Necessity is the mother of invention, and so when left without Chandler and Anthony, the Knicks adapt.
Can't throw it to #7 when the shot clock is running down and expect a bucket? Can't lob it up to the big man rolling off a hard screen knowing he'll throw it down every time? Not necessarily a problem.
The Knicks showed -- especially after the Denver game, in which Chandler and Anthony went down within minutes of each other -- that by going back to the fundamentals, they could compete despite being shorthanded.
They moved the ball, amassing 20-plus assists three times compared to a season average of 19.5. They played defense, holding three of their opponents to 93 points or less.
And they hustled. The night after the injuries in Denver, they responded by outscoring Portland in both the first and fourth quarters. The Blazers had Damian Lillard (26 points, 10 assists), LaMarcus Aldridge (22 points) and a riled up crowd, but the Knicks came out fighting and never gave up. That spirit would carry them throughout the trip, onto a win in Utah and beyond.
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