With their 95-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, the New York Knicks have now won 10 straight games and have taken a more secure hold on the two seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The Knicks had a long stretch of inconsistent plays in the middle of their season, but they are definitely hitting their stride right now. Their hot offense has been the catalyst for how they’ve been playing lately.
Over their last 10 games, the Knicks’ offense has been rolling exactly the way they would like every game of the season. They have averaged 102.9 points per game and have committed just 12.3 turnovers per game over that span. What’s been incredibly important to their hot offense, has been how efficiently they’ve played. They’ve shot 50% from the field and a blazing 41.7% from three, as a team, over their last 10 games.
Carmelo Anthony has obviously been a major factor over this winning streak, averaging 31.4 points per game on 48.1% shooting from the field and 40% three-point shooting. Kenyon Martin has also stepped up on offense lately, averaging 8.9 points per game over the winning streak. Raymond Felton has been an efficient scorer, too, averaging 12.1 points per game on 52.7 percent shooting.
However, the main factor for how well the Knicks’ offense has been executing over their last 10 games is undoubtedly J.R. Smith. Throughout this winning streak, he has averaged 23.3 points per game. Surprisingly though, Smith has also posted a 50.3 % field-goal percentage during this streak, almost 10% higher than his season average.
For much of the year, he has been an inefficient chucker that has just jacked up unwise fade-away jumpers and long threes. Over these last ten games though, Smith has utilized his speed and athleticism to attack the rim, where he’s most effective, and it has really improved his and the team’s offense.
With just eight games remaining in the regular season for New York, they are hitting their stride at what seems like just the right time. If they can continue this type of offensive play and if Smith can continue playing to his strengths, this Knicks team can definitely have a decently successful run in the postseason.