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Knicks Week in Review: 10/26/15 – 11/1/15

Carmelo Anthony leads Knicks to 2-1 start (Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony leads Knicks to 2-1 start (Getty Images)

As Walt “Clyde” Frazier might say: how about this auspicious start for the New York Knicks?

We’re a week into the new NBA season and the boys in orange in blue came out very strong — much stronger than most expected. New York kicks off the season with nine of their first 11 games against last year’s playoff teams; aside from a subpar showing in the home opener vs. Atlanta, they showed that they would no longer be easily pushed around. Carmelo Anthony and company rolled into Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., and came out with quality road wins which should serve as confidence builders for the grueling season. Here’s what stood out this past week:

Melo rounding into form: Anthony struggled in his first regular-season game since February 9th as he only shot 4-for-16 from the field for 11 points, but he did fill the stat sheet somewhat with his five assists, six rebounds, one block and one steal. The first game at MSG wasn’t much better as he put up 25 points on 10-for-27 shooting in a losing effort. The 31-year-old veteran came out blazing in the nation’s capital, however; he exploded for 37 points on 11-for-18 shooting and proved to be no match for the Wizards as the Knicks pulled out an impressive road win.

Bench provides a spark: The biggest positive from the first three games is the play of the second unit. An impressive preseason has easily carried over into the regular season. Derrick Williams has shown no signs of slowing down as he’s averaged a solid 13.3 PPG early on, including a team-leading 24 points in the 122-97 win against the Bucks on opening night. Kyle O’Quinn has come as advertised as well, putting up a solid 9.3 PPG and 7.7 RPG so far. And Langston Galloway is building upon his terrific rookie season as he’s scored 12.7 PPG, including 14 huge points in Washington on Halloween, and shot an even 50% from the floor. Many Knicks fans (myself included) will assuredly be calling for the St. Joseph’s product to start, if they aren’t already. Whether this production can be kept up over 82 games remains to be seen, but the early returns are very promising.

Rookies making strides: Much has been made about how first-round pick Kristaps Porzingis will adjust to the NBA style of play. If his debut was any indication, he’s got a bright future ahead of him. Despite only making 3-of-11 field goals, the Latvian product managed to score 16 points thanks to his penchant for drawing fouls as he went 9-for-12 from the free throw line. He’s been solid through his first three games, averaging 11.3 points and 6.3 rebounds. Fellow first-rounder Jerian Grant has also impressed in the early stages. The 23-year-old out of Notre Dame has formed an excellent rapport with Galloway off the bench; he has also put up a .500 FG% and a manageable 2/1 assist-to-turnover ratio. The sky is clearly the limit for both players as they look to impact the Knicks going forward.

This week, the tough schedule continues for New York. Currently sitting at 2-1 and 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, they face San Antonio at home tonight before traveling to Cleveland to face LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Wednesday. Milwaukee rolls into MSG on Friday looking for revenge from their opening-night loss, followed by Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Sunday. Knicks fans will no doubt hope that the team can continue to build on its early success in the young season.

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