Should we call it the Phil Jackson effect?
The New York Knicks haven't lost since ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith first reported that they contacted Jackson last week about coaching the team. New York has won four straight since the Jackson news first broke. Overall, they have won five straight, including Wednesday’s 24-point win over the Boston Celtics.
The five-game streak ties a season high. Jackson is expected to formally accept the Knicks' offer to serve as president of basketball operations by the end of the week.
With the win over Boston, the Knicks moved to within three games of the eighth-place Atlanta Hawks and took over sole possession of ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 34 points on 11-for-25 shooting. Tim Hardaway Jr. continued his hot shooting, pouring in 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting. And Cole Aldrich added 12 points in his first NBA start.
Cole’s world: With Tyson Chandler (personal reasons) and Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) out against Boston, Knicks coach Mike Woodson turned to Aldrich to start at center. And he delivered. In his first career start, Aldrich had 12 points, 10 rebounds and an assist.
He gave the Knicks everything they could have asked for.
New York outscored Boston by 19 in Aldrich’s 25 minutes.
Fast start: The Knicks jumped all over the tanking Celtics early on. They led 23-7 a little more than six minutes into the game. They started out shooting 12-for-17 from the floor and 5-for-6 from 3-point land. Hardaway Jr. hit his first six 3s and has 50 points over the past two games.
New York hit 11-of-19 3-pointers and ended up winning by 24, which is its largest margin of victory of the season.
It was a revenge of sorts against Boston, which beat the Knicks by 41 at Madison Square Garden earlier this season.
What’s next: Due to the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden this week, the Knicks will have a couple days off and will play next at the arena on Saturday against Milwaukee.
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