There is only one undefeated team left in the NBA right now and it happens to be the team that currently plays it’s home games at Madison Square Garden.
Carmelo Anthony shook off some foul trouble in the second half to score 31 points and help lead the Knicks past the Mavericks, 104-94. The Knicks have now won all four games by double digits.
For the first time since their 7-0 start during the NBA Finals season of 1994, the New York Knickerbockers have started a season out 4-0.
” We are just focusing on Orlando at this point,” said Anthony on the team’s 4-0 start. “These four games are over with and we move on and take it one game at a time. I’ve been saying that since training camp and I’m going to continue to say that.”
JR Smith came off the bench to score 22 points and added a team high of four steals. He came up big in the 3rd quarter with Anthony on the bench sitting with four fouls. He scored nine points in the quarter and was clearly the go to guy on floor with the Knicks star player on the bench. He was perfect from the three point line as he went 3-3.
“We need that from JR, ” said Anthony. “That offensive power he has and especially with that unit he comes in with. For them to get up and down the court, and play defense, get some steals, play in transition it opens up the game for everyone.”
In the first half, the team played it’s worst defense of the year as they allowed Dallas to score season high 56 points . However, New York turned up the defensive intensity in the second half. New York held Dallas to 37 points after halftime, while also holding them to 39.4 percent (13-for-33) shooting from the field. The Knickerbockers have now won all four games this season by double digit points.
“I thought in the second half, we kind of settled in our defense, ” said Mike Woodson. ” We held them to 36 points and that is four straight games where no one has scored over 40 points in the second half against us. That’s locking in and taking pride in defending the ball.”
Ronnie Brewer played a solid game scoring 13 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, and two steals. It was a signing that did not generate the buzz of the Jason Kidd signing but Brewer has been everything New York has hoped for so far. In four games, Brewer looks more comfortable playing with Anthony at the two guard than Landry Fields ever did in a season and a half. Brewer was signed to replace Fields this past summer as the starting shooting guard.
” Ronnie is such a smart player,” Marcus Camby said. ” He has been well coached with Jerry Sloane out in Utah. You see all tendencies he brings to the team. The excellent defensive presence he brings and the way he cuts to the basket to get easy hoops. He has been great.”
As for Camby, he made his season debut after sitting out the first three games while getting back in shape. He missed most of the preseason with a strained calf. It was the first time in 10 years that Camby played as a New York Knick at Madison Square Garden. He had 2 points and 4 rebounds in 8 minutes of action.
“It felt good being back out there,” said Camby. ” Being back out there with the guys. I got some nice cheers. It certainly reminded me of the old days.”
Rasheed Wallace came into the game a little earlier than expected coming in the first quarter. For someone who has not played in two seasons, Wallace looks to have convinced Coach Woodson that he is in season mode. He scored 6 points and had 6 rebounds in 18 minutes of game action.
“These guys, the Kidds, the Cambys, the Rasheeds. They have been enough systems that they just know how to play,” said Woodson. It’s easy to plug them at difficult times in the ball game where they don’t hurt you. I just hope it continues the rest of the year.”
The team now travels to Orlando for the first of a three game road trip starting on Monday night when they play the Magic.