With talk about his impending 2014 free agency at an all-time high, Carmelo Anthony returned home to Baltimore to lead the Knicks up against the Wizards.
The 22 points Anthony poured in to ensure his team went home with a 98-89 victory was among the highs of such a contest. The forward played the most minutes of any starter, presumedly because it may be only time he'll ever get to play in front of a local crowd so near and dear to his heart.
That said, the respective elbow sprains Iman Shumpert and Pablo Prigioni suffered in the game were among the negative takeaways. It would truly be unfortunate if either one was sidelined for a longer period of time due to such an injury. Each one has a decent chance to start come opening night, and a player like is Prigioni especially has proven night in and night out his ability to make the team better when he's on the court. Entering his third year, Shumpert is entering a season in which everyone around him expects him to make quite the impact and be an X-Factor of sorts, regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench.
But as each guard (in addition to Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton, for obvious precautionary reasons) took a seat, other players were given an opportunity to step up. By adding 14 points and standing tall with a plus/minus of +11, guard Toure Murry continued to impress. Ike Diogu also continued to turn heads with his late attempt to earn a spot on the roster. He scored 10 points, grabbed 8 rebounds, and played more than any of New York's other big men.
For what it's worth, with Prigioni and Shumpert both down, Beno Udrih served up his best game as a Knickerbocker so far. Taking his turn at running the floor and orchestrating the offense a bit, he added 12 points and had a plus/minus of +24 in 26 minutes.
Diogu's recent emergence (in addition to New York's admirable for the injured Jeremy Tyler) may mean Cole Aldrich's time to prove his worth is running out. A gritty and physical big man with a high overall plus/minus rating this preseason, the center's impact is not easily measured by numbers. He's seemingly slowly but surely falling out of favor with the team's staff, though.
It'll be interesting to see what moves the Knicks end up making in the coming days and weeks, but if one thing's for certain, it's that they look pretty good as an overall unit so far this month.