“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Last night in Detroit, the Knicks (3-7) lost their third game in a row, this time falling to the Pistons (4-6) by a score of 92-86. At times, it looked like the ‘Bockers had met their match defensively — meaning that Detroit is as bad as they are – but the game was lost in the third quarter thanks to some sloppy Knicks defense, inexplicable rotations, and an absolutely dreadful performance from Carmelo Anthony. We saw yet another starting lineup — Beno Udrih filled in at point guard for the still ailing Raymond Felton and Kenyon Martin because BIGS — but this loss went down in much the same fashion as have seemingly countless losses in this season’s early goings. See, New York’s problems run far deeper than lineup changes, though. They start at the top, from ownership on down, and they are not easily fixable.
Oh, ‘Melo. This was not the type of performance that CAA will be including in Anthony’s free agency highlight reel. Anthony’s body language and effort level was deplorable from tipoff last night, and it only got worse as he jacked up an endless bevy of mid-range jumpers while complaining about the referees and acting genuinely disinterested on the defensive end. ‘Melo’s frustration was especially evident in the second half when he was charged with a technical foul, and then very nearly charged with another after not getting a continuation call. Again, we have seen this script play out before; New York always struggles calls do not go their way, and that proclivity is a direct reflection of the team’s coach and star player. Whether Carmelo gets “superstar calls” or not, he simply cannot let his frustrations boil over. It sets a bad example for his teammates and it sure as hell doesn’t win the zebras over for the remainder of the game.
On the not-so-bright side, one can make a pretty compelling argument that the Knicks are nowhere near rock bottom. It is undeniable, after all, that they a team filled with destructive personalities in the midst of an extremely volatile situation. The coach
might should will be fired in the near future. Iman Shumpert, the team’s promising young shooting guard and emotional spark plug might is rumored to will be dealt in the near future. And the superstar player, who is clearly already tired of losing, will only see more attention paid to his impending free agency as the loss mount.
Sure, the Knicks will get Tyson Chandler back in the next few weeks, and his presence will completely change the team’s makeup. We all knew that New York would struggle without its defensive anchor. But right now, Dolan’s squad looks like a team that needs much more than Chandler to be anything close to as good as they were last season. So brace yourselves, Knicks fans…we are in for a long road ahead. Again.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
- Pablo Prigioni might be the Knicks’ best player right now. He’s one of the few guys who competes on every play, on both ends of the floor. He was a stat-sheet stuffer against Detroit, tallying 8 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block, but his impact was greater than that. When Pablo was on the floor, the Knicks’ offense seemed to have direction and continuity. Prigs needs to start for this team no matter what else happens.
- Andrea Bargnani was a beast offensively in the first quarter, flashing an amazing pump fake and finishing in the paint on multiple occasions. On one play, Bargs almost dunked over Andre Drummond! Much maligned in the offseason, it is pretty amazing that Bargs is the least of the Knicks’ problems right now.
- Kenyon Martin is the best. At fouling people. No, seriously, I mean this in a good way.
WHAT WENT WRONG:
- This Amar’e Stoudemire bit is hilarious. And sad. Enough said.
- New York’s help-defense is nothing short of junior varsity level right now. I mean, do they even practice this stuff? Where is the accountability? Where is the pride? I can’t even write any more on this topic or I may throw a clot.
- STOP SWITCHING!!!
- Shumpert, for all his accolades, and it’s fair to concede that he’s not nearly as good as he should be at this point in his career, is a train wreck on the fast break. He missed two opportunities to convert in the first half, getting blocked on what should have been an easy layup.
- Melo’s stat line looks good, but as I touched on in the opening, his body language was just so horrific.
- Udrih didn’t score. Udrih turned it over a lot. Udrih was worse defensively than Ray Felton playing on one leg. Toure’ Murry, anyone? Please? We beg you.
- Woodson deployed ZERO point guards to close out the game. He should be playing two. He may not be long for this job if things keep spiraling out of control.
- Clyde’s golden suit was fantastic; it might have been the best part of the game.
- Last night was the ninth anniversary of the infamous “Malice at the Palace” brawl. It was unfortunate that Metta World Peace missed the game with a sore knee. He could have gone into the stands and messed some people up.
- A lot was made of the J.R. Smith-Brandon Jennings twitter beef, but nothing really came of it. Jennings left the game early with a tummy ache and proceeded to only take 3 shots.
- New York takes on the Indiana Pacers tonight the Garden at 7pm. The game will be televised locally on MSG and nationally on ESPN. Things are likely to get very, very ugly.