The Knicks made headlines this offseason when they acquired injury-prone point guard Derrick Rose and injury-prone center Joakim Noah from the Chicago Bulls.
Many wrote off the team, saying that they added the two 5 years too late and that they would never make the playoffs.
If you watched the first 9 games of the season, you would think the critics were right. They looked slow, sloppy and unmotivated to play defense and get wins. But something changed over the course of the last 5 games. Maybe the players were right when they said that it would take some time for the comradery and chemistry to develop. Most assumed it would take months, but somehow it seems to be developing at a much quicker pace.
The Knicks, coming off a win against the Atlanta Hawks, faced the Portland Trail Blazers last night at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo, after scoring 31 points in their outing against the Hawks 2 days earlier, seemed off, shooting only 7 for 22 from the field for 17 points. But Kristaps Porzingis put on a show, carrying the team on his back for 31 points, just the 2nd 30 point game in his young career.
Perhaps the biggest surprise yesterday was the play of both Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings. Jennings, although only scoring 4 points, pushed the pace the entire game and found his teammates at will for easy scores. He had 11 assists for the game, making it the 3rd game this season he achieved over 10 assists, which is not an easy feat coming off the bench.
Derrick Rose on the other hand, scored 18 points. He not only pushed the pace but when he couldn’t get the ball to one of his teammates, he was aggressive and looked to shoot the ball. 6 of his 18 points came in the last few minutes of the game when the game was on the line. Final score: 107-103
Check out the highlights below:
All in all, it was a great team win without Joakim Noah, due to an illness. The Knicks are definitely a team to watch for, especially once they get acquainted with each other’s games.