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Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Rapid Reaction: Knicks 98, Raptors 93

By Chris Sheridan

WHAT IT MEANS: Knicks fans can celebrate having a winning record for the first time in more than 23 months. Not since Nov. 22, 2008, had the Knicks been above .500 (they were 7-6 at the time). Significantly, they learned -- albeit against a weak opponent -- that they can be victorious when Amare Stoudemire is not dominant. The Max Man had a strong finish offensively and got his double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but the supporting cast carried the Knicks in a game they led most of the way.

DIFFERENCE-MAKER: Hard to single out just one guy, so we'll mention three. Until he made two poor shot-selection choices in the late going, Wilson Chandler looked like an instant NBA Sixth Man of the Year candidate, being aggressive on both ends of the court (scorekeepers appeared to rob him of a blocked shot with 4 minutes left) and making 10 of 18 shots for 22 points. Landry Fields hit his first two shots, both 3-pointers, and had all four of his rebounds (many through sheer hustle) in the fourth quarter. Ronny Turiaf was solid during a 13-2 run bridging the first and second quarters that put the Knicks ahead by 16 before they blew most of that lead my halftime.

A.R. DOES NOT STAND FOR ALL RIGHT: Anthony Randolph was using crutches to get around after spraining his ankle at practice Tuesday, but he said it would be only a day or two, maybe a week at the most, before he was ready to return. But during the afternoon, the Knicks' medical staff took another look at the ankle -- the same one he injured last season, forcing him to miss 47 games -- and decided it was prudent to put Randolph on the shelf for two weeks.

OPEN MIKE: A Canadian TV reporter stunned coach Mike D'Antoni after the morning shootaround by asking him why he was so humorless. D'Antoni was dumbfounded by the question and did not have a snappy comeback. Later, in his pregame chat with reporters, D'Antoni was asked where rebounding ranked among his concerns. "Behind Medicare and Social Security," he said before acknowledging it was a pretty lame attempt to prove that he is not humorless.

MOZGOV MOMENT: Big Russian Timofey Mozgov was a foul magnet, which was to be expected, and he was left bewildered by his fourth foul 7:20 into the third quarter when he was merely running downcourt in transition and bumped a Toronto player. Mozgov threw his hands up in frustration but was spared a technical foul under the new zero tolerance rules, and D'Antoni subbed him out. He shot 0-for-1 and finished with no points and 3 rebounds in 8 minutes.

WHAT'S NEXT?: A Friday night game in Boston against the Celtics, who will be playing their third game in four nights. The Celtics and the Knicks played twice in the preseason, with Boston winning by three and 13. The Knicks have lost in each their past seven visits to the new Gahden.