Print and Go Back New York Knicks [Print without images]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Felton fuels Knicks to most success

By Jared Zwerling

After Amare Stoudemire customarily addressed the media first in the postgame locker room, it was Raymond Felton's turn to discuss the Knicks' 115-106 win over the Wizards. Since the Knicks allowed the Wiz to score 62 first-half points -- 15 above their average, which is fifth-worst in the league -- the question on everyone's mind was: How did New York turn things around and prevent an 0-20 road team from getting its first W?

"At halftime, we said we were playing too soft and needed to be stronger," Felton said. "We came out with more energy."

Though the Wizards scored 29 points in the third quarter, the Knicks limited their transition and penetration game, which they didn't do previously, and allowed them only one layup. Then in the fourth quarter, the Knicks cast the final deadly spell on the Wizards, limiting them to only 15 points and 44 second-half points -- 4.6 below their average.

"We made stops defensively," Stoudemire said. "We have to do that to win games because our offense is so good."

It was that same energy on offense that carried the team to victory, led by Felton's playmaking abilities. He kept rookie John Wall second-guessing with his creative pick-and-roll manuevering and was able to beat him into the lane to create plays for himself and his teammates. Whenever Felton does those two things, great things happen for the Knicks. Not only does Stoudemire get closer looks to the basket, more kick-out space becomes available to establish easier ball movement around the perimeter for shooters, who are essesntial to Mike D'Antoni's offense, to get open -- especially Wilson Chandler.

Last night, the Wizards' poor rotation defense gave the Knicks open 3-point looks exactly where they wanted them -- in the corners, where the Knicks shoot over 40 percent, and Chandler knocked down a couple of them.

While the Knicks have won 19 games when Stoudemire scores at least 20 points, they've also lost 15 in games he has hit that mark. Most of the Knicks' success has stemmed from Felton's ability to score and dish, especially when Stoudemire and Chandler both capitalize on opportunities. Take a look:

15-4 record when Felton has a double-double in points and assists:
6-1 – November (loss to the Nuggets)
6-2 – December (losses to the Celtics and Cavaliers)
3-1 – January (loss to the Jazz)

13-4 record when Felton has a double-double and Stoudemire scores at least 20 points:
4-1 – November (loss to the Nuggets)
6-2 – December (losses to the Celtics and Cavaliers)
3-1 – January (loss to the Jazz)

10-2 record when Felton has a double-double, Stoudemire scores at least 20 points and Chandler scores at least 15:
3-1 – November (loss to the Nuggets)
4-1 – December (loss to the Celtics)
3-0 – January

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.