That was so, so much better. After a miserable game against the Rockets, the Knicks' offense got Carmelo Anthony back and, ankle pain or not, that man cooked soup from start to finish for a handsome 31 points on 22 shots. Melo's dominance and a succession of sparkling pick-and-roll feeds for man-hammer Tyson Chandler shredded Brooklyn's kinda dazed-looking defense into oblivion. A fine, versatile game from J.R. Smith-- who really boosted New York's offense when he replaced Ronnie Brewer in the third-- helped quite a bit, and so did SEVEN total team turnovers.
And, even better, the Knicks followed through on the other end. In the first half, they committed the familiar sin of doubling Joe Johnson excessively and at the wrong times, granting the Nets a ton of open weak-side threes. They tightened up considerably in the second half, though. After weathering a brief spurt from Deron Williams, the New York defense demonstrated smarter, timelier switches and doubles, rotated much better to close off the ensuing openings, and did a better job cleaning up on the defensive glass.
Splendid bounce-back game. Recap up later.