The New York Knicks entered Saturday night riding a season high three-game win streak.
They made that number four with a 102-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
J.R. Smith returned from a one-game benching and didn’t untie anyone’s shoes, nor did he cause much of a distraction. Instead he scored 11 of his 14 points in the game-turning second quarter, as they began the quarter down 28-20 but took a 552-40 lead into the locker room.
With that being said, here’s a look at how the Knicks graded out in their fourth straight win.
Raymond Felton (9 points, 3-of-11 shooting, 6 assists, 1 rebound, 2 steals)
Felton took a bit of a step backwards, one game after maybe turning his best performance as a Knick Thursday night against the Heat. He wasn’t very good from the floor, but did drop six dimes on the night. More importantly Felton did not turn the ball over once on the night, which is almost more important than anything he does scoring the ball. Grade: B-
Iman Shumpert (7 points, 2-of-9 shooting, 7 rebounds, 1 assist 4 steals)
Shump had another rough night shooting the ball as it looks like his mini-hot streak from Texas is officially over. However while Shumpert wasn’t very good scoring the ball, he was very good defensively as he was active on the glass and getting to loose balls. Grade: C
Carmelo Anthony (18 points, 8-of-21 shooting, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal)
Anthony did not have a very good night shooting the ball as he missed 13 of 21 attempts from the floor. That being said, I though he had a very nice well-rounded game in which he defended, crashed the glass and kept his teammates involved. I actually would like to see more performances like this from Melo, of course with a better shooting percentage. Grade: B
Andrea Bargnani (10 points, 4-of-9 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 assists)
Bargs had an average night. He did make 4-of-9 attempts, but didn’t do much in other areas to impact the game. He also finished the night a team-worst minus-eight. Grade: C
Kenyon Martin (8 points, 4-of-5 shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks)
I thought K-Mart was very productive, turning in one of his best performances of the season. He was efficient from the floor, crashed the glass and dished out a few assists as well. Martin also blocked a few shots along the way. Overall it was a very productive 27 minutes for Martin. Grade: B+
J.R. Smith (14 points, 5-of-8 shooting, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal)
Give Smith credit as he came off the bench and took things seriously and played a big role in the win. Smith nearly eclipsed his season average of 11.3 points per game entering Saturday in the second quarter alone, scoring 11 points by making all four of his field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers, to go with four assists and two rebounds. For the Knicks to be successful they will need more performances like that from their sixth man. Grade: A-
Amar’e Stoudemire (21 points, 8-of-10 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 steal)
Stoudemire was very good. He was very efficient from the floor and was actually solid defensively at times. The most encouraging part of Stoudemire’s game is the fact that he played 22 minutes and seemed to get stronger as the game went on. STAT led the Knicks in scoring and finished with a game-high plus-20 rating. The key now is for the Knicks to keep Stoudemire playing at this level. Grade: A
Tim Hardaway Jr. (7 points, 2-of-3 shooting, 2 rebounds, 2 steals)
Hardaway got 22 minutes but managed to only get three attempts up. He was pretty solid defensively on the night though. Grade: C
Toure’ Murry (8 points, 3-of-6 shooting)
Murry played 12 minutes and I continue to like what I see from him. He’s solid defensively and dropped eight points in 12 minutes. He didn’t do much else in that span and did pick up four fouls, but overall Murry keeps getting better. Grade: C+