When you watch the way the New York Knickerbockers have played since the 2014 year began, it's puzzling how awful they truly were for the first 30 games of the season.
Whatever the team did during their New Year's vacation, it has started to pay dividends having played like the best team in the NBA in the past nine days/ Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points to lead New York to their biggest win of the season by knocking off the Miami Heat, 102-92.
" It has been a great year so far. 2013 is behind us and it is a new year," Raymond Felton said..
Felton was a big contributor playing his best game of the season with 13 points and a season high 14 assists to lift his team to it's fourth win in it's last five games. The Knicks defeated Miami for the fourth time in five regular-season meetings.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 29 points, eight rebounds, and five assist leading the Knicks to a season high three game winning streak. Nothing to go crazy for but there was no reason to suggest this team was ready to go any kind of winning streak considering their quality of play through the season's first 30 games.
"We're moving forward," Anthony said. "We're taking strides. We're getting better. We're learning from our mistakes we've made in the past and we're going to continue to build on this and see what happens."
"You can tell it's different than one month ago," Andrea Bargnani said. "Our faces are different, our body language is different."
With Tyson Chandler out sick and J.R. Smith benched for the shoelace incident, Bargnani played one of his best scoring 19 points on 9-13 shooting. He help start a big run late in third quarter after Lebron James blew by him for a dunk, converting a three-point play to tie it and start a 9-0 run that helped New York lead 75-71 entering the final 12 minutes.
“To win four out of five is very, very big for us and having a three-game winning streak, so the confidence right now is definitely rising, but we have to continue to play well, continue this momentum and keep going,” Amar’e Stoudemire said.
Stoudemire is another player you can add to the list that played his best game of the season. The Knicks forward scored 12 points and grabbed a season high 11 rebounds while posting a game high of +18.
"I think we’re starting to gain that momentum a little bit more and get the confidence back at home,"" Stoudemire said. "That being said, with these games we have coming at home, it’s gonna be big for us.”
The Knicks will play 10 of their next 14 games at the Garden, including seven in a row starting next Friday night against the Clippers. Only four of those games are against teams that are above .500. Despite being nine games under .500, they are only a game out of the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and only 4.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors. for first in the Atlantic Division.
"We're starting to believe in one another again," Anthony said. "We're starting to trust each other again, communicate on the court."