On Friday night, Raymond Felton displayed remarkable athleticism in one of the flashiest performances of this young NBA season as the Knicks defeated the Warriors.
Perhaps the Clippers’ Blake Griffin had heard all about it, because when he and the Clippers hosted the Knicks Saturday night, Griffin turned up one of the most physical performances the NBA has yet to see this season.
While the stats are truly outstanding: 44 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and 1 block, they do not in the least provide justice to Griffin’s unbelievable athleticism against the Knicks. In addition to delivering Timofey Mozgov’s unofficial “Welcome to the NBA!” message (multiple times), Griffin dunked and powered over the likes of Amar’e Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, and Raymond Felton. He truly took advantage of the Knicks’ lack of a (defensive) dominant big man and defensive intensity.
Stoudemire, in fact, set out to match Griffin’s performance, almost matching him dunk for dunk on his way to a 39 point performance of his own. Gallinari recorded a season-high 31 points, and Felton continued his D’Antoni point guard-evolving season with 20 points, 7 assists, and a career-high tying 7 steals.
Not to be forgotten, Toney Douglas, who has struggled to regain his fine offensive shooting touch over the last few games, quietly broke out of his slump with 12 points, connecting on 4 of 6 six shots from downtown.
For the Knicks, who will return home to play the Bobcats this upcoming Tuesday, a win is a win. Bouncing back from a six game losing streak to go 3-1 on a Western Conference road trip is impressive by any standard.
Nevertheless, it has to be concerning that the now 1-13 Clippers (the league’s worst team) gave the Knicks so much of a fight, even without two of their best players in Baron Davis and Chris Kaman.
The Clippers began to fight back in the 4th quarter, cutting down the Knicks’ lead. That is, of course, what many teams have been doing against the Knicks this season. However, the team has been able to put a stopgap to such runs during their 3 game win streak.
The team will look to continue that streak in Felton’s first game against his former team on Tuesday.