The New York Knicks are the talk of the NBA right now. As the banter about Phil Jackson joining the team went from lukewarm to scalding hot, the Knicks visited the Boston Celtics looking to extend their win streak to five games.
Apparently, the Jackson talk is not the only hot thing coming out of New York. The TD Garden crowd witnessed a 3-point barrage, and the Knicks scored a season-high 68 points in the first half to annihilate the Celtics 116-92. This margin of victory is the largest of the season for New York.
Carmelo Anthony lit up the Celtics defense for 34 points and Tim Hardaway, Jr. continued his recent torrid pace with 22 points. The duo combined for seven 3-pointers as the Knicks hit 58 percent of their shots from behind the arc. Cole Aldrich started for the first time in his career and did not disappoint, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 boards in over 25 minutes of work.
With the playoff picture coming into focus, every win is huge and every loss is demoralizing. While the winning streak has taken place against weaker teams, it can only boost the confidence of the Knicks as they approach a five-game West Coast road trip. The Knicks have been scoring in bunches, averaging over 114 points per game during the win streak. Hardaway, Jr. has especially picked up the pace, scoring 50 points over the last two games.
When Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire return to the lineup, New York will be even stronger. The Knicks have assumed sole possession of ninth place in the Eastern Conference and will need to attack the upcoming Western Conference foes with the same offensive mindset.
If Mike Woodson can continue to rely on these scoring barrages, the Knicks have a puncher’s chance against anyone.