The Knicks are doing all the right things to put themselves in position win and lock up a playoff berth Friday night. While Carmelo Anthony has been clanking a bit (5-for-15) and a little out of control (four turnovers), the Knicks are shooting nearly 50 percent from the field (18-for-37) while holding the Raptors to 35.7 percent.
Here are four main observations at the half:
1. Pablo Prigioni's aggressiveness. Even after picking up two fouls early in the first quarter, the starting point guard still got after it. In fact, after hitting a circus scoop shot over Landry Fields with shot clock expiring, Prigioni stole the inbounds pass and facilitated a play that finished with an Anthony 3-pointer. Prigioni is relentless and sneaky with his extra pressure.
2. Kenyon Martin's strong start. Early in the first quarter, after blocking Jonas Valanciunas' shot, Martin pick and popped with Iman Shumpert and squared up for a baseline corner jump shot, and then followed up a Raymond Felton missed layup with a putback dunk. Later in the second quarter, Martin stole a pass and took it for a fast-break dunk.
With Prigioni and Martin both playing well to open games recently, Mike Woodson could consider starting either of them once Tyson Chandler (neck strain) returns.
3. Knicks controlling tempo well. That goes for perimeter rotations defensively, pushing the pace offensively and moving the ball well in half-court sets. The Knicks were one step ahead of the Raptors in the first half, as they shot 46.7 percent from downtown (7-for-15) and took 11 free throw attempts. The Raptors only had four.
4. Marcus Camby's big block. On a Terrence Ross drive early in the second quarter, the backup center floated from the weak side to swat the Raptors rookie's shot into the stands. Camby, who turned 39 on Fridday, can still make an impact on the game.
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