NEW YORK – When you’re the New York Knicks, you’ll take any piece of positive history you can get.
And after the Knicks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 100-84, on Sunday afternoon, they have opened a season with back-to-back victories for the first time this century.
That the two victories came against two quality opponents in the Miami Heat – whom the Knicks defeated Friday night – and the 76ers should give Knicks fans more gooey feelings of positivity.
Through two games – and yes, it has only been two games – the Knicks have shown signs of being a very good team. They are deep, and in each game, coach Mike Woodson has gotten at least 15 minutes from nine different men.
They have shot a combined 48 percent from behind the arc, hitting 30 of 63 attempts. And even though that’s a trend that’s likely to regress to the mean, there are other things to be happy about if you’re a Knicks fan. Particularly their ball movement.
“When you share the basketball, it becomes contagious,” Woodson said after the game. “I think it’s fantastic; we just gotta continue to do it.”
In their two games, the Knicks have 45 assists on their 75 baskets.
Raymond Felton has looked every bit like the fringe All-Star he was before being traded for Carmelo Anthony about a year and a half ago.
Ronnie Brewer has showed gritty toughness on the defensive end and a better-than-advertised ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket.
Jason Kidd has looked like a point guard who knows exactly what he’s doing out there on the floor. He has made brilliant skip passes and drilled open 3-pointers, sinking 5-of-10 from the arc thus far.
But most of all, Anthony has looked engaged and determined. Although he has scored the ball well, Anthony has led the Knicks in effort, and that’s something that any truly great team in the NBA needs from its best player. Anthony has attacked the basket on the offensive end and has been pesky on the defensive end, even blocking two shots.