The New York Knicks hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, November 14. How did the key players fare during the 93-77 victory over the Mavericks?
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Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) looks to pass around Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Knicks entered Monday’s game with the Dallas Mavericks in dire need of a victory. New York lost six of its first nine games, including three blowouts and three outings that were decided in the fourth quarter.
With the pressure mounting and Dirk Nowitzki sidelined by an achilles injury, the Knicks secured a 93-77 victory at Madison Square Garden
Even without Nowitzki, the Mavericks had two high-quality players to keep an eye on in Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews. Barnes entered the clash with the Knicks averaging 22.6 points and 6.1 rebounds, and Matthews is always a threat from beyond the arc.
The Knicks stepped up to contain the Mavericks’ offense, however, and display the type of defense that fans have been begging to see.
This was the first time in 2016-17 that the Knicks received multiple quarters of genuinely elite defense. Dallas may have been shorthanded, but this was the type of outing that Jeff Hornacek’s crew has been in desperate need of.
The question is: which players stepped up for the Knicks during the 93-77 victory over the Dallas Mavericks?
Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives to the basket defended by Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews (23) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Carmelo Anthony put forth a borderline atrocious performance in the first half. He stepped up with a powerful performance in the second half, however, which sparked the New York Knicks’ 16-point victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
After shooting 1-of-6 from the field, Anthony took over with his uncanny scoring proficiency during the third and fourth quarters.
Anthony finished with 24 points, seven rebounds, two offensive boards, three assists, one block, and a steal in 33 minutes. He shot 8-of-18 from the field, 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Anthony scored 17 points in the third quarter and 20 in the second half on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including three huge 3-point field goals.
Anthony’s trend in 2016-17 has been to go off in the first half and cool down in the second half. He’s broken that in recent games, most notably the wins over the Brooklyn Nets and, now, the Mavericks.
If Anthony can consistently take over during the third quarter and close out in the fourth, then the Knicks can make this a postseason-caliber season.
Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Justin Holiday (8) looks to pass defended by Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry (30) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Knicks have entrusted the duties of being the sixth man to backup point guard Brandon Jennings. Against the Dallas Mavericks, however, it was Justin Holiday who stepped up to anchor the second unit.
With the Knicks in need of energy on defense and consistency on offense, Holiday stepped up in both regards.
Holiday finished with 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in 25 minutes of action. He shot 6-of-7 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, and 2-of-2 from the free throw line with a +/- of +30.
Holiday’s inclusion in the starting lineup to begin the second half played a direct role in New York going on a defining 19-6 run.
Holiday has provided energy and defensive tenacity throughout the Knicks’ first nine games this season. He’s struggled to do much of anything as a scorer, however, which is what makes this performance so significant.
If Holiday and Jennings can both find their form as shooters, the Knicks’ second unit can flourish in 2016-17.
Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) defended by Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Though Dirk Nowitzki may have been sidelined, this was the most encouraging performance Kristaps Porzingis has put forth in 2016-17. He got it done on both ends of the floor and showed a long-awaited sense of urgency on the boards.
The New York Knicks need Porzingis to make strides towards stardom in 2016-17 and this was a performance that implied he’s doing so.
Porzingis recorded 24 points, 11 rebounds, two offensive boards, one assist, and a block in 36 minutes of court time. He shot 8-of-16 from the field, 2-of-5 from beyond the arc, and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Porzingis posted a +/- of +16 and was nothing short of brilliant throughout the Knicks’ 93-77 victory over the Mavericks.
Since posting just three points against the Houston Rockets, Porzingis has scored at least 21 points in five of his past six games. He’s heating up when the Knicks are needing him most, which is why New York is 3-3 over the past six games after going 1-3 during the previous four.
Beyond the numbers, Porzingis is finally playing with confidence from 16 feet and within. The Knicks will go as far as Porzingis takes them.
Nov 14, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) and New York Knicks center Joakim Noah (13) scramble for a loose ball during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
This may not be an individual player, but holy heaven, the New York Knicks actually played four quarters of defense. After allowing each of the first nine opponents to score at least 100 points, New York smothered the Dallas Mavericks’ offensive attack.
It wasn’t the prettiest of performances by the Knicks’ offense, but the defense held Dallas to shooting marks of .386/.179/.727.
New York entered the battle with Dallas having allowed five teams to score at least 110 points and four to reach 115. It’d held just one team below 100 points: the Brooklyn Nets during a 110-96 home victory.
Against the Mavericks, Jeff Hornacek got four quarters of genuinely elite defense from his team—a refreshing turn of events.
New York held Dallas to 23 points in the first quarter and clamped down by holding the Mavericks to 16 points in the second. The Knicks then outscored the Mavs 31-12 in the third quarter and held their own when it mattered in the fourth.
Dallas may have been without starting power forward Dirk Nowitzki, but this was an absolutely vital performance by the Knicks’ defense.