Originally posted on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 4/22/12

After the Knicks were sunk by the Cavaliers Friday night, many fans were left disheartened by the team's lack of killer instinct against the league's weaker teams.
Looking to bounce back, the team would have to do so without Tyson Chandler, who sat out this afternoon's game against the Hawks in an attempt to rest up with the playoffs near. Ironically enough, not playing may have been all Chandler needed to clinch the NBA's "Defensive Player of the Year" award.
Without the big man pacing their defense, the Knicks allowed the Hawks to shoot 54% from the field (including 63% from downtown) as Atlanta made it rain from all around the court. The Hawks were led by three 20 plus point performances (Marvin Williams, Joe Johnson, and Jeff Teague), with Williams' 29 points being a team-high. The offensive outburst from the North Carolina product was an individual season-high as well.
Luckily for the Knicks (as poor as their defensive effort was in spurts), the game became a "anything you can do, we can do better" contest. New York's offense was on point, with Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire both playing rather efficiently. Anthony kept up his explosive month of April by scoring 39 points and grabbing 11 boards. The superstar kept the Knicks afloat throughout by hitting big shots down the stretch.
In just his second game back from a back injury, Stoudemire broke out for 22 points of his own. Though STAT struggled to get into a rhythm offensively against the Cavs, he instead used his physicality to aggressively get inside, having his way with the Hawks defense. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.
The fact that Stoudemire showed promise and was still able to blossom alongside Anthony's dominating play is an incredibly positive sign for the Knicks. When at his best, Stoudemire completes one of the league's stronger one-two offensive punches with Anthony.
That said, they key to the two of them co-existing on the court will be Stoudemire's ability to thrive while allowing Anthony to do his thing as well. Anthony's play has been enough to keep the Knicks in nearly each and every game down to the final seconds, and that's something Stoudemire should be adding to, rather than taking away from it.
STAT's impressive outing this afternoon was certainly enhanced by Baron Davis' best game as a member of the New York Knicks. Returning from a two-game absence with a stomach bug, Davis hit the hardwood with the knowledge that Mike Bibby elevated the team's play as starter.
Davis, who scored a season-high 18 points against the Wizards last Friday, actually showed flashes of the point guard the Knicks signed him to be. He and Stoudemire seemed to begin developing an effective pick and roll rhythm, excelling on offense. Davis not only knocked down three daggers from downtown on his way to 13 points, but also tied a season-high in assists, dishing out ten dimes.
The offensive onslaught didn't stop there for the Knicks, who were also pleasantly surprised by 18 points from Landry Fields. Finally consistency hitting shots from long range, Fields' point total was his highest since March 9th.
After trading buckets with Atlanta all the way down to the final seconds of the game, the Knicks' defense showed up with the game on the line. Stoudemire went to battle with Williams during the game's final possession, throwing him off enough to help secure a 113-112 victory for New York.
The Knicks, who will have Chandler back for Wednesday's game vs. the Clippers, helped Coach Mike Woodson go home happy with his first victory against his former team.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker