The New York Knicks have won 12 straight games and seem to have solidified themselves as the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Carmelo Anthony has obviously been the star of the streak, averaging 32.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while J.R. Smith has been co-starring as a surprisingly efficient offensive threat.
However, the contributions that have come from the role players for the Knicks have been huge to their success. Multiple players have come off of the bench and have played their roles beautifully over this winning streak. One of those players is rookie Chris Copeland.
Copeland isn’t a rookie in the traditional sense, being 29-years old and having played five seasons in Europe and one in the Developmental League. However, he has played like a veteran reserve over the winning streak.
In those 12 games he has averaged just 14.7 minutes of playing time, but has been able to put up 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in that limited time, while shooting 47.1 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from long range.
This may be Copeland’s first run in the NBA, but he hasn’t played like it. His experience in the European game definitely gained him a ton of confidence that has allowed him to play without any tentativeness this season with New York.
Anthony and Smith are obviously incredible offensive talents, but they can only do so much to carry this team. As New York heads into the postseason, Copeland has to continue to be proficient and efficient when he gets on the floor for the Knicks to potentially reach the Eastern Conference Finals.