Good day, people of the Internet. I’m Seth. I blog about the Knicks, and I’ll be filling in today while Will and Joe fight crime. As it happens, those Knicks are rolling these days. While the Jets combusted on national television, Amar’e Stoudemire and company quietly earned their fifth straight victory and their tenth in eleven games. New York snuffed the Minnesota Timberwolves 121–114, led by Stoudemire’s fifth consecutive game surpassing the 30-point mark. (Idea: If Amar’e keeps breaking 30, can we start calling him “Triple X”? Are Roman-numeral jokes still cool?) His personal scoring flurry kept the Knicks ahead in the fourth, paving the way for a win that looked improbable in the early going.
From the outset, the Minnesota big men made it clear that they thought little of the Knicks’ frontcourt. Kevin Love and Michael Beasley picked up where they left off the last time these teams met, ripping nets from every square inch of the floor and treating Knick defenders like inanimate objects. (The Knicks, at least in the first half, were more than happy to play along.) Meanwhile, former Knick Darko Milicic had what promised to be a 50-point outing cut short, scoring ten in eight minutes before aggravating an injured quadricep.
Darko or no Darko, the T-Dogs were on fire. The Knicks’ three-point accuracy helped them escape the first half down only seven, but something needed to be done about Minnesota’s hot shooting. In the third quarter, they found the answer: Don’t let them shoot. New York opted to play offense on defense, forcing eight turnovers with frantic ball pressure. The period included seven steals and four blocks, the last of which was Ronny Turiaf’s savage last-second rejection of a Wayne Ellington fast break.
After that, the Knicks did something typical of this win streak but still precious to anybody who watched them in the ‘00s: They held their ground. Minnesota repeatedly threatened to take back the lead, but New York would have none of it. Amar’e willed his way to a dozen fourth-quarter points, various Knicks hit the necessary free throws, and Danilo Gallinari drained one dementedly deep three-pointer to seal the deal.
So, the Knicks stay winning over bad teams. They now sit at 13–9 with a couple more winnable games against Toronto and Washington on tap for this week. With Denver, Boston, and Miami invading the Garden next week, they would be wise to win those. Given recent events, we have reason to believe that they will.