On This Date: Knicks bring back Quentin Richardson

April 16th 2013: Knicks bring back Quentin Richardson

In what should not have been a surprising move, the Knicks signed Quentin Richardson to the team. The Knicks wanted to sign additional veteran depth at both the SG and SF positions and thought Q-Rich could fit that role. Additionally, the team wanted an additional body that could play in the final game while the main rotation players would rest. The Knicks waived both Rasheed Wallace (in the next day) and Kurt Thomas (previously) due to career ending injuries.

Q-Rich played in the final game of the regular season where he grabbed 10 rebounds in 28 minutes. Q-Rich was largely a caricature of himself when he returned to the team, just like Kurt Thomas & Marcus Camby. He played quite sparingly in the playoffs, only appearing during blowout games.

On This Date: Knicks clinch #2 seed in victory over Pacers

April 14th 2013: Knicks clinch #2 seed in the Eastern conference by defeating the Indiana Pacers

The Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers at home 90-80 to officially clinch the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The victory helped clinch the Knicks’ highest playoff seeding since the 1993-94 season. The Knicks also became the Atlantic Division champions, their first division title since the 1993-94 season. The team eventually won 54 games that season. The 54 wins were the highest since the 1996-97 season (the Knicks were 57-25 that season).

Coincidentally, the Knicks would face the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Knicks had not reached the semis since the 1999-00 season. Unfortunately, the Knicks lost home court advantage in Game 1 and eventually lost the series in 6 games.

On This Date: Melo scores 40 to lead the Knicks to a victory over the Hawks

April 3rd 2013: Carmelo Anthony scores 40 points to lead the Knicks past the Hawks

The day after Melo tied his own career high with 50 points, he came back today on national TV to score 40 on the road in a 95-82 victory against the Atlanta Hawks. Melo scored 40 on 17-27 from the field and basically carried the team to the win.

After missing a few games earlier in the month when he got his knee drained, Melo initially struggled shooting from the field. He bounced back in the previous night with 50 points and had another very efficient effort in scoring 40. Melo would score 41 in their next matchup against the Bucks to give him 8 40 point efforts. That tied Kobe Bryant with the most 40 point games in the regular season.

On This Date: Knicks beat the Pistons in London

January 17, 2013: The New York Knicks defeat the Detroit Pistons in London

Beginning in the 2010-11 season, the NBA expanded their horizons by playing regular season games overseas. While this was not their first experiment in doing so – the NBA held a couple games in Japan during the 1990s – it became more of a tradition beginning this season. The games would be brand as either the “NBA China Games,”  “NBA Japan Games,” or “NBA London Games.”

Beginning in the 2012-13 season, the NBA rebranded those series as the NBA Global Games. The Knicks played their first ever regular season game overseas in London against the Detroit Pistons in the O2 arena. The Knicks were the road team in the matchup.

The Knicks previously played overseas in various exhibition and preseason games. Their first game was in 1990 as part of the McDonald’s Championship. The championship was an exhibition game that featured an NBA team (Knicks) competing against a club team from Europe, Australia, and South America. The Knicks later played a preseason game in Mexico in 1993 and Paris in 2010.

Before the game, the Knicks spent time touring London, interacting with younger fans at community outreach events and visiting the Tower Bridge. These events were done in unison to help promote the game of basketball in the United Kingdom. While basketball is popular in many different countries, it does not have the same influence in London due to the lack of professional teams in the country.

As for the game itself, the Knicks easily won the game 102-87. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 26 points and Amare Stoudemire scored 17 off the bench. The game also marked Iman Shumpert’s first regular season game since the horrific ACL injury in Game 1 of the 2012 playoffs. Shumpert returned to the starting lineup and scored 8 points in less than 15 minutes of action.

On This Date: JR Smith hits game-winner in Phoenix

December 26, 2012: JR Smith hits game-winning basket to stun the Phoenix Suns 

In what almost amounted to be a post-Christmas Day hangover, JR Smith helped the Knicks avoid a back-to-back disappointment with the game-winner. This was his 2nd game-winner after stunning the Charlotte Bobcats earlier in the month.

JR came off the bench to score 27 points in 37 minutes. Despite not hitting a three point shot, he had 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. Jason Kidd scored 23 points, on 8-16 from the field and 5-8 from three, with 6 rebounds and 8 assists. Tyson Chandler had a double double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.  

The team was without both Carmelo Anthony & Raymond Felton. Melo missed the game with a hyperextended right knee he suffered when Marcus Camby fell on his leg during the Christmas Day game against the Lakers. Felton injured his finger going after a loose ball in the Lakers game and was subsequently out for the next 4-6 weeks.

After the Suns took a 2 point lead in the 1st quarter, the Knicks took a 10 point lead by halftime. Jared Dudley helped lead the Suns to tie the game after 3 quarters. JR and Kidd helped keep the Knicks in the 4th until the former hit the game winning basket at the buzzer.

On This Date: Raymond Felton leads Knicks to victory over the Miami

December 6, 2012: Raymond Felton leads the Knicks with 27 points to down the Miami Heat.

In a nationally televised game on TNT, Raymond Felton took charge and led the New York Knicks – sans Carmelo Anthony & Amare Stoudemire – to a 112-92 victory on the road against the Miami Heat & the Big 3.

Felton led the team with 27 points, 7 assists, and 6 three pointers made. Jason Kidd scored 11 points and hit 3 three pointers. The bench helped by scoring a combined 57 points, led by Steve Novak (18 points & 4 three pointers made), JR Smith (13 points & 3 pointers made), & Rasheed Wallace (12 points).

The game was tied by halftime, but the Knicks went on a run of 8 three-point shots made in 8 minutes to build a double digit lead. The team went up by 20 points in the 3rd, but a quick Heat run pulled the lead down to 10 by the end of the quarter. The Knicks extended the lead in the 4th with more threes to put away the game and win by 20.

The Miami Heat’s Big 3 played in the game. LeBron James nearly had a triple double with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. However, Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh only combined for 25 points and shot a combined 6-25 from the field.

The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony after receiving stitches on the middle finger of his left hand he suffered after diving for a loose ball on the Knicks bench in the previous game against the Charlotte Bobcats.1  Amare Stoudemire was still out after undergoing a left knee debridement before the start of the season.  He initially suffered the injury bumping knees with Chris Copeland in training camp.

On This Date: Melo scores 29 to lead Knicks past Pistons 121-100

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 flawed2, teams began to incorporate the small ball lineups frequently and its become commonplace now in the NBA.