With the 3-10 Knicks preparing for battle in Los Angeles against the wayward member their doomed “big three,” the fingers are pointier as the ship be sinkier. Specifically, after New York’s horrid 102-91 loss to the Trailblazers on Wednesday night in Portland — the club’s sixth straight defeat — Amar’e Stoudemire criticized his comrades for failing to learn the most basic preschool lessons of them all: sharing is caring.
Really, Amar’e? I mean, this is the same guy who has never averaged more than 2.6 assists per game, right? This is the same guy whose career-best assist rate of 13.2 (during his first year as a Knick) approximates Carmelo Anthony’s career worst? Oh, I dunno, Amar’e, maybe it is YOU who needs to share the ball!
When Anthony received word of Stoudemire’s meekly-veiled pot-shot, it naturally didn’t sit well with him. In his own meekly-veiled rejoinder, ‘Melo asserted that the Knicks’ real problem is their defense.
Really, ‘Melo? I mean, you’re actually going to pontificate on the subject? This the same guy who apparently believes in hanging around to berate an official while the ball is in play — typically while the opposition is already streaking toward the other end of the court. This is the same guy whose coach in Denver once rejoiced in the fact that in ‘Melo’s absence, that team would finally be able to defend. This is the same guy who Kobe Bryant once asked “when the hell have you ever played defense?” Case in point, though I’m sure ‘Melo would blame this breakdown on Stoudemire:
Bottom line, STAT and ‘Melo, QUIT YER BICKERING! Because if we are being honest here, the truth is that you are both right.
New York ranks near the bottom of the league in passing statistics:
- 24th in assists;
- 23rd in assist rate;
- 25th in assisted field goals;
- 6th in unassisted field goals.
Clearly, the New York Knicks are quite terrible at passing. In fairness, I guess, maybe they are okay at passing, but they sure as heck don’t do it very often.
But wait, New York ranks near the bottom of the league in defensive metrics, too!
- 21st in opponents’ field goal %;
- 28th in defensive efficiency (points allowed per 100 possessions);
- 19th in defensive rebound rate;
- 30th in opponent’s free throw rate;
- 23rd in opponent’s field goal % in the restricted area;
- 26th in opponent’s field goal % from mid-range;
- etc., etc.
Clearly, the New York Knicks are quite terrible at defense.
So while Stoudemire is no ambassador of ball-movement, and while Anthony is no emissary of defense, the
dynamic duo isn’t wrong about what’s rotten in Gotham. It’s just too bad that despite being able to tell us what the team’s problems are, neither is able or willing to do anything about it.