Blood bath. That pretty much sums up tonight’s game. The Knicks, from start to finish, had terrible offensive execution. They didn’t move the ball, and when they did, it resulted in a turnover or bad shot selection. The Pacer’s top ranked defense shut down the Knick’s three-point shooting (17.9%). The Knicks’ defense suffered as their offense sputtered. They could not get a stop in order to start a run, and had to resort to fouling in order to slow the Pacers down. The team didn’t show up tonight, so don’t expect many passing marks.
Here are the grades for the Knicks’ players’ performances:
Raymond Felton (12 points, on 5-13 shooting, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers) Felton was one of the only decent players for the Knicks tonight. He consistently got to the basket with ease, and hit easy floaters and layups. He was colder from long range, going 0-2. Felton’s defense wasn’t great, and that was made evident by the Pacer’s torching the Knicks from the perimeter. Grade: C+
Jason Kidd (o points, on 0-3 shooting, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 1 turnover) Jason Kidd arguably needed the all-star break more than anyone on this team. Too bad it did nothing to stop his slump as of late. Kidd played solid defense, but his offense is nowhere near as crisp as it was toward the beginning of the year. He has not been very active, and lost his redhot jumper he had earlier in the year. Grade: F
Iman Shumpert (4 points, on 1-7 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 turnover) Shumpert continues his struggles while recovering from his ACL injury. He shot terribly from the field, even missing open three-pointers (0-4). He has not made much of an impact since returning, and continued to be a non-factor in tonight’s brutal loss. Grade: D-
Carmelo Anthony (15 points, on 7-21 shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 turnovers) Anthony played the role of offensive juggernaut who could not buy a bucket tonight. He forced his shot far too many times, resulting in a terrible field goal percentage. His defense was subpar from the start, and once down by double digits was seen playing lethargic at best. Anthony needs to play the leader role on a night like this, and the first thing to do is lead by example. Grade: D-
Tyson Chandler (19 points, on 4-9 shooting, 11 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 turnover) Chandler played as well as he could on a night where the entire team forgot to show up. He went a perfect 11-11 from the free-throw line. His defense stayed consistent with his reputation, but it wasn’t enough to make up for his teammate’s woes. Chandler was the team’s leading scorer for the first time this season. Grade: B+
J.R. Smith (5 points, on 1-7 shooting, 1 rebound, and 3 turnovers) J.R. Smith played atrocious basketball, at least when he was playing basketball. Smith was ejected early in the third quarter after having some words with the ref. Smith could not get his shot going, and continues to be in a rut. He had a team high 3 turnovers in just 19 minutes. Grade: F
Amar’e Stoudemire (7 points, on 1-5 shooting, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 turnovers) Stoudemire continued the trend of poor play against the Pacers tonight. He wasn’t efficient from the field, and even more important was his evident poor defense. He was consistently beaten by David West, who scored 18 points tonight. On a positive note, STAT pulled down 7 rebounds. Grade: D-
Steve Novak (11 points, on 3-7 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers) Novak played a solid game off the bench for the Knicks. He helped on the boards, and even blocked on shot. He shot the ball well from beyond the three-point arc, as well. Maybe he was trying to make up for his no-show at the 3-point shootout? Grade: B-
Pablo Prigioni (5 points, on 1-2 shooting, 2 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 turnovers) Prigioni played well tonight, albeit most of his assists came in garbage time. I continue to like how Prigioni runs the team, especially while Chris Copeland is on the court. He didn’t shoot much, but that really isn’t in his DNA as the epitome of a pass-first point guard. Grade: B-
James White (o points, on 0-1 shooting, and 0 turnovers) White played 2 minutes of garbage time, and managed to miss a three-pointer. He probably was thinking about his dunks, or lack there of, in the dunk contest this past weekend.
Chris Copeland (13 points, on 6-9 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 steal, and 1 turnover) Copeland made the most of his 10 minutes in tonight’s game. He continues to prove that he can score in the NBA in a variety of ways. He shot very efficient from the field, although he missed both his three-point attempts. His defense and rebounding continue to blockade him from playing a larger role in the rotation. Grade: B
Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby both did not play as they are both continuing the recover for foot injuries.