With the great win versus the Brooklyn Nets last night, and the Hawks losing to Chicago, the New York Knicks have moved into 8th place in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks are 33-43 over the entire year, but are still clawing their way to make the playoffs.
The Knicks beat the Nets with a convincing 110-81 team win, as the Knicks shot 60% from the floor, and 44% from three. The Knicks totaled 21 assists, while, on the other side, the Nets shot 40% from the floor, 30% from three, and only 11 assists.
A major part came from Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith as they scored a combined 57 points (More than half of their points), 18 rebounds, and 9 assists. The Knicks will especially need Smith to play well near the end of the season, and into the playoffs (If they make it), unlike the season before.
Without Smith, Carmelo's only other scoring options are aging Amare, and young Tim Hardaway Jr. However, with Smith playing well, Carmelo doesn't feel as much pressure, and both play well in their mutual relationship.
As for Carmelo, he will have the major role of keeping the Knicks above water, and keeping New York at the 8 spot. It is not like the Knicks have clinched the 8th spot for the rest of the season. The Hawks could easily win one game, and the Knicks lose one, and I could be talking about the Knicks losing the 8 spot. Overall, the Knicks are only in the 8 spot with a 43.4% winning percentage, while Atlanta is at 43.2%.
Obviously, the Knicks will need their best players to show up, and role players to pick up their game. The recent winning of the Knicks brings up two questions to my mind:
1. Can they stay at the number 8 spot?
2. Does this recent winning streak have anything to do with Phil Jackson joining the Knicks?