"It's not just me, gentlemen. It's a team effort. But it does help to have a marquee player." -- Amar'e Stoudemire
"Oh man, a big game changer. Devin is a guy that we rely on heavily. In the sense it's kind of like if they lose Stoudemire. On a lot of nights Devin's been one of our top two players. It was tough to overcome it." -- Avery Johnson"We are starting to get our chemistry down. Ray and I are starting to figure out the pick-and-roll and we have great shooters. Teams are going to have to pick their poison." -- Amar'e Stoudemire
"You don't really get a rivalry unless you're in the playoffs. It doesn't work during the regular season when you're [saying], 'Oh boy, we knocked them out of ninth place." -- Mike D'Antoni
Every victory is a great victory. The Knicks 10-9 won another game they should have won behind the superior performances of Amar'e Stoudemire (35 pts, 9 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals), Raymond Felton (21 points, 10 assists, 7 boards and 3 steals) and Wilson Chandler (27 pts, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks). The actual key to the game was an injury to Nets guard Devin Harris after which the Knicks blew the game wide open. Until then, the Knicks and Nets, with excellent performance from Brook Lopez (36 pts, 5 boards, and 1 steal), seemed to be evenly matched as the Nets relied a bit more on their defense and slowed the pace to a half-court game most of the time.
One of the more promising aspects of the game is that Amar'e and Raymond Felton are starting to show more familiarity with each other's game. Felton, with his 47% field goal percentage, is figuring out how to complete the pick and roll by slipping the ball to his teammate on the roll via bounce pass, in addition to lobbing it over the defender. Felton has also proven to be very tenacious and persistent in going to the basket and playing around the basket when the ball is loose. His motor seems well conditioned for D'Antoni's offense at this point. On the other hand, his defense, not for lack of effort, is wanting as he gets lost on screens and back doors frequently and is unable to stop opponenets from shooting over him.
The Knicks simply had too many weapons, but the competition with the Nets in the future promises to center on the guard-bg man combos. With the Nets slated to move to Brooklyn in 2012, both teams are jockeying for market share and bragging rights. Recently the Knicks ran an ad accusing the Nets of trying to be like them. The Net's response, in an e-mail from Mikhail Prokhorov: "I don't think we want to be like the Knicks. I think we'd more like to resemble the Lakers."
Danilo continued his inconsistent shooting going 3-11 as he scored 13 points in 37 minutes. However, he continued to get to the line where he went 5-7. He also grabbed six rebounds and had 1 assist.
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