On Friday, the New York Knicks defeated the Denver Nuggets easily, blowing out their opponent by 27 points in a 117-90 contest that was really over after the third quarter in which the Knicks outscored the Nuggets by 12 points; after possessing a six-point halftime lead, the Knicks spent the rest of the game pouring it on and won the last two quarters of the contest by 21 points.
Outcomes like Friday's contest evoke more feelings of frustration than they do of satisfaction because watching the Knicks so easily dispatch a slightly above-average team naturally leads one to ask why the Knicks cannot overwhelm their opponents on a more consistent basis. If they can defeat the Nuggets by 27 points, then there really is no good reason for why they have only won 20 of their 50 games. Obviously, the Knicks have the potential to be a good team; the problem is that they have been unable to consistently execute and convert their potential into reality.
Knowing that it is unlikely we will see for quite some time the Knicks play as well as they did on Friday, then it is up to us to appreciate as much as possible what the Knicks were able to accomplish. In a remarkable offensive performance, the Knicks shot like they were not facing a defense at all, showing complete disdain for the defense that the Nuggets were trying to play.
For the game, the Knicks posted a 62.9 effective field goal percentage, made more than half of their field-goal attempts, and also converted on ten free throws; the result was a superb 116.3 points scored per 100 possessions as the Knicks continued their climb up the leaderboard of the NBA's most efficient offenses. Thanks to their lights-out shooting, the Knicks had six players reach double figures in points scored with Carmelo Anthony's 31 points leading the way.
Even more noteworthy for a team that treats defense as an optional part of playing basketball, the Knicks were incredibly stingy with the points they allowed the Nuggets to score, holding their opponent to a middling true shooting percentage of 51.5 percent and an anemic 89.3 points per 100 possessions, well below the offensive efficiency numbers the Nuggets are accustomed to achieving.
Chances are the Knicks will not use this complete game performance as a turning point in their season and establish themselves as one of the better teams in the season so Friday's victory only serves as a tease to all those who follow the Knicks on a daily basis. In defeating the Nuggets by 27 points, the Knicks' play stated that yes, they can play this well, but their larger sample size of games this season offers up the more reliable information that they cannot, or will not, play up to that level on a regular basis.