The New York Knicks rebounded from blistering defeat in L.A. by getting a solid road win over the Portland Trail Blazers 100-86 on Tuesday night. Amar'e Stoudemire was held to an less-than-efficient 23 points on 23 shots (plus eight free throws), but Ronny Turiaf, starting at center for the 'Bockers, scored an unexpected 19 on 8-9 shooting to help boost New York's vaunted offense.
The Blazers got some surprises, too; they were not, however, as pleasant as Turiaf. Portland shot just 35 percent, and team hero LaMarcus Aldridge shot just 8-18 for 19 points. A pox on Wesley Matthews, who shot 2-13, Marcus Camby (0-5) and Patty Mills (3-9). We will, however, take back the "pox" comment in Mills' case, because I just realized that we're officially going with "Patty" instead of "Patrick" on all official NBA dispatches, and well, that's worth a nod and smile.
That nod and smile would do a lot for Portland's teamwork, and is needed given that the Blazers had just eight assists all game. Sure, they only scored 23 field goals, but the sub-35 percent assist rate speaks to too much one-on-one play. That's fine when it's Aldridge, but no one else on this squad (so long as Brandon Roy is shelved) should be playing out of isolation. That also excepts Nicolas Batum, who can do no wrong.