For the third game in a row, the New York Knicks had very little trouble disposing of the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Coach Mike Woodson has found a winning formula, and the Eastern Conference is learning about it in a hurry.
It all starts with Carmelo Anthony. The NBA's scoring leader has been terrific in the series thus far, averaging about 31 points a game. He hasn't settled for poor shots. Instead, Carmelo's attacking the rim and drilling his mid-range jumper, just as he did all season long. Boston hasn't had any answers for him in the series, and it seems unlikely anything will change between now and Game 4.
Then there's a bevy of really good role players who seem to be playing some of their best basketball in months.
Raymond Felton is making good decisions with the ball in his hands, both scoring and setting up his teammates for open shots. When Felton isn't on the floor, Jason Kidd essentially acts an extra coach on the floor at this stage of his career. He comes in off the bench and immediately makes a difference with his rebounding and passing ability.
J.R. Smith has been doing what he does best thus far in the series: scoring. The NBA's Sixth Man of the Year has really come into his own as a player, and he's torched the Celtics from behind the arc. Add shooters like Steve Novak and Pablo Prigioni into the mix, and it's no wonder the Knicks have had their way on the offensive end against the Celtics.
And then there are the big guys down low. Tyson Chandler and Kenyon Martin don't get much media publicity, but they've done a terrific job of protecting the rim throughout the series. Kevin Garnett has been unable to get much going offensively, and a lot of that is due to the physicalness displayed by Chandler and Martin.
This Knicks team is very well rounded, and they're a team no one will want to face moving forward. That includes the Miami Heat, who they'll likely face should they reach the Eastern Conference finals.
Until then, look for New York to continue using the winning formula they are displaying against Boston. This is a dangerous team, and given the amount of talent and depth amassed on the roster, they could beat anyone on any given night, even if a few players aren't on the top of their game.