Jeff Hornacek, the mad scientist, found another five-man formula that had instant success and the Knicks rode it to a much-needed home win over an injury-depleted team. Much like the Euroballers lineup did against the Nets last week, this lineup — that essentially was four of the starting five with Justin Holiday in for Joakim Noah — started the second half and broke open a sluggish game.
This small-ball lineup, which featured Carmelo Anthony at the power forward spot and Kristaps Porzingis at center, put together a 19-2 run that put the Knicks fully in control. The unit played just eight minutes together, but exploded for 23 points and moved the ball well with four assists on six made field goals. Melo thrived at the four spot as he poured in 16 points in the third quarter.
Coach Hornacek said he didn’t plan to have that five-man unit replace the starting set, but did add that, “Maybe we can go to it more often.”
We’ve seen that lineup for very brief spurts (only two minutes) in the previous nine games.
What will happen Wednesday against Detroit? We’ll have it covered on MSG Network beginning at 7 PM.