Pass the pie.
I dunno man, this was a tough loss to swallow. For all intents and purposes, the Clippers really didn’t play well. For a team that was averaging 107.9 points per game coming into last night, they were far from an offensive juggernaut. New York shot poorly, struggled to find a rhythm for most of the night, and yet, going into the 4th quarter, they were down by only 6 and you felt as though if they could just get a few breaks they might be able to pull it off. Despite Chris Paul sitting out the entire 4th with a bad hamstring, that thought became a pipe dream after a 9-0 Clipper run that spanned just under 3 minutes and all but shut the door on any idea of a comeback.
Last night showed us nothing we haven’t already seen during this seven game skid: Melo and Bargs carry New York offensively for as long as possible, the supporting cast are nowhere to be found, and heaping helpings of defensive lapses eventually end up being the Knicks undoing. I’m not a fan of mid-season coach firings; I feel like they rarely accomplish anything of substance besides a cosmetic change, and can lead to overrations whether good or bad. But looking at this upcoming schedule, Woodson’s job security comes into question if they don’t snap this streak soon.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
- Melo was Melo. With 27 points and 9 boards, he continues to toil as New York’s one man show offensively. He tapered off after a great first half, but still managed to find his way to the line (10 FT attempts) once his shot cooled off. One thing that has been troubling are his minutes. Going into last night, Melo led the league in minutes played per game with 40.2. The average age of the next 9 players on the list is 25. Melo will be turning 30 this upcoming May. After another 41 minute outing, I honestly have no idea how long he can keep this up.
- 20 assists tonight! Awesome! Now enough with these “no ball movement” shenanigans. Everyone hug and eat turkey.
- Kenyon was on a mild triple double alert (6 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists) for a second straight game. At one point in the 3rd I was hollering “POINT FORWARD BACK” and was just about ready to pour a fifth of Lipton iced tea out for Pringles. But seriously, he’s been giving quality minutes in his attempts to fill in for Chandler and its good to see someone other than Melo and Bargs consistently making a notable impact.
WHAT WENT WRONG:
- Amar’e Carsares Stoudemire. Wow. 2010 seems so long ago, my man. Amare has had his fair share of struggles since joining the Knicks 3 years ago, and I’d be lying if I said he didn’t own a special place in my heart as a fan of this team. So understand how much it pains me to say this: no hyperbole or exaggeration, there is absolutely ZERO reason for Mike Woodson, or whomever has his job a month from now, to play Amar’e Stoudemire. After 10 games, Amare is a -80 for the season. The next closest Knick is JR with a -50 net rating. Every time Amare hit the floor last night, whatever rhythm or momentum the Knicks had created seemingly evaporated. The explosiveness that made him such a fun player to watch in Phoenix is gone; all that remains is a painfully stiff semblance of a post game and a $100,000 dollar receipt from Hakeem Olajuwon. Defensively he is listless; whether it be a hilariously late rotation, or turning his back to the ball handler all together. He wants to contribute, he wants to be a part of the team, he’s making an obcene amount of money, I get it. But contract be damned, I refuse to believe Cole Aldrich is worse. REFUSE. I love you Amare, but maybe its time you grabbed a suit and joined Allan and Larry behind the scenes.
- JR Smith stinks. Do we have a set date on longest slump in NBA history? Earl has to be getting close. It started on one of the biggest stages of his career, survived an entire offseason, even an extra 5 games, and still has JR’s basketball mojo in a legendary vice-grip. 7 points in 26 minutes on 3-9 shooting was the latest installment in JR’s attempt to return to his 6th Man of The Year form and it was every bit as ugly as it sounds.
- Shump stinks as well, but his BO reeks of uncertainty, not necessarily ineptitude. The swagger is gone. He’s gone timid and is playing like a guy trying way too hard not to step on toes. Trade rumors can do that to a young player and his frustrations are completely reasonable, but he’s gotta find a way to dig himself outta this hole. 2 points in 25 minutes just isn’t gonna cut it. Come back to us Shump.
- Metta has been through the grinder this month. Aside from the multiple knee draining, his sister Shalice Holmes-Taylor passed away a few weeks ago and he took a temporary leave of absence to be with his family. He’s still working his way back into the fold and last night’s 0-6 outing was a clear indicator of that. Hopefully he can keep his head up and continue to fight through it.
- We all know that a common theme this year has been Bargs having a solid first half, only to see his touches and overall involvement in the offense fall off a cliff in the second. That…..was not the case last night. After going 6-10 in the first half, Bargs would go 2-8 in the second half, clanging jumpers and missing open looks that he’s starting to become known for hitting. Melo sure could of used the help.
- Pretty sure THIS is foul, but whatever.
- A considerable “Lets Go Knicks” chant broke out during the 4th quarter in the Staples Center. That was pretty cool.
- New York heads to Denver to face the Nuggets on Friday night. Because those are always fun. Tip off is scheduled for 9 PM.