Sunday afternoon the Knicks had their worst loss in Madison Square Garden EVER. But at least they lost by a nice round number: 50 points. There’s no point going too deep into this game because clearly it’s an outlier, but there are definitely a few things to take away from it.
1. Duhon finally got a couple of shots to go in. Maybe that’ll help get his confidence back. Interestingly, even though he’s been missing everything, his shot has looked good and is lined up, it’s just either a tad short or a tad long, but it’s how you want to miss a shot.
2. Gallo, on the other hand, when he misses shots seems to kinda miss ugly. I don’t get it. Sometimes he’s got a beautiful stroke, and other times it’s just a clang. And more and more it seems like he comes out flat with his shot and needs to warm up during the game.
3. Back to Duhon, he has also stopped passing up wide open shots, which is good.
4. Without Nate, and with Duhon struggling to score, we’re in a tough spot. Toney Douglas actually did a decent job the first half, but like everyone else in the second half he laid a big fat one.
5. If you were told that the Mavs would be missing two of their starters, Jason Kidd and Eric Dampier, and that Dirk would shoot only 1-for-6, you would’ve thought we’d be in the game, wouldn’t ya?
6. If you were told that Jared Jeffries led the team in scoring with 14 points, and he got 12 of those in the first quarter, you’d've known we lost big time, wouldn’t ya? Particularly if we then said that Dirk would only miss one shot in the second half.
7. I don’t get the Knicks’ bench. Most of them don’t get to play often (or at all), and yet none of them seemed interested in wanting to use that extra run to prove themselves. Jonathan Bender, who’d fallen completely out of the rotation, just wanted to shoot or drive (&then shoot) every time he got it. None of them played any defense. I know D’Antoni was criticized in Phoenix for his team’s supposed lack of defense, but he’s switched that up here. ‘Cuz we can’t score like Nash, et al, did. And when we had our biggest run of success, it was because of our D. And that’s why Jared Jeffries gets so many minutes. So you’d think some of the bench mob would come out with energy & try to play some great D. You’d've been wrong.
8. Drew Gooden owned David Lee on both ends. Completely. Like he didn’t even have any mortgage left to pay, he just outright owned him and could do whatever he wanted with him. Gooden ain’t known for his shot blocking ability, but he got two of Lee’s.
9. David Lee needs to work, defensively, on not letting his man get such good position before he catches the ball. It’s one thing if Lee’s up against Shaq and Lee don’t have the weight/strength to do that, but against Gooden? Gooden’s taller, but he’s not a muscle-bound wide-load.
10. Everyone made it off the bench except Larry Hughes. Good. Hughes wined about not getting minutes (or when he got 9 minutes several games ago he called it a joke). The last game when Nate Robinson injured his hamstring, Hughes got another shot. He sucked. He needs to realize (actually the whole bench does) that to get minutes he has to work harder. The reason Jordan Hill’s gotten a chance the last few games is because he supposedly works crazy-hard in practice. And he had some great hustle when he finally got some minutes (although lately he’s been making those rookie mistakes that happen when you don’t know how to hustle — like committing fouls by falling for shot fakes or going over the top to grab a rebound).
11. LeBron isn’t gonna wanna join a team like this. If we don’t turn things around again and get back on track, it won’t just be a long year. It’ll be a long decade. Again.