The New York Knicks improved to 5-0 with a win over the Orlando Magic Tuesday night but they showed a few weaknesses while doing it. The Knicks, for the first time this season, did not start off the game in dominating fashion. They let a bottom tier team in the Magic stick around in the game until the fourth quarter.
The Knicks looked like a tired and sluggish team which should not have been the case since their previous game was four days prior. While the Knicks won the game 99-89 for the fifth double digit victory of the season, the score was not indicative of how close the game was.
The Knicks did not come out with the same defensive intensity against the Magic who were the worst scoring offense in the league coming into Tuesday’s game. The defensive rotations were late and that even lead to coach Mike Woodson yelling at Carmelo Anthony during the game. The Magic were mostly shooting uncontested shots throughout the first three quarters.
With all that being said, the Knicks still won the game whether it was an ugly victory or not. J.R. Smith played huge part in the win as he contributed an offensive spark off the bench. He has continued to prove himself as a strong candidate for Sixth Man of the Year scoring 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting.
Woodson, for the first time this season, did not take advantage of the depth on the Knicks roster. He only played Ronnie Brewer 17 minutes, Prigioni seven minutes and the combination of Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby for 18 minutes. I think Woodson should include Kurt Thomas in the rotation. Thomas, in the action that he’s seen this season so far, has played solid defense and contributed.
The Knicks will be tested as they are set to face the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies in back-to-back games on the road.