November 25, 2012: Carmelo Anthony scores 29 points to lead Knicks past Pistons 121-100
The Knicks jumped out of the gate with a hot start to the 2012-13 season. In their matchup against the Pistons, they showcased the formula that would lead the team to their first Eastern Conference Semifinals since the 1999-2000 season.
Carmelo Anthony led the way with 29 points and made 4-5 from three. Raymond Felton had a double double with 14 points and 10 assists. Additionally, the Knicks received excellent production from the second unit. JR Smith came off the bench with a double double -> 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists. Steve Novak scored 18 points, with 5-7 from three. Rasheed Wallace also scored 15 points and made 3-5 from three. The team collectively hit 17-33 from three and were 28-31 from the free throw stripe.
The game also featured two interesting quirks that personified the season. First, Jason Kidd sported a tilted headband after receiving an accidental elbow from Lance Stephenson a few games earlier. Second, we saw Carmelo Anthony incorporate the “three to the dome” celebration after every three point make. Rasheed Wallace brought the celebration to the team and Melo made it his signature move during his tenure with the Knicks.
The Knicks also continued to use the two-PG starting lineup with Jason Kidd & Raymond Felton. The decision was a result of Amare Stoudemire’s knee injury that sidelined him for most of the season. The small lineup moved Melo to the 4 and consequently had one of his best seasons in his career. While the personnel on the roster was slightly flawed1, teams began to incorporate the small ball lineups frequently and its become commonplace now in the NBA.