The Knicks Triple Their Pleasure

Three after three and Carmelo's triple double bury the Celtics 118-110

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It's raining threes!

    At this point, everyone should really know better than to write anything in ink about the Knicks.

    After Sunday's loss to Miami, the great howl was that there wasn't enough help for Carmelo Anthony on offense and that the Knicks were surely doomed as a result. That conventional wisdom must not have been well-received inside the Knicks locker room because they responded on Tuesday night with a performance for the ages.

    Led by J.R. Smith and Steve Novak, the Knicks knocked down 14 threes in a first half that ended with 72 points on their side of the scoreboard and the Garden crowd as giddy as anything but a schoolgirl can get. In the second quarter, the threes were falling so furiously that even the zombiefied Mike Bibby got to feast on some Celtic brains.

    Really, though, it was Novak (8-10 from three) and Smith (7-10 from three) who were leading the charge in what played out like a "Can you top this?" contest between the two gunners. It got to the point where it felt like the scoreboard operator would just throw the three points on the board when the ball left their hands so that they could join the celebration when the ball fell through the hoop.

    They wound up tied with 25 points, more than enough to help the Knicks to a 118-110 win that kept alive both their hopes of winning the division and their hopes of moving higher than the seventh spot in the standings. Their performance also showed just how dangerous the Knicks offense can be when everything is clicking.

    With the Celtics forced to account for the hot shooters on the outside, Tyson Chandler had acres of room in the paint to use as a launching pad for dunks. He finished with 20 points on 10 shots, which is the kind of efficiency normally associated with German automobiles.

    And then there was Anthony, who we saved for last simply because it was worth noting that the team won a huge game on a night when Paul Pierce dropped 43 points without relying on Melo for every little thing. But it is also worth noting that Anthony might just have played his best game of a stretch that has seen him play as well or better than everyone else in the NBA.

    In a performance that had to make Mike D'Antoni's mustache twitch in whichever undisclosed location he's using for his next Pringles can photo shoot, Anthony wound up with a triple double (35 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) for the second time in his career. The alleged ball stopper with poor decision making hit 13 of 24 shots while passing out of double-teams and setting up his teammates whenever the moment was right.

    The narrative about Anthony's me-first profile was helped immeasurably in the early part of the season by the fact that he wasn't playing with anyone who could hit a shot. It's a different team now coached by a different man and suddenly Anthony isn't looking like such a nightmare of a human being anymore.

    Does that mean the Knicks are destined for good things? Look back at the top for a reminder that we don't write things in ink around these parts.

    Banking on that kind of shooting every night isn't the route to making a fortune, but having it in your arsenal means that there's always a chance that the Garden shakes the way it shook on Tuesday night. After this undulating season that looked lost so many times, that chance is something worth clinging to with all your strength. 

    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.