It feels like I have written these words about a thousand times this year, but the Knicks lost last night and man was it ugly.
The Knicks turned the ball over a whopping 22 times, 6 of which were in the deflating fourth quarter that ultimately ended the Knicks’ hopes of coming away with a victory in Cleveland.
Turnovers weren’t the only misadventure for the Knicks’ offense on this night; the Knicks shot a wretched 42% from the floor and an unbelievably putrid 15% from beyond the arc. Needless to say, the decision making for the Knicks—something that has been an issue all season long—was an issue once again against a very beatable team in the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The effort was there for Amar’e Stoudemire, who had 14 rebounds—including 6 of the offensive variety—and 19 points, however his inefficient shooting—just 9 of 19—was an issue, and symptomatic of the Knicks lack of execution on that side of the ball.
The Knicks other embattled star finished with 15 points on a sub par 5 of 14 shooting. Despite the poor shooting night Carmelo Anthony actually looked a bit better on the offensive end of the floor. Anthony was aggressive and took the ball to the basket more than he has in the last few games; he was also more willing to move the ball, as evidenced by his 6 assists. Much of Anthony’s poor shooting over the last two games can be attributed to an apparent wrist injury that has been bothering Melo since he injured it against the Bobcats on Tuesday night.
Apart from their offensive inefficiency, the lack support the Knicks got from their bench proved to be a huge factor in the loss. The Knicks played four guys off of the bench and got a combined 16 points on 6 of 21 shooting. Their lack of depth is no secret, but if they are going to compete on a nightly basis they need to at least get something out of their bench and last night they got nothing.
Backup point guard Toney Douglas in particular, killed the Knicks. Douglas made just 3 of his 12 shot attempts and turned the ball over 3 times in just over 24 minutes of work. It is outings like this that are making Knicks fans actually excited for Baron Davis to play for their team.
In short, the Knicks played like the Knicks. They got outhustled by the likes of AndersonVarejao and Ryan Hollins (yes Ryan Hollins);made poor plays on the offensive end; played with little to no heart on the defensive end and lost to a team that was second from the bottom in the entire league last season.
Ladies and Gentleman, your 2011-2012 New York Knicks.