NY Knicks' Top 10 Games of the Year
With the Knicks on the verge of advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time in over a decade, fans everywhere are excited about the Blue and Orange.
This season saw the Knicks capture the Atlantic Division, rack up 54 wins, beat the Heat thrice and earn the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
On a personal level, Carmelo Anthony captured his first scoring title, and J.R. Smith edged out former Knick Jamal Crawford for Sixth Man of the Year.
While there are sure to be plenty of more highlights for the Knicks, we review the top 10 so far, with the Knicks set to make a deep playoff run.
Knicks Drop 42 in 3rd Quarter vs. Bucks
The Knicks seemingly couldn't miss against the Bucks, racking up 42 points in one quarter to help put away the pesky Milwaukee Bucks at home.
After trailing 45-36 at half, the Knicks exploded in the third quarter, holding the Bucks to 21 points, and taking a commanding 78-66 lead, en route to a 101-83 victory.
Led by Carmelo Anthony's game-high 41 points and 14 rebounds, the Knicks also saw J.R. Smith chip in 30 of his own.
The highlight of the game was Jason Kidd's three-fourths-court shot at the end of the third quarter, electrifying the home crowd.
Knicks Honor 1973 Champions
While it won't show up in any box score, the 40th anniversary of the Knicks' last championship is a stark reminder of how far the franchise has fallen since the perennial glory days, and how far they've some since the dark days of the Isiah Thomas era.
The 1972-1973 champs were led by legendary head coach Red Holzman, whose name hangs high from the Madison Square Garden rafters.
After losing to the Lakers a year earlier, the Knicks exacted revenge, winning the series 4-1 and capturing their second title in franchise history.
The Knicks' starting lineup was probably the best in franchise history, as they trotted out Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere and Willis Reed, with a bench led by Jerry Lucas and Phil Jackson.
The backcourt of Frazier and Monroe is considered by some to be one of the best in NBA history, featuring two Hall of Famers and NBA 50th Anniversary team members.
Knicks Beat OKC Thunder
After losing to the Thunder by one at home without Carmelo Anthony only a month prior, the Knicks returned the favor to Oklahoma City, upsetting the reigning Western Conference champs on the road in a shootout.
The Knicks had six scorers in double digits, and as in a recurring theme to the season, were led by Carmelo Anthony's 36 points.
While Kevin Durant did score 27 points, the Knicks held him to 7-of-17 shooting, and without a three-pointer.
For a team that struggled on the boards all season, the Knicks out-rebounded the Thunder, a very impressive feat considering the Thunder's frontcourt size.
The win would be their 12th straight, and was a major statement to their credibility as an elite team.
Knicks Beat Brooklyn for First Time
After dropping their first matchup against their new intra-city rivals, the Knicks were able to grab a season split at the Barclays Center, knocking off the Nets 100-97.
Their first trip to Brooklyn saw them fall in overtime after blowing a late lead, leading minority Nets owner Jay-Z to tweet that the city was "under new management." The comment, like other boasts by Jay-Z and majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, irked the Knicks and fired up Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony, who struggled at the end of the Knicks' first matchup with the Nets, turned in one of his best games of the season, scoring 45 points on 15-of-24 shooting, including five triples. The Knicks overcame a 14-point first-quarter deficit to rally for the win.
The win improved the Knicks to 16-5 at the quarter-mark of the season.
J.R. Smith Buzzer-Beater Beats Bobcats
J.R.'s first buzzer-beater of the season helped the Knicks escape a potentially embarrassing situation against one of the league's worst teams.
After struggling the entire night, shooting only 1-of-9 from behind the arc, J.R. took an inbounds pass with 3.4 seconds left from the top of the key, dribbled to the left and nailed a fadeaway jumper over rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
The best part may have been Smith's too-cool-for-school reaction as the Knicks rushed the court and celebrated.
But it wouldn't be Smith's only game-winner of the season...
