Rookie, John Wall, rocked a golden pair of shoes and the WIzards dusted off the Hibachi for the prized rookies first trip to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks were not blinded by the shine on the Rookies shoes or the return of Arenas as they disposed of the Wizards in a 112-91 Knicks victory.
Although the Wizards brought a well touted pair of backcourt players to the Garden, their offensive charge was led by forward/center Andray Blatche whose 16 points paced the Wizards to a 27-26 first quarter lead. But a competitive game got away from the Wizards as the Knicks surged to a 9 point 1st half lead. The 2nd quarter Surge by the Knicks was led by a combination of defensive pressure from Knicks Raymond Felton and Toney Douglas, a 15 point three point barrage that was led by Douglas (TD made 3 three pointers). The Knicks charge was punctuated by Wilson Chandler's sick reverse dunk over Wizards Center Javale McGee. The dunk appeared to rally the Knicks attack as they had been denied or rushed on many prior occasions inside by the massive presence of McGee.
The Wizards scoring Leaders Blatche, Arenas and Wall each dominated a quarter of the action for the their team. Blatche had 16 pts in the 1st, Wall had 9 pts in the 3rd and Arenas had 14 points in the 4th and the Wizards first 9 points in that quarter. The most balanced scoring quarter for the Wizards were the 2nd and 3rd quarter.
The name of the Knicks game this night was balance, patience, consistency and tenacity. Unlike the Wizards who only had three players in double figures the Knicks had six double figure scorers (Douglas 19, STAT 18, Gallo 16, Chandler 14, Felton 13 and Turiaf 10). The Knicks attack was a mixed in alot of weaves and high picks to free up the guards for penetration or shot attempts. Unlike prior nights the Knicks did not just chuck up the first shot available to them once the ball got past half court. The Knicks also got plenty of offense (19 fast break points) from the tenacious defense pressure applied by their guards. Lastly the Knicks were able to get extra possessions and 2nd shot opportunities with their active hands and bodies as they corralled 13 offensive boards and tipped plenty of other misses to their teammates.
The Knicks scoring was better balanced by the quarter and their scorers presence was better spread out through the course of the game. Felton paced the Knicks in the first half with 7 points in the 1st and 6 in the 2nd quarters. Gallinari Chipped in 5, 8 and 3 points in the 1st, 2nd and 4th quarters. Douglas chipped in 9, 4 and 6 throughout the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters. Stats 18 points came mostly in the 2nd half but he chipped in 4,2, 5 and 7 for each quarter respectively. No Knicks' scorer dominated any particular quarter of action, rather the teams offensive attack was balanced and consistent throughout most of the game.
Like a swarm of feisty army ants defending their nest the Knicks activity on the offensive side of the ball was mirrored (if not exceeded) by the hustle of their defensive efforts. The teams defensive efforts can be found in the 18 steals (Dougls 5, Mozgov 3) they forced and the 11 blocked shots (Stoudemire 4, Turiaf 2, Gallinari 2) on the lengthy Wizards. The team's tenacity was also on display on the collective boardwork and willingness to pursue loose balls to secure extra possession or fluster the Wizards guards and offense. The end result a two game Knicks winning streak and an early season winning record.
Up next the Knicks versus the Philadelphia 76ers which we look forward to live blogging with the Knicks Fanatics family!