NBAPlaybook.com shows a few dumb mental lapses by the Knicks that would’ve been the difference between winning & losing to the Houston Rockets on Sunday. Mind you, these aren’t mental lapses like not rotating properly, which are aggravating enough. No, these are fourth graders would feel ashamed to do stuff this dumb.
Poor Outlet Passing
On two separate occasions, the Knicks turned the ball over in the backcourt. The first comes after a Rockets three pointer:
Now, both J.R. Giddens and Chris Duhon are at fault here:
This is because Trevor Ariza is hanging around and it should have been noticed by either guy (or at least 1). This is something that a lot of teams do to get the ball out of the PGs hands, but it rarely turns into a steal. However, Giddens grabs the ball out of the net and just tosses to where Duhon is without looking. For his part, Duhon floats away from the basketball as it comes to him instead of meeting the ball and ensuring the catch. The Rockets went from being down 14 to being down 9 after this. This was a huge 5 point swing in this game as the Knicks went from pulling away to trying to hang on to the lead.
This happened yet again later in the game, this time coming off of a missed basket:
Again, this is on both the passer (Bill Walker), and the man receiving the pass (Toney Douglas). Douglas calls for the ball, and despite two Knicks being closer to him, Walker throws the pass. Maybe a crisp pass gets there, but Walker kind of just lobs it up there. Once again, the man receiving the pass floats away from it, and doesn’t meet the basketball, allowing for Kevin Martin to come in and get the steal.
Not Getting Back On Defense
Danilo Gallinari pulls up for three with Chase Budinger closing out on him. You have J.R. Giddens at the top of the key, with the responsibility to get back on defense, preventing any easy baskets.
After the shot goes up, Budinger just takes off towards his own basket. Giddens, the man who is supposed to get back, sprints in to get the rebound.
As the ball makes its way to the rim, you can see the Knick farthest back is David Lee (at the elbow). Meanwhile Budinger is still running towards his own basket.
The Rockets secure the rebound, and quickly outlet it out to Budinger, who finishes with the easy dunk.
Unrelated to the Knicks, a bizarre thing happened at the Nets’ game against the Raptors on Sunday. No, the Nets didn’t win (now THAT would’ve been truly bizarre). It was Mascot Night. Needing something to celebrate, the Nets celebrated the anniversary of their mascot, Sly. How could they not, particularly since it was that most momentous of anniversaries: the thirteenth. I won’t touch the fact that this franchise which seems almost certain to make NBA history as the team with the fewest wins EVER, would be moronic enough to celebrate unlucky number 13. At least they had enough sense not to celebrate this 13th on a Friday. How did they even choose what day to ring in this occasion, since I imagine Sly probably didn’t join this team mid-season 13 years ago? Actually, I bet it was due to the availability of their Invitees for this party. Sadly, I’m not joking here, ‘cuz Sly’s friends did show up. Who? Fellow visiting mascots from the Bucks, Celtics, Wizards, Rockets and Magic, along with — I kid you not — the Geico gecko.
That almost makes me think things aren’t too, too, too bad here on the Knicks’ front.