Welcome Raymond Felton to New York, and let Felton-sanity begin!
In a road game in San Antonio—one of the toughest places in the NBA to play—and with star forward Carmelo Anthony getting nothing done, point guard Felton took over and brought a huge win to New York.
The Knicks are now 6-0 (for only the second time in franchise history) after a 104-100 comeback win over the Spurs. In addition to 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting, Felton added seven assists and three rebounds. At the same time, he committed only two fouls and two turnovers.
For his part, despite a healthy 12 rebounds, Carmelo shot only 3-of-12, getting nine points and a minus-two differential.
J.R. Smith added 17 points, while point guard (and now somewhat of a hybrid) Jason Kidd added 14 more. This trio of guards unexpectedly carried the way over one of the best teams in the league.
For the moment, the Knicks are now alone atop the NBA as the only undefeated team. Moreover, it has been a difficult schedule they have conquered, as every team they have played so far is a returning playoff squad.
The moral of the story is that this team is more than just Carmelo or Amare Stoudamire, who still has not played. It is about head coach Mike Woodson coaching up a team that can play defense and score as a team.
The Spurs had their whole lineup going; there is no asterisk on this win. If anything, there is an exclamation point, because New York did it without Amare and on an off-day for Carmelo.
Raymond Felton is the main story of the day. While the bench and the role players all played great, the 28-year-old guard had a career day. Smith, Kidd and Felton are all outplaying expectations thus far in the season. This is the kind of play Knicks fans hoped Woodson could bring about with a full offseason to work with the team.
If the Knicks can continue to improve and learn to play together, they will be very scary team come playoff time.
For now, enjoy Felton-sanity!
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