The game against Orlando getting canceled seems to have been a boon for the Knicks. It gave the team a chance to catch it’s breath after two hotly contested matchups against better clubs. More importantly, it gave Danilo Gallinari a chance to rest his ailing wrist.
Gallo came out on fire tonight and had 21 points in the first half thanks to some hot 3-point shooting. Of concern is that he only finished with 24 and seemed to be favoring his wrist after diving for a loose ball towards the end of the 1st half. Hopefully he didn’t re-aggravate or make the injury worse.
Toney Douglas took the conch from Wilson Chandler and exploded for 30 points off the bench. There has been some rumblings on Twitter over the fact that Douglas “doesn’t know what is expected from him,” well, 30 points on 5-9 from beyond the arc sounds good to me.
Raymond Felton had his best game as a Knick, going for 20-10-5-2, although, I think he can do a better job of setting up Amar’e Stoudemire by getting him the ball deeper in the pain and utilizing the pick and roll
better more often. Stoudemire easily had his worst game as a Knick, but it’s obvious that he is trying to do WAY too much and D’Antoni/Felton are not playing to his strengths. I hope am sure Felton will figure out the best way to utilize Amar’e's unique talents.
Ronny Turiaf continues to play like a man possessed and while some may think it’s only a matter of time before he usurps Timofey Mozgov in the starting line, why change anything? Mozgov isn’t exactly a stiff, has shown flashes, and is active on defense. Plus, we know he’s going to get into foul trouble, so why not let him start the game and then bring in Turiaf as a shot of adrenaline? Landry Fields did Landry Fields things and I was pleased to see Roger Mason get the DNP-CD with Bill Walker inheriting his minutes. Walker’s clutch 3 to make it 102-87 should allow him to keep those minutes for the time being.
Overall, this game must be seen as a huge positive. They went into Chicago and beat a good Bulls team on the road. Sure the Bulls did not play their best game, but last year’s team might have lost this game once the hot shooting cooled off in the second half and the Bulls dug in on defense. However, it is also obvious that this Knicks team is more talented and deeper, with guys like Chandler and Douglas playing the role of the cavalry coming off the bench. Amar’e's early season struggles are certainly frustrating, however it is nice to see them sitting at 2-2 despite a rougher than expected start from their new star player.
That being said, it is almost impossible to lose a game when you go 16-24 from downtown and 24-29 from the line. The Knicks are better shooters than they have showed through the first 3 games but they’re also not this good. The health of Gallo’s wrist looks like it might be an ongoing concern this year and tonight showed how big of a difference he can be when he is on. Also, it is important to note that the Bulls are currently without Boozer and they did shoot well from 3 or take care of the ball.
This is a great win for the New New York Knicks. Just don’t read too much into it. However, after playing the Celtics, Trail Blazers, and Bulls tough I think it’s safe to remain optimistic about this team.