Similar Knicks Effort, Better Knicks Result

Knicks beat Hornets, but old issues still linger

Every now and then there are times when you're left shaking your head and wondering what happened to the good old days when everyone smoked, at bacon at every meal and thought Wonder Bread was one of the five food groups. Sunday's 100-87 Knicks win was one of those times. 

That's when Carmelo Anthony went public with the fact that he's been fasting for the last 15 days of the season, eschewing meat and carbohydrates as part of a spiritual cleansing that he's done in the past. Memories of Friday night's putrid shooting came to mind when you heard how little gas was in Melo's tank as did the crabbiness about Kevin Garnett's alleged Honey Nut Cheerios taunts from last week, which may not have had anything to do with Anthony's wife at all. 

Anthony started off Sunday's game in the same shooting funk from the loss to the Bulls, missing eight of his first 10 shots as the Knicks fell behind early in yet another game. The defense was atrocious, the offense was iso-heavy and they complained to/about the refs after just about every play of the game. 

It's a tiring script, one that could have resulted in another loss if not for Chris Copeland (who started and moved Anthony back to the four after some less productive lineups of late) going off for 11 points in the first quarter. The Hornets aren't that good, so their shots started missing and the Knicks defense started working just hard enough to create some opportunities and then Anthony got hot before the half to grab the Knicks the lead. 

Things went more easily in the second half, although J.R. Smith made sure to keep up a running diary of dissatisfaction with the officials for enough time that it was surprising he didn't get ejected. Smith didn't play well off the bench, but Amar'e Stoudemire had his most effective game since returning on both ends of the floor. 

It's time for a change in approach for the Knicks, something Melo might agree with since he said Sunday that he was headed out to find a steak and end his quest for spiritual enlightenment through gnawing hunger. 

There are a few days off here before the Knicks land in London to face the Pistons on Thursday. Maybe a diet of fish and chips will get the Knicks back on course, although we're more excited about the prospect of Iman Shumpert returning to the lineup. 

Whatever you like to eat, more defensive intensity in the diet and more youthful exuberance on the court should be good things for a team that's been short on both during this lean stretch of the season.

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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