A Knicks Offense We Can Believe In

Losing streak ends in 111-78 rout of the Bobcats

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    The return of the happy Knicks.

    The list of players who scored more points for the Knicks than Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday night starts with Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire and continues all the way down through Jeremy Lin and Jerome Jordan.

    Anthony missed all seven shots, scored one point overall and was outscored by every other member of the Knicks in Charlotte. This sounds like the start of another long, windy piece about whether or not the Knicks can ever win with Melo, but that couldn't be further from the truth.

    The Knicks cruised to a 111-78 victory to snap their six-game losing streak. Some of that had to do with the Bobcats playing without a couple of rotation players, not that they are all that good when the rotation is intact, but it also had to do with Anthony following through on his vow to look for more ways to help the team after Saturday night's double-overtime loss to the Nuggets.

    Anthony moved the ball on offense, avoided the isolation plays that have been far too big a part of the scheme to this point in the season, pushed the ball after his 11 defensive rebounds and didn't force a single shot over the course of his abbreviated evening.

    It's certainly a concern that he couldn't get a shot to fall, especially since he seemed to add a thumb injury to his ankle and wrist issues, but it was encouraging to see him look to get teammates involved as he realized his own game wasn't going to get it done.

    All of that made for the healthiest offense we've seen in some time from the Knicks, replete with pick-and-rolls and proper court spacing that led to open shots for everyone on the floor. The biggest beneficiary was Stoudemire, who scored 18 points and looked a lot like the player who captured the heart of the city last season instead of the zombie in goggles he's been this year.

    Stoudemire was most effective during a second quarter stretch when he was playing center with Mike Bibby at the point. The pick-and-roll really worked well during that run as Stoudemire took advantage of the space provided him to put a hurting on the Bobcats.

    Speaking of putting a hurting on the Bobcats, we give you the interior stylings of one Tyson Chandler. It was a lot of fun watching Chandler work on Tuesday night thanks to a series of ferocious dunks off good feeds or the offensive glass, where Chandler picked up eight caroms and likely made Byron Mullins consider another line of work that gives him less chance of winding up on the poster adorning an 8-year-old's wall in Dobbs Ferry.

    Just about everything was working for the Knicks. Toney Douglas played his best game in ages, Landry Fields' mini-resurgence continued and Jared Jeffries hit a couple of long jumpers in the first half. He later missed two more by a combined 34 feet, placing the Earth back on its axis.

    The only thing that wasn't working was Anthony's shot, but even that was probably for the best. Anthony's words on Saturday were encouraging, but seeing it in action was another thing altogether.

    It's not going to be like that every night, because there are going to be nights when they don't play the Bobcats (hard to believe given how often they've played this season) and need Anthony to do his business to put points on the board.

    Going in with the intention of moving the ball and spreading the wealth is the important part because you can always turn to Anthony down the stretch for a bailout. 

    You can't make too much of the win because it is one night against weak opposition, but it was what the team needed. They needed a win, obviously, but it also feels like they needed to show that they could do things a different way to convince themselves of the wisdom of changing their style.

    Hope has returned, my fellow Americans. For one night, the state of the Knicks' offensive union was strong.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.