The Knicks (24-40) make it three in row with a win over the Cavs (21-40) Saturday night.
Melo had a congested chest but shook off a slow start to finish with 26 pts / 7 rbs . Amare Stoudemire looked great with 17 pts / 12 rbs and 3 blocks .
The Good : The Knicks are 3-1 since Stoudemire’s injection into the starting-5 on March 3. In that span he’s averaged 16.8 points and 6.8 rebounds (in 27.5 min per). Those minutes restrictions early in the season might finally be paying off.
The Bad : Youngbloods Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. continue their recent struggles from the field ( 5-14 FG, 2-9 3FG combined). Shumpert played solid D while still recovering from an MCL sprain, but the Knicks will need their offensive production going forward if they want to make a playoff push.
The Ugly : J.R. Smith had a pretty good game ( 17 pts, including a 5-9 performance from 3) but had his “WHAT THE— . . . ok” moment with this off the backboard alley-oop attempt to Amare Stoudemire in the 2nd quarter. Amare got the 2 points, but the Knicks don’t need to practice bad habits this late in the season.
The Difference: Cavs SG Dion Waiters scored back-to-back buckets to give his team a 80-77 lead with 10:40 left in the 4th. The Knick responded with a 14-1 to take the lead and the game.
- Prigioni dropped a 3.
- JR hit a 3.
- Amare got a dunk.
- Prigioni pops another 3. Wet.
- Melo caps its it off with a 3 of his own
Playoff Picture: only 3 1/2 games back, the Knicks have a realistic chance of sneaking into the playoffs with match-ups vs. Philly (15-47), @ Boston (21-41), and vs Milwaukee (15-20) all coming up next.
P.S. : Former Cav LeBron James was in the building as Zydrunas Ilgauskas had his jersey retired. The two played with each for 8 seasons (7 in Cleveland, 1 in Miami).