The New York Knicks are rolling, winners of three straight on the road. New York is currently 5-8 this season and with five games remaining this month could be over .500 as we enter into December.
Winning three on the road after losing the trips opening game to Denver is a nice sign for Mike D’Antoni’s team. After that 120-118 loss to Denver, the Knicks defeated the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Clippers.
Just one of their next five games is against a team with a winning record this year, the Atlanta Hawks. Before hosting Atlanta, New York plays a home and home against the Charlotte Bobcats Tuesday and Wednesday. Like the Knicks, Charlotte is currently 5-8.
Atlanta is 8-5 right now and will travel to the Garden on Saturday. The Knicks will follow up that game with a trip to Detroit to take on the 5-8 Pistons.
They end the month against their rival New Jersey Nets who currently stand at 4-9 this season.
For the Knicks to finish November over .500, they must win four of the remaining five games. Not easy, but certainly possible.
New York has shown the ability to score. In their last four games, the Knicks are averaging 120 points per game. The problem is that the defense has not been stellar and forcing the offense to win the close games.
of the four teams New York will play in the next five games, only Detroit gives up an average of 100 or more points per game. It will be up to the Knicks to score and play defense. New York is third in the league, averaging 107 points per game.
Atlanta is 11th in the league while averaging 101.15 per game but the other three teams – Detroit, Charlotte, New Jersey – are all well under 100 points per game. In fact, Detroit ranks 24th in scoring while Charlotte and New Jersey are 28th and 29th respectively, out of 30 teams in the league.
New York must continue to get a balanced scoring effort as well as play solid defense. Six Knicks players are averaging over ten points per game while four average more than 15. Amare Stoudemire leads the Knicks, averaging 23.1 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding at 8.5 per game.
Point guard Raymond Felton has found a groove of late. Currently on the year, Felton is averaging over 17 points per game and shooting .473 from the field.
Danilo Gallinari has a tendency to be inconsistent but can score in bunches. Gallinari is averaging 16.7 points per game. He is almost automatic from the free throw line, shooting .925 from the line.
It is well known that the Knicks do not play defense. D’Antoni’s teams never have. If they can somehow step it up on the defense end, New York could be a dangerous team.
Entering the month of December over .500 would be a great sign of potential for the New York Knicks. It’s within reach.