New York Knicks : 95 : : Atlanta Hawks : 91 — November 13, 2013
What would you do if Andrea Bargnani ended up being the best acquisition of last offseason? Would your butt just explode right off your freaking body? Well, hold onto your butts because the one-time Raptor had 20 points and 11 rebounds with a pair of threes in the fourth quarter (and so much pent-up hustle, apparently) while starting at center for the New York Knicks in place of the injured Tyson Chandler, who is set to miss quite a bit of time.
You can put an all-points bulletin out on Paul Millsap, who disappeared again offensively (3-of-9 for 6 points and 6 rebounds), which Atlanta really can’t survive very often, but I think the Knicks deserve credit for not screwing up most of all. They only scored 10 points in the third quarter and missed a ton of shots the whole game, but they hit them when they absolutely had to and they didn’t throw away many possessions in horrible ways (just THREE turnovers all night against TWENTY-FOUR assists). If you’re not going to run an effective offense, the least you can do and still hope to win is have your possessions end with the ball having a chance to go through the net, even if you won’t rebound it when it doesn’t (a 47-37 advantage for Atlanta). Minimizing turnovers was essential to the Knicks success last year, but it hasn’t been quite as relevant this year (neither has the word “success”), so it was good to see a lack of mistakes without sacrificing their already limited ball movement. They’re still in a lot of trouble though; it’s not 2013 anymore. I mean, it is, but not the part of 2013 where the Knicks were good. That time is definitely gone.