On Wednesday night, the New York Knicks defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-106. The Knicks’ victory on Wednesday night was a critical victory as Carmelo “Melo” Anthony is nearing an opt-out option in his contract.
In the Knicks’ previous seven games, Melo had been doing an excellent job of scoring, but had very little offensive help. Melo had 33 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Knicks.
On Wednesday night, Melo’s teammates did their part offensively. Five other Knicks’ players scored in double-digits to help them defeat the Timberwolves.
This was a key victory for the 11th-place Knicks because they had entered the game on a seven-game losing streak. They needed the victory on Wednesday night to keep pace with the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks (26-32) led the Knicks by six-and-a-half games entering Wednesday night’s games for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. The Knicks (22-40) could decrease the gap to five-and-a-half games if the Portland Trailblazers defeat the Hawks on Wednesday night.
Every game for the Knicks is critical because Melo has a player option for next season. This means that he could opt-out of his contract during the off-season.
The Knicks’ victory on Wednesday night slightly impacted Melo’s potential departure on the ‘Melo Meter.’ The victory moved him on my scale from 8.5 to 8.3.
The reason why I decreased the number on my ‘Melo Meter’ slightly is because of the help Melo received on offense on Wednesday night.
Melo has typically done a very good job this season on offense, but has received inconsistent help. On Wednesday night, he had five teammates score in double-digits.
When Melo receives help like that on offense, it allows him to become a facilitator. He was able to distribute five assists and have some ‘hockey assists’ because he trusted his teammates shooting the ball.
Raymond Felton, who has been struggling offensively this season, did a very good job offensively. He scored 18 points, making five of eight field goals and he distributed eight assists.
Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson said during his post-game press conference said that he had talked with Felton before this game. This could lead to Felton, and the rest of the Knicks, having more consistently good offensive performances the rest of the season.
It cannot be moved down more than that because the Knicks are in the midst of a very disappointing season. Despite the disappointing season, they are still alive in the playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference.
They still have 20 games remaining in the season, so they can still make the playoffs this season. Their next game will be against Derrick Favors and the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
This will be the first time the Knicks are facing the Jazz this season. After the Jazz were defeated by the Wizards on Wednesday night, 104-91, they are currently tied with the Los Angeles Lakers (21-40) for last place in the Western Conference.
For the first edition of the ‘Melo Meter,’ check out: http://empirewritesback.com/2014/03/04/melo-meter-succeeding-knicks-pistons-game/