71 second half points. 50 bench points. 120 points overall. This team can be pretty damn good.
The Knicks kicked off the second half of the season with a comeback 120-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Trailing by 12 at halftime, the Knicks woke up and exploded offensively in the second half. Steve Novak was stroking 3′s and rocking belts as he hit 5/8 from downtown. New York’s bench was phenomenal, scoring 50 points, and made the difference in the game. Amar’e Stoudemire did not exactly dominate but he showed flashes as he had a couple nice dunks. Carmelo Anthony led all Knicks in scoring with 22 points.
Here are my notes from the game:
This is my second post here on the Meloship, and I am going to start making NBA picks with spreads from time to time. It’s the second night of the NBA following All-Star Weekend, and 24 teams are in action this evening. The Knicks are back in action at home against the Cavaliers, and that is just one of the few very intriguing games this evening. The Sixers, following their blowout win over the Pistons last night, host the Thunder who shares the league’s best record with the Heat. The Sixers have struggled of late losing 7 of 9 before beating lowly Detroit last night, and I expect the Thunder to be able to handle them on the road. The Cavaliers are coming off a last minute loss to the Celtics last night, and head to the Garden to take on our Knicks. Good young point guard matchup with Lin and Kyrie Irving, who I think is without a doubt the rookie of the year in the league so far. The Western Conference has some intriguing games later in the night, with the Mavs heading to Memphis, the Bulls visiting the Spurs, the Nuggets hosting the Blazers and the Timberwolves facing the Lakers, coming off a win against the other Los Angeles team last night.
Wizards +7 over Magic
Thunder -3.5 over Sixers
Pistons -5.5 over Bobcats
Warriors +6.5 over Hawks
Bucks +6.5 over Celtics
Cavaliers +10 over Knicks
Hornets -3.5 over Raptors
Grizzlies -2 over Mavericks
Jazz -2 over Rockets
Bulls +2 over Spurs
Nuggets -2.5 over Blazers
Timberwolves +6 over Lakers
This is the time to make a run. The 17-18 Knicks are only 5 1/2 games back of the 3rd seeded Indiana Pacers and 4 games back of the division leading Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks are currently the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. They are headed for a first round matchup with the 28-8 Chicago Bulls. New York will be in the playoffs but they need to get out of the 7/8 seeds. Facing Chicago or Miami in the first round provides no benefits to the Knicks. They need to get a playoff series victory under their belt before facing one of the two elite teams in the Eastern Conference. In order to set themselves up for playoff success, the Knicks will need to go on a run in these final 31 games. That starts tonight.
The upstart Cleveland Cavaliers, led by star rookie Kyrie Irving, come into Madison Square Garden having lost 6 of their last 10 games. Unlike the Knicks, who have not played since last Thursday, the Cavs come into the game having played last night in Boston. There is no excuse for New York to come out flat tonight. They are rested, they should be hungry and they are more talented than Cleveland. More
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