The Knicks are finding new and heartbreaking ways to disappoint. After a competitive first half, that had them trailing by two at halftime, the Knicks came out flatter than a panini in the dreaded 3rd quarter (seriously, what is up with that?) and never really looked to threaten the Sixers who just drilled 3s and got all the right bounces today.
And now, we're left in a real tailspin, as the Knicks have lost five straight and are now 18-23. Questions about Mike D'Antoni's job security have re-arisen, whether the pieces fit, and whether the team can really make the playoffs. And the worst part is, the schedule doesn't get any easier this week.
Take the jump if you like things like sick animals, rotten food, wilting flowers, and pollution.
I don't have the heart to do the normal format today, so this will be brief and unstructured.
- If anybody blames Carmelo Anthony for this loss (as was partially acceptable in the past), they didn't really watch. Melo came out hot in the 1st quarter, but was oddly benched at the start of the 2nd quarter and never found his rhythm again. But nonetheless, Melo made mostly smart decisions with the ball, and while he just couldn't finish anything around the basket, he really went after offensive rebounds and got to the FT line at least four times in the 3rd quarter. He was one of the few Knicks who actually looked like they cared. However, during a mini, completely unimportant run in the 4th quarter, while down double-digits, Melo and Amar'e were both glued to the bench for the entire 12 minutes. Hmmm....
- Nobody had it going today though, and it was quite tough and boring to watch. Landry Fields was aggressive early on, but tailed off as he usually does. Amar'e Stoudemire was basically useless, most unable to finish around the basket, and entirely invisible on defense other than a few rebounds and a blocked shot. Jeremy Lin and J.R. Smith both notched some points, but shot terribly. To their credit they both played some pretty good defense (Lin especially who forced Jrue Holiday into a terrible game). Chandler did his thing sort of, but still is quite bothered by the wrist. Steve Novak was clearly keyed into and only got off 5 attempts, and some of them were pretty questionable. It was ugly.
- Mike D'Antoni is clearly struggling with the lineup and trying to motivate guys which to me, is a sign that things are going sour. To his credit, he stuck to his guns and left the late-run lineup in the game for the entire 4th quarter. This was amidst smatterings of boos and "Fire D'Antoni" chants.
- Evan Turner and Lou Williams both just burned the Knicks so badly, that every time they had the ball, you got that disappointed, sick feeling. Williams especially shot dagger 3s into the Knicks in that 3rd quarter, and also had two ridiculous buzzer-beaters to end the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
- The Knicks committed 18 more turnovers which really hurt them, especially in the 2nd quarter. Lin, Baron Davis, and Fields all had some real eyesores that actually reversed the Knicks lead into the Sixers hands. Philly was more than happy to accept the gifts to get out and run.
- Tyson Chandler shaved his beard, which Clyde and Spero Dedes mentioned would go against some players' superstitions. But as Clyde noted, the Knicks have nothing to lose at this point.
That's all I really feel like writing about this game. It was ugly and some of the comments in the locker room afterwards were pretty depressing too. Knicks play the Bulls tomorrow night on ESPN. See ya'll then.