After several weeks of rumors and speculation it was the New York Knicks, not the New Jersey Nets, who landed Carmelo Anthony(notes) at the trade deadline.
Looking to win consecutive games for the first time in three weeks Wednesday night, Anthony and the Knicks face the visiting Nets for the first time since New York acquired the four-time All-Star last month.
Anthony could have some added motivation facing the team that tried to acquire him various times from Denver before the deadline, but his main focus will be on trying to help the Knicks (36-38) build on a 113-106 overtime win over Orlando on Monday that snapped a six-game skid.
“We got that monkey off our back and now we focus on Wednesday’s game, and now we need that same intensity,” said Anthony, who had 39 points with 10 rebounds Monday and has averaged 28.5 points his last four games versus New Jersey.
The victory was the second in 11 games for the Knicks, who gave up six players and have gone 8-12 since trading for Anthony. New York is seventh in the Eastern Conference, two games behind sixth-place Philadelphia.
“It was a tough (month) for us, but hopefully we can cap it off against the Nets with a win,” said All-Star Amare Stoudemire(notes), who added 20 points and nine boards versus Orlando.
While Anthony is coming off his best effort in 20 games with New York, the Knicks need Stoudemire to get going.
The veteran forward is averaging 25.5 points this season, but has failed to score more than 16 in three of the last five contests.
He had 35 and nine rebounds in New York’s 111-100 home win over the Nets on Nov. 30. Stoudemire missed the Knicks’ 105-95 win at New Jersey last month with a sprained toe.
While New York is looking to clinch the season series with the Nets (23-50), it has struggled against sub-.500 teams of late. The Knicks are 0-3 against Cleveland, which they host Sunday, and lost to Detroit and twice each to Milwaukee and Indiana this month.
Coach Mike D’Antoni, however, believes Monday’s hard-fought victory against the playoff-bound Magic should give his team a much-needed lift.
“With efforts like (Monday’s), the team will come together and we’ll be better for it,” he said.
The Knicks likely won’t need to be ready to face All-Star point guard Deron Williams(notes) on Wednesday. After the Nets failed to land Anthony, they acquired Williams from Utah but he could miss his seventh straight game with a wrist injury.
New Jersey lost for the third straight time and seventh in eight games, 112-87 to Houston on Tuesday. Brook Lopez(notes) scored 22 points but New Jersey shot 41.6 percent and was held to fewer than 88 points for a third straight contest.
“I’m disappointed,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said. “We can’t keep writing these off as bad games. I am a competitor. We expect more. I don’t make excuses.”
Averaging a personal-best 19.7 points, Lopez scored a season-high 36 at New York in November. He’s averaged 20.4 points in five games at Madison Square Garden.
Bring Back Landry.
Since the trade, Landry Fields' exceptional off ball movement has been nullified by a lack of motion offence passing.
If there were ever a night to exploit a weak defence on/for his behalf, this is it.
Unfortunately, we're unable to go back and look at last night's pre OT game winning attempt by Melo, it wasl an exemplary missed opportunity to utilise such a crafty/heady individual as Melo forced a double pump jumper in the lane, as Fields cut wide open from the arc to the key along the baseline.
If STAT's tired, draw up Landry.
Excellent reads & an outstanding gameday thread from Crazy so thnx. Was worried I'd never see another solid gameday thread, but I cant blame the thread makers for not having the energy to give effort. Neither would I.
Looks like Williams is out tonight which is great news. With or without Williams we're expected to win. Without D-Will running the show? Keep Lopez under 22 & we win by 15 maybe 20+. This game should seriously be over heading into the 4th while showing NJ they have no hope heading into the half.
Just like Melo was talking about playing with 100% effort heading into ORL... He's talkinf about it heading into the Nets game too, which means... When a player of Melo's star status speaks on behalf of something... They usually come through. It's when they blow the topic off or fail to speak about it, thats when you know there is a problem but it's looking like Melo is becoming the NY leader that he never was or wasn't always with DEN. Melo talking about focus & intensity? He's BORN to play here in NY
KnicksWillRiseAgain, When did you meet Melo? After the game?
S T A T & M E L O
Hoping for a nice showing from us vs. the Copy Cats across the river
Deron is playing tonight.
Good. D-Will is playing tonight & thats exactly how I want it.
Lets see our defense defend one of the greatest PG's in the game tonight. The Nets are horrible but it's not easy defending a duo of D-Will & Lopez for 4 quarters strong.
Lets play with the same defensive intensity as we did in MIA, ORL etc & we should win this game by 15-27 points. We should seriously steam roll NJ tonight.
Also, would like to see if Williams is rusty after missing so many consecutive games. If he's rusty it'll just remind me that Billups is still shaking off the rust & he'll be back to Billups in no time. If D-Will puts up 22, 12 & 4... I'll then start to worry about Billups because both D-Will & Billups are in the same situation (minus the age factor). Both playing for new teams after missing plenty of time with an injury.