The New York Knicks welcomed Carmelo Anthony back to the lineup Wednesday and even though Tyson Chandler and Kurt Thomas joined Amar’e Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace in street clothes, the Knicks had enough to win their second consecutive game, a 106-94 victory over the Orlando Magic.
Madison Square Garden was a welcome site for the Knicks, who returned home after a disastrous five-game road trip and the Knicks were glad to be back, outscoring the Magic 26-15 in the first quarter.
Orlando got back into the game in the second quarter and the Knicks took only a five-point lead into the locker room but took control of the game in the third quarter for good, outscoring the Magic 32-19.
The Knicks shot 52.6 percent (40-for-76) from the floor and knocked down 15-of-34 attempts (44.1 percent) of their attempts from behind the arc.
With that being said, here’s a look at how each Knicks player graded out in the win.
Pablo Prigioni (6 points, 2-of-2 shooting, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 turnover)
Prigioni got his second consecutive start at the point and it worked as he is one guy that needed to be on the floor more. He knocked down both of his triples, ran the offense smoothly and was very active defensively. More importantly he turned the ball over one time, which was something the Knicks were having a problem with from Raymond Felton. It was a solid 20 minutes of work for Prigioni. Grade: B+
Raymond Felton (7 points, 3-of-8 shooting, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal)
Felton slid over to the 2 again and although he scored only seven points and didn’t shoot the ball well, was pretty solid Wednesday night. He dished four assists and didn’t turn the ball over, finishing up with a plus-21 rating. Even though he had some problems defensively again, especially guarding Beno Udrih in the second quarter, it wasn’t the usual awful defensive performance from Felton. Grade: B-
Iman Shumpert (7 points, 2-of-4 shooting, 3 assists)
Shumpert had a good first half, scoring seven points and dishing three assists. But he tweaked his surgically-repaired left knee on the first half’s final play and told that he felt a “pop” in his knee, and the last time he felt that, he missed eight months. It wouldn’t be a normal day around this team without another injury and I would expect the Knicks medical staff to be very cautious with Shump in the upcoming days. Grade: B
Carmelo Anthony (21 points, 7-of-14 shooting, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block)
The three game break looked like it did ‘Melo some good as he looked fresher and energized, scoring 14 points through two quarters on an efficient 5-of-9 shooting. Anthony finished with a solid line in 33 minutes and even though the Magic don’t have a great frontcourt, it was good to see as the Knicks absolutely need Anthony at 100 percent. Grade: A
Kenyon Martin (11 points, 5-of-6 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 steal)
With Chandler out of the lineup, Martin brought physicality and energy to the Knicks lineup and delivered a Chandler-like offensive performance, scoring 11 points on a very efficient 5-of-6 shooting performance. Nikola Vucevic sat the game out with the flu so that helped but it was a solid performance, although K-Mart grabbed only three rebounds and got into foul trouble again. The Magic did score 50 points in the paint which was a bit concerning. Grade: B
Chris Copeland (9 points, 4-of-10 shooting, 3 rebounds)
Copeland was back to the bench after starting against Utah on Monday, mostly because he is a defensive liability. He did score nine points in 20 minutes, but also fouled out in that short span. Overall the entire bench did not have a good night, excluding J.R. Smith, as the other five bench guys all had minus ratings, including the minus-five from Cope. Grade: C
Steve Novak (11 points, 4-of-8 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 steal)
Novak looked comfortable with his shot, which if that continues will be big for the Knicks down the stretch. He knocked down three shots from behind the arc and grabbed three rebounds in 26 minutes. Grade: B
Marcus Camby (0 points, 0-of-1 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist)
It’s a mystery why Camby doesn’t get more time. The Knicks allowed 50 points in the paint to a small Magic team and you would think Camby could be a factor. But that can’t happen with him playing only seven minutes (all in the first half). You don’t want Camby playing the 4 with Anthony on the floor, but with Chandler out of the lineup and Martin in foul trouble, you would think Camby would be useful. Apparently that is not the case. Grade: D
Jason Kidd (5 points, 2-of-3 shooting, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, 3 steals)
It was a typical game from Kidd with five points, five dimes and three steals as he was very effective off the bench in 23 minutes. But he was outstanding defensively for the most part. The future Hall of Famer got his hands on a lot of passes and looked very active on the floor. Grade: B+
James White (7 points, 3-of-4 shooting, 1 steal)
White got off the bench for a change lately and scored seven points in only six minutes. He got behind the Magic defense for a layup and threw down a dunk on a breakaway. I will take that production from White in limited minutes. Grade: C+
J.R. Smith (22 points, 8-of-16 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block)
Finally Smith stopped forcing up perimeter jumpers and it showed in his results. He took the ball to the basket often against a small Magic lineup. The drives to the basket opened up some opportunities to knock down open jumpers. At the end of the night, Smith led all scorers with 22 points on an 8-of-16 shooting performance. He also pulled down seven boards and dished two assists. Grade: A
Tyson Chandler (DNP- Neck)
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