New York Knicks guard Sasha Vujacic doesn’t get a ton of playing time. He also doesn’t score a ton of points. On Wednesday night, the Knicks decided to start Vujacic against the Phoenix Suns. Both the Knicks and the Suns got a lot more than they bargained for. According to ESPN, Vujacic scored a season high 23 points and led New York to a victory over Phoenix, a feat that is highly unlikely to ever happen again.
For much of the season, Arron Afflalo has been the starting shooting guard for the New York Knicks. Since he’s actually been one of the best players on the team, Afflalo has made Knicks president Phil Jackson look like a genius for signing him in free agency last summer. New York had to play without Arron because of a strained abdominal muscle, so Sasha Vujacic received the starting nod from Knicks interim head coach Kurt Rambis.
Many believed that Sasha Vujacic was simply going to be a placeholder. Some believed that Langston Galloway was actually going to be receiving the majority of the minutes at shooting guard against the Phoenix Suns. Instead, Vujacic decided to go out and become a scorer. It was easy for Kurt Rambis to give Sasha the green light. He shot seven 3-pointers and missed only one, which was good enough for 23 points.
Carmelo Anthony also scored 23 points as well, which tied him for the team lead. The New York Knicks franchise player shot very effectively from the floor. Anthony also chipped in with seven rebounds, a block, an assist, and a steal. Carmelo could have scored more points tonight, but he once again proved that he is now willing to defer to teammates. All five Knicks starters scored in double figures, so the ball was moved around quite a bit.
Jose Calderon is the guy that New York Knicks fans want moved to the bench or off the team completely. Against the Phoenix Suns, he was especially solid. Aside from scoring 10 points, Calderon also added a dozen assists. If Jose could produce like this on a nightly basis, then Knicks fans wouldn’t be screaming for the likes of Jimmer Fredette, a developmental player, to get on the floor to see if he can take the starting spot.
Derrick Williams proved to be quite a useful sixth man for the New York Knicks. He came off the bench and scored 18 points against the Phoenix Suns. Williams also did it rather efficiently, hitting eight of the 10 shots that he took. The 6’8″, 240-pound forward has finally found a home in the NBA with the Knicks. With the pressure of being the second overall pick lifted off his shoulders, Derrick has found his niche as a scoring option off the bench in New York.
The Phoenix Suns received some solid contributions from their players. Devin Booker continued to show his massive potential by scoring 32 points. Alex Len had 14 points and 10 rebounds, so he did his part. John Jenkins and Mirza Teletovic combined for 22 points off the bench. Veteran guard Ronnie Price had 11 points, six assists, and two steals. The Suns simply did not get enough contributions from their other players to keep up with the New York Knicks.
Since the New York Knicks don’t have a draft pick in the first round, it bodes well for them to win as many games as possible. That way, they can keep morale in the locker room high. The Knicks need to get used to winning, so that they crave it more as a team. As for the Suns, the loss gets them a bit closer to drafting LSU Tigers star Ben Simmons.
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