J.R. Smith Buzzer-Beater Stuns Suns
Again, it was J.R. to the rescue. With only a second left, Jason Kidd inbounded the ball, where he found Smith, who was able to get a bit of space thanks to a Tyson Chandler screen. Guarded by P.J. Tucker, Smith actually slipped right as he got the ball, took a step and got off an off-balance jumper which somehow found its way in the basket, leading to disbelief from Suns players and jubilation from the Knicks.
This time, even Smith managed a smile, as the Knicks left the desert as victors.
Knicks Send Message in Season-Opener
After their original season-opener was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, the Knicks' de facto season-opener came against the defending NBA champions, who ended the Knicks' year before.
The result: a blowout for the Knicks, something nobody could have predicted before the game.
The Knicks dominated throughout, jumping out to a 33-17 lead after the first quarter, and never looking back in the 104-84 victory that saw them knock down 19 threes.
The game stood out for the Knicks' superior ball movement, which saw them collect 27 assists. Unfortunately, that trend would be short-lived, as the Knicks ended the season dead-last in the NBA in assists.
Six Knicks scored double digits, led by Carmelo Anthony's 30 points and Steve Novak's five three-pointers. While it was only the Knicks' first game, it was a statement that New York would not be intimidated by the Heat's pedigree.
Knicks Beat Heat Without Carmelo
No way the Knicks can beat the Heat on the road, right? Especially without Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire? And with the Heat seeking revenge from an embarrassing season-opening loss?
Wrong. The Knicks proved they were much more than a one-man show, turning a tied game at the half into a 20-point win, thanks to a second half for the ages. They held the Heat to 39 second points—only 12 in the fourth—as they ran the defending champs off the court, pouring in 59 points behind Raymond Felton's unconscious shooting. The Knicks point guard hit six triples and finished with 27 points and seven assists, as five other Knicks finished in double digits.
In total, the Knicks knocked down 18 three-pointers, which has been their formula to beat the Heat throughout the season.
While LeBron had a typical excellent game (31 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists), they limited Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to 25 points on an atrocious 6-of-25 shooting. More impressively, they also turned the ball over only seven times, while forcing 14 Heat turnovers.
The Heat would only lose four home games all season, two of which would be to the Knicks (though the latter one would be without LeBron, Wade and Mario Chalmers).
Carmelo Drops 50 Points as Knicks Clinch Season Series Against Heat
No, LeBron didn't play. Neither did Dwyane Wade or Mario Chalmers. And no, the Heat had essentially nothing but pride to play for.
But in a game the Knicks had trouble breaking away, the one constant was Anthony, who seemingly couldn't miss all night, abusing whatever defender drew the unenviable task of guarding him.
The Knicks, down 58-50 at the half, watched Anthony take charge, shooting 18-of-26 from the field, including an incredible 7-of-10 from behind the arc, and dropping a season-high 50 points as the Knicks broke away for a 102-90 victory.
The Knicks held the Heat to only 32 second-half points, but the story was Anthony, whose 50 points highlighted his incredible scoring prowess.
Knicks Beat Celtics in Game 1
There's only one highlight that belongs on the top, as there's only one goal that truly means anything for the Knicks: a championship.
While the season is still going (and hopefully will be for a while), the Knicks' Game 1 victory gave them a series lead for the first time in over a decade.
The veteran Celtics, who bounced the Knicks from the playoffs in Carmelo's first season, came into Madison Square Garden looking to steal Game 1.
It wasn't the Knicks' prettiest offensive game, as Carmelo Anthony, despite scoring 36 points, shot only 13-of-29 and as a team they shot just 40.5 percent from the field, including 9-of-25 from behind the arc.
But it was one of the best defensive efforts in team history. The Knicks held the C's to 24 second-half points, including eight in the decisive fourth quarter, as they captured the playoff opener in old-school fashion, 85-78.
Forcing 20 Celtic turnovers, the Knicks were clearly the more athletic, fresher and simply better team on the floor, thrilling their home fans.
Hopefully there will be many more highlights to add to this season, as the Knicks are poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.