Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Slam Sixers

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Knicks Slam Sixers

Article excerpt

PHILADELPHIA -- At every opportunity the Wells Fargo Center was bombarded with ancillary entertainment, cheerleaders in Santa suits, game operations staff dressed as snowmen, elves and reindeer tossing T-shirts to the crowd, not to mention handing out televisions and video game systems.

But when the music died down the Sixers were still the Sixers, no amount of Christmas magic could make them competitive. The Knicks toyed with Philadelphia almost from the start, building leads of as many as 30 points and sitting their starters for the entire fourth quarter as they posted a 107-97 victory Friday night.

Arron Afflalo had 22 points in just 26 minutes and Carmelo Anthony added 16 points. Kristaps Porzingis, matched up against Sixers rookie center Jahlil Okafor for the first time, had eight points, four rebounds and three blocked shots in 26 minutes.

"It's rare in this NBA, in this game, to kind of have games like that where you're just rolling, you're up 30. You've got to finish the game out, play a 48-minute game," Anthony said.

"Coming into the game the biggest key for us [was that] mentally you can overlook a game like this and a team like this. We did a good job just focusing on it."

While the Sixers had the same look on the court that fans have grown accustomed to -- and deservedly have a 1-27 record -- they have begun to shake things up off the court.

Jerry Colangelo was brought onboard Dec. 7 as a special advisor to managing general partner and chairman of basketball operations Josh Harris, setting Colangelo on equal footing with general manager Sam Hinkie.

Shortly before the game, the Sixers announced that former Knicks' coach -- and much more heralded for his work with the Phoenix Suns - - Mike D'Antoni was joining the team as associate head coach.

The moves were connected with Colangelo having a long relationship with D'Antoni from Team USA. The Sixers, even with their talented young big men, have little to sell to potential free agents when they decide to move forward in their long, painful rebuilding process.

But D'Antoni's free-wheeling offensive system is a sell to a player trying to put up numbers. The teams he coached in Phoenix with Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire ran some of the most potent offensive systems the game has seen. …

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