 4, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      It will work, because there are spots for him to score on the inside, as we’ve had dry spells when Melo goes out. I just think he should put his pride aside and be willing to split time as the starter at the 4 with Melo. Nothing wrong with being with the second unit for much of the game. If it works best for this team’s cohesion, why wouldn’t he be for it?

    • bigmeechy74 - Nov 4, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Why is everyone giving him thumbs down? He is right. They are MUCH better without Amare. Amare is DONE.

      • cantonbound13 - Nov 4, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        Yeah, it’s aweful to get guy back who could give you 20 points & 10 rebounds.

      • bigmeechy74 - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:14 PM

        I guess you must not realize it’s 2012. How do you not realize he has slowed WAY down. They look better without him. They definitely would’ve been better off spending that money elsewhere.

      • cmehustle - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:42 PM

        Wow, whens the last time Amare gave someone 20 and 10?? A little fact checking goes a long way here….

      • controlledchaos123 - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:47 PM

        Yeah Amare is a really weak rebounder. You’re not getting 20 and 10 from him.

    • jmclarkent - Nov 4, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      I don’t know if he would want to do it, but I would love him as a beast off the bench. He could spell the 5 and 4 directly, as well as the 3 indirectly (slide Melo down). I think that he could still get 30-35 MPG that way AND fit the flow of the offense.

  2. nokoolaidcowboy - Nov 4, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Love the start but consistency is what will determine what type of Knick we have here. Lots of teams are trying to find their groove and the New York area teams are playing hard (in all sports) in light of the recent devastating event in our area.

    For the Knicks to continue this success throughout the season?…

    Just play ball man.

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - Nov 4, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    I love it. Let everyone continue thinking that last year means anything. Completely different team with implementations on both sides of the ball after a full camp. Knicks are not a fluke. Stop trying to hand the division to Boston and the conference and NBA title to Miami.

  4. sportsfan83 - Nov 4, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Come on guys this was another “gift” to the city of New York just like Miami fans said when we stomped the Heat by 20. Go Knicks!!!

    • cantonbound13 - Nov 4, 2012 at 4:37 PM

      Heat fans are bandwagon MORONS!!!

      • southbeachtalent - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        Knicks fans = Loud mouth, obnoxious, non-sensical idiots. You know kind of like a Jets fan..Hmmm I see a pattern developing..

      • cantonbound13 - Nov 5, 2012 at 4:05 PM

        For once I actually agree with you. Jet fans are annoying. The only problem is I’m a Dolphin fan for over 25 years & live in Miami. I don’t like the Heat or their fair weather fans. It wasn’t too long ago you could see many yellow seats during games. You depended on loyal Knick fans to sell out your garbage arena.

    • abchome - Nov 5, 2012 at 12:51 AM

      It is indeed a gift to the New York city, by the Knicks obviously!

  5. themagicfanguy - Nov 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Stop acting like the Knicks are suddenly contenders after winning a few games at the start of the season. You see me saying the same about the Magic after we killed the Nuggets?
    Until they prove they can CONSISTENTLY win in this fashion, with Amare and ‘Melo on the floor, we can’t predict anything.
    I’m not saying that they can’t win or be contenders. I’m just saying let the season play out and THEN we’ll know if thy are for real, early season wins mean nothing.

  6. mungman69 - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Wait, WAIT: these Knicks will get hurt and they will end up a sixth seed.

    • southbeachtalent - Nov 5, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      keep in mind that scarcasm does not work on here…

  7. dysraw1 - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    I thought the knicks look pretty decent considering,the early injuries and all. ppl who say get rid of STAT.give me what ever it is you are smoking. cause son ain’t going nowhere, in fact i predict that Stat.will play three more seasons for our home town.

  8. eflem80 - Nov 5, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    No, he won’t give the Knicks 20 & 10…..but I’ll take 25 & 8 which is what he already gave the Knicks in the 10-11 season not to mention shooting over 50% from the field. He’s gonna be a plus. Under Woodson with everyone healthy they went 8-1 blowing out the Pacers 2x over that span. They will be just fine when he comes back….actually better.

    • unxpexted1 - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      RIIIIIGHT the 25 and 8 he was averaging BEFORE the Carmelo trade. Look, it has not been proven that these two can play together. Their games just dont mesh. Knicks look much better when its one or the other. I agree with what a poster said earlier, maybe try getting amare to come off the bench. But those two together just doesnt seem to work.

  9. unxpexted1 - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    The Knicks have looks pretty impressive. I had them being a number 4 seed in the East to start the season. My only question is can they still when games when they arent shooting lights out from three like that have been. No way they keep up this kinda pace from the three point line. If they continue to win with modest 3 point shooting they will be a scary team to face in the playoffs.

  10. cap1378 - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    The reason the Knicks are winning is because of defense which Amare does not know how to play. In fact he is terrible!!! Getting Shump back in the line up will make this team formidable.

  11. eflem80 - Nov 5, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    The key to Amare & Melo working together is PG play which didn’t exist for the 1st half of the season or in the playoffs with Lin on the bench. Chandler, Amare, Melo, Shump & Lin only played 10 games together….the record was 8-2….what people are looking @ outside of that holds no water. Melo averaged about 19 per & Amare about 17 while Lin averaged 15. The Sixers & Indiana 2x were included in those victories. Just facts man. It would make for good drama if Melo & Amare couldn’t work but it doesn’t make any sense when you actually take 5 minutes & look at what actually happened. With Kidd & Felton running the point…everyone looks better.

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