Knicks Hold a Garden Party at Pistons Expense

Everything clicks as Knicks win for second time in last 11 games.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It's always fun to have the Pistons in town.

    This was the Knicks team everyone signed up to see before the season got underway.

    The ball bounced like a pinball from player to player on offense before setting into someone's hands for an open shot that they buried.

    Everything ran through Carmelo Anthony, who balanced an efficient shooting night with an eye for his teammates to create an offensive onslaught that the opposition could not defend at all in an 113-86 win.

    But they were playing the Pistons!

    Defense wasn't a problem either as the Knicks turned 20 turnovers into a plethora of fast break opportunities at the other end. The slow, isolation-heavy pace was nowhere to be seen as the Knicks moved at something closer to the Seven Seconds or Less that made Mike D'Antoni one of the hottest coaches in the NBA.

    But they were playing the Pistons!

    All over the floor, there were encouraging signs. Landry Fields continued his resurgent streak of the last couple of weeks by hitting open threes, dishing out assists, infiltrating passing lanes and doing his best to make "I am a good basketball player" faces that pretty much failed despite the evidence to the contrary.

    But they were playing the Pistons!

    Tyson Chandler did his thing, which we learned on Tuesday night does not include ever doing anything resembling a traditional back-to-the-basket move from the post. Amar'e Stoudemire played fairly well and scored a bunch of points in the third quarter which was impressive because he turned his ankle during halftime warmups, an event captured on a MSG camera shot that looked to have been made extra grainy through some kind of CGI to give it a real (and unnecessary, quite frankly) citizen journalism feel.

    But they were playing the Pistons!

    The Knicks emptied the bench halfway through the fourth because they held a huge lead and everyone laughed their way to the exits. As you might have noticed throughout this recap, though, there was a caveat to the whole affair.

    The Knicks beat a Pistons team that looks about as likely to win a basketball game this season as Charlie Brown is to kick a football held by Lucy. Last Tuesday the Knicks laid a similar beatdown on the Bobcats before reverting right back to their ugly ways in Cleveland, Miami and Houston.

    Encouraging signs abound, especially from Anthony's unselfish performance  (including some tasty trips to the low block) that proved he can let the offense come to him instead of forcing it.

    Those signs mean nothing if they disappear against the Bulls on Thursday and/or the Celtics on Friday because the Knicks need to build on positives right now and erase some of the misery of the first 20 games.

    Anything less just leaves them with the rather hollow trophy of being better than the Pistons and the Bobcats, which is even less impressive than it sounds.

    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.