In the midst of their worst stretch of the season, the Knicks began the week with a home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. After falling behind by as much as 19 points in the first half, New York’s comeback attempt fell just short when Carmelo Anthony missed what would have been a game-tying three in the waning moments.
Carmelo and the Knicks would quickly bounce back, beating the San Antonio Spurs in convincing fashion on Thursday night before traveling to Orlando to take down the Magic on Saturday.
After missing the first 30 games of the season due to knee surgery, Knicks power forward Amar’e Stoudemire finally returned on Tuesday night to the delight of the Madison Square Garden crowd.
As expected, Stoudemire was very rusty in his first game back, but steadily improved as the week progressed. In each of the two New York victories, Amar’e contributed double digit scoring off the bench.
Perhaps the most encouraging sign? Stoudemire had a +/- of +9 in the two wins.
Carmelo Carrying the Load:
Carmelo Anthony continued his case for MVP this week, scoring 45, 23, and 40 points, respectively, in the three games.
After nearly single-handily carrying the Knicks back against Portland and sealing the deal with a great second half against San Antonio, Anthony scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter to erase an eight-point deficit and help New York defeat Orlando on Saturday.
Smith an All-Star?:
In what has been his best season to date, J.R. Smith’s performance could be one worthy of an All-Star game appearance.
Smith’s 16.7 points per game are a career-high, and he continued the campaign by averaging 22 points per game this week, proving why he is the front-runner for the NBA’s Sixth-Man award.
The Knicks return to The Garden this Monday night to meet the Celtics in a much anticipated match-up, before finishing the week with games against the Pacers and Bulls, with the former of the two being an away game.