With the All-Star break within spitting distance, the Knicks have done the impossible; they’ve surpassed last season’s loss total, and by doing so, have cemented themselves as an under .500 basketball team that is all but assured to miss the playoffs for the first time in Carmelo Anthony’s tenure as a Knick.
There isn’t much to delve into here; inefficient games from Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge helped keep the Knickerbockers in it, but they ultimately fell short in the closing quarter, due in no small part to Melo’s 0-5 performance in the 4th.
Now the focus of this season shifts. With the playoffs almost assuredly out of the question, the Knicks are in basketball limbo. Can you get upset when they lose? Of course. Would it matter much? No. New York has let go of the rope, and without the light at the end of the tunnel that a first round pick would provide, this rabbit hole just goes deeper and deeper. Last night we experienced terminal velocity.
WHAT WENT RIGHT:
- Despite his scoreless 4th quarter, Melo did an excellent job keeping New York in it through the first 3, with 26 points, 8 rebounds, and only 1 turnover in 40 minutes played. Just couldn’t get anything to fall late.
- Amare pleaded with Woodson for more minutes and the forward re-payed his coach’s faith with 15 efficient points and 7 rebounds in 22 minutes. He could of used more looks down the line, if anything.
- JR Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. have been leading the offensive charge off the bench lately, and last night was no different as they combined for 30 points. In addition to their scoring, JR tallied 6 assists, and Timmy pulled down 6 boards.
WHAT WENT WRONG:
- Shumpert had Aldridge guarding him most of the night and finished with more personal fouls (3) than points (0). I don’t know what else I can say about his performance so I’ll leave it here before it dissolves into something else.
- Lopez and Aldridge worked Chandler like a part-time job last night. I don’t know if he’s still not 100% or if this is simply the player he is now, but another case of more personal fouls (5) than points (2) in 31 minutes doesn’t help in the slightest.
- The nuclear reactor that is Raymond Felton is about to go critical. With his press-boycott and piss poor play hanging over his head like an ominous cloud, Felton dug the hole even deeper by getting pulled for Pablo in the second half. He responded with some zesty post-game quotes, and it’s hard to see this relationship getting any better.
- It was announced that Kenyon will be out until the All-Star break. Welp.
- The Knicks return tomorrow for a 7:30PM home matchup with the Denver Nuggets.