Schedule Turns Favorable For Knicks

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HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Raymond Felton‘s prize for his first game action in a month was a recurring blur named Jrue Holiday.

The Philadelphia 76ers point guard and first-time All-Star ripped Felton and the New York Knicks on Saturday night for 35 points in a game that was never close and the Sixers won 97-80.

Felton’s return as the Knicks dropped to 26-15 in reaching their official 41-game halfway point, gave New York as close to a fully healthy roster as it’s had all season. Iman Shumpert played his fourth game back and Amar’e Stoudemire, in his 11th game back, posted his first 20-point game, getting 20 on 8-for-13 shooting.

Just .500 in their last 10 games, the Knicks are now sort of in re-start mode, although a jump-start was needed in Philly.

With only Rasheed Wallace still out, coach Mike Woodson is now charged with meshing Felton and Shumpert — Saturday was their season debut together — figuring out the best way to limit Jason Kidd‘s minutes and the best lineups to play him with, as well as determining if the improving Stoudemire is best suited to keep coming off the bench — although Woodson has said he likes Stoudemire off the bench with J.R. Smith and Steve Novak.

Against the Sixers, Woodson opted for a three-guard starting lineup with Felton, Kidd and Shumpert. Kidd, overplayed during Felton’s absence, was scoreless in under 15 minutes, limited by a bad back.

Felton, playing for the first time since breaking his right pinkie on Christmas Day, was rusty, missing six of his eight shots and he was a step slow against Holiday, which was true for the entire Knicks team.

And it’s not like Felton was the only offensive culprit either. Shumpert missed all six of his shots and Smith’s struggles took him to 0-for-8 overall and 0-for-4 from beyond the arc. Carmelo Anthony needed 28 shots to score 25 points.

So where are the Knicks as they begin the second half tonight back at home against the Atlanta Hawks?

That’s to be seen.

The Knicks at least have their point guard back. Before Saturday’s game, they were 20-8 with Felton and 6-6 without him. They’ve got Shumpert back. They’ve got Stoudemire back.

In addition, the schedule turns favorable with the start of a five-game homestand, and only two of their next seven games are against teams with winning records.

Now it’s a matter of how long it will take for the team to mesh and to get back to the higher rate of winning Knicks fans were getting used to.

11 Comments

  1. BArad says:

    Now theyve got the Hawks..So maybe that will spark some winning streak again huh:)

  2. Melomvp says:

    It takes time.. Having easy games and at home will surely makes lots of change, first time they almost have a complete line up this season and second against at hawks now they 1-1 as a complete line up and they have 40 games to improve it.. Hope win against the hawks will be the start of the streak… Plus Melo and smith finally get out of the slump they been… Melo shooting 50% on the field

  3. big cat says:

    I heard there moving stoudamire to Toronto for bargnani before the deadline , raps starting five Jonas valenciunas , stoudamire , landry fields , derozan , calderon , still think there gonna make a push for the playoffs and get that 8th seed

  4. Max says:

    IF!IF! Amare/Anthony could just control boards!!!Great shooters, but what else can they do??? Can they make their own shots??NOT! Too much offensive for Knicks and NO one but Chandler to rebound and control defense boards. SAD!

  5. Rondo says:

    I don’t care about their easy schedule. I just want them to lose

  6. Knocks Fan says:

    They miss Marcus Camby more than Rasheed… Look at ‘Sheeds FG%

  7. Bunsenburner says:

    Once Felton and Chandler get their little game back to normal, it will open up tons of options for the rest of the team. I’m not worried at all about the Knicks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I won’t lie and say this game isn’t a major disappointment, but I wouldn’t call it a red flag. To quote my boy Gregg Popovich, it seemed the whole entire game for the Knicks that “the ball didn’t go in the hole.” They had quite a few open shots, but when you have an off night, you have an off night. I would be concerned about JR Smith who has shot a ridiculous 3 for god-knows-how-many shots the past 4 games. Stoudemire will definitely be on the rise tonight and I would look to see if Smith or Anthony can’t get out of this slump they’re in at the moment. Atlanta is a struggling team just like New York, but if all things are clicking for the Knicks tonight the Hawks should be target practice.

  9. newyorksteelo says:

    The one thing I’ve learned after being a dedicated fan of the NBA since 1991, all teams have their bad days. The Knicks offense was a mess, but the defense I thought was solid on the first 2 quarters. It seems like they just gave up at the half, and I don’t blame them cause when the shots are not falling, there is nothing they can do. It was just one of those nights. On a positive note, Knicks have immense talent and it is obvious even when they have bad games. If they get it together and stay healthy, which I suspect they will, watch out Eastern Conference Finals, if not the Finals.

  10. vern says:

    That was a hard game to watch, I left in the 3rd quarter. It wasn’t the offense that threw me, they had good open shots but they just wouldn’t fall. It’s the defense that pissed me off. Effort! 76er’s had a layup line going. There was no effort at all, they were just going through the motions. You have games like this, it’s just that they got everyone spoiled with their play in the beginning of the season. Now everyone expects them to win all of the games. It ain’t gonna happen. They’ll win some and lose some. Hopefully they take this loss out on the Hawks.It’s also good that Chicago and Brooklyn lost.