The New York Knicks are finally having fun, and winning surely makes a difference.
Carmelo Anthony and Langston Galloway are big reasons for both.
Anthony and Galloway look to continue spurring the Knicks’ longest winning streak of the season Saturday night against the Charlotte Hornets.
Just over a week ago New York (8-36) was enduring a franchise-record 16-game losing streak, but the team has shown signs of life while winning three straight.
"I think it’s just effort, energy, attention to details," Anthony said. "I think the guys that have been helping us and contributing to these last couple of games, (those) guys are hungry. They’re showing it, they’re playing like it. They’re having a lot of fun. We’re having a lot of fun out there now. I think that comes with putting forth the effort and the energy and being able to see results from there."
Anthony is doing his part, averaging 25.3 points in four games after missing six with a sore left knee that’s hampered him for much of the season. The forward was named a starter for next month’s All-Star game at Madison Square Garden, but a much less-heralded Knick is also providing a spark.
Galloway, an undrafted rookie out of Saint Joseph’s, is averaging 15.7 points on 51.4 percent shooting in three games after getting 9.8 per game while converting 36.1 percent over the previous four.
The guard totaled 15 points and eight rebounds while Anthony’s 25 points led the way in a 113-106 win over Orlando on Friday.
Galloway and forwards Lance Thomas and Louis Amundson are on their second 10-day contracts. Thomas chipped in a season-high 16 points off the bench against the Magic, while Amundson has six rebounds and two blocks as a starter.
"We’ve mixed in some personalities and some guys into this group, who have a core toughness about them that I think is effecting everybody," coach Derek Fisher said.
The Knicks will need to decide soon if Galloway, Thomas and Amundson are worth retaining beyond their short-term deals.
"I don’t think it’s just because the guys are on 10-days or their new," Fisher said. "That’s what a team is; everybody plays a different role and has different ways of contributing to the group. You can’t always look at a stat sheet and decide how impactful a player is on his team. I think we have a number of guys that their character, their integrity is always going to allow them to continue to fight through to be resilient."
That attitude was lacking – and so was Anthony’s presence – in a 110-82 home loss to Charlotte on Jan. 10.
Anthony had 32 points at Charlotte on Dec. 5, but New York allowed Kemba Walker to drive the lane and hit a layup with time expiring to down the Knicks 103-102.
Walker is averaging 21.9 points in his past seven meetings with the Knicks and scored 28 last month. The guard may be looking forward to this matchup after being held to eight points while making 3 of 14 from the floor in a 129-90 loss at Cleveland on Friday.
Al Jefferson, though, would like to build on his 22 points and 11 rebounds from Friday. The center totaled 20 points and nine boards over the two previous games after sitting out nine – including the trip to New York – with a strained left groin.
He’s averaging 24.3 points over his last four games against the Knicks.