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Player Report Cards: New York Knicks 97, Charlotte Bobcats 102

So much for righting the ship, eh? Facing a seemingly easy home-and-home with the Charlotte Bobcats, a chance to get back to, or even above .500 was squandered. The Bobcats are not the joke of the league that they were a year or two ago, but the Knicks are supposed to be — at least to themselves — contenders. The Bobcats aren’t hanging pictures of the Larry O’Brien trophy above their lockers, after all. Yet this Knicks team looks nothing close to even a playoff team right now.

Nov 5, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Metta World Peace (51) drives to the basket against Charlotte Bobcats power forward Cody Zeller (40) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Charlotte Bobcats defeat the New York Knicks 102-97. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

After once again spotting an opponent a double-digit lead in the first half, the Knicks picked up the intensity in the second half, and even played somewhat capable basketball — but they couldn’t top it off. For the third straight game, the Knicks came within a basket, nearly completing a comeback, but they couldn’t. And each loss has been worse than last — taking one from the Bulls in Chicago is tough; Minnesota is still a solid playoff team; the Knicks should be able to overcome the Bobcats in MSG. But, minus Tyson Chandler, out with an “inconclusive” knee injury (promising), Mike Woodson relied on a smaller lineup that simply exhausted itself, unable to come up with big stops or rebounds, too flat by the end of the game to hit the important shots.

The Knicks were out-rebounded by 18, nearly doubled up in free throw attempts, and lackadaisical in big moments. Unimaginative offense stalled them out on offense late, and they allowed Charlotte some big second chance points with some ball-watching rebounding.

Here’s a look at the individual performances:

Carmelo Anthony – 45 minutes, 32 points, 10-28 FG, 10-10 FT, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 TOs, -5

With several options to play at the three and four (even if Chandler’s absence compromises that), ‘Melo should not be playing 45 minutes in the fourth game of the season against the Bobcats. Anthony continues to look out of sorts, unable to get his usual looks to fall, but nonetheless forcing them at critical moments of the game. Unfortunately, when ‘Melo did share the wealth, whipping a few lovely looks out of extra coverage, his teammates misfired. This time around, there was no double-digit glass work to make up for his arrhythmic offense.

Final Grade: C-

Metta World Peace – 32 minutes, 18 points, 7-13 FG, 2-7 3FG, 6 rebounds, 1 assists, 3 steals, 3 TOs, -1

I used to play rec league basketball in fifth grade with a kid, already 6-feet tall, the designated center, who wanted to bring up the ball every time, no matter the detriment to the team, no matter his teammates’ or coaches insistence. I have similarly shell-shocked feelings when Metta World Peace does the same. Despite an overall solid game on both ends of the floor, World Peace majorly mucked up the Knicks offense several times when he over-extended his ball-handling duties, including on some critical possessions in the fourth quarter.

Final Grade: B-

Raymond Felton – 37 minutes, 14 points, 6-15 FG, 2-7 3FG, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 2 TOs, -5

Felton continues to look somewhat lost running the offense, especially without the help of a second point guard on the floor. This was also the case without his primary roll buddy in Chandler. Felton looked unsure of when to pull on shots, when to attack the basket, when to feed ‘Melo, when to keep the ball moving. After hitting a few shots in a row in the third quarter, Felton fell off, perhaps out of fatigue, bricking some wide open looks that would’ve given the Knicks the lead or closed the gap.

Final Grade: C-

Iman Shumpert – 33 minutes, 14 points, 4-8 FG, 1-4 3FG, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 TO, -1

Shump still has some problems between letting off the gas pedal on offense and flooring it on defense (he chases opponents like a linebacker chasing a quarterback), but overall he had a positive impact on the game. His jumper looked smooth, he was active on the boards, and he helped force more turnovers than the box score indicates. Why he sat so long in the fourth quarter? Just one of many questions for Mike Woodson.

Final Grade: B+

Andrea Bargnani – 23 minutes, 6 points, 2-5 FG, 2 rebounds, 1 TO, -7

Nov 5, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) drives to the basket against Charlotte Bobcats power forward Josh McRoberts (11) during the first half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

It’s not all Andrea’s fault — it really isn’t. But he just exists, and it’s taking away from what the Knicks do best. Small, two-point-guard lineups are being pushed out the door, and for what Bargnani was supposed to bring the team, he hasn’t. Defenses don’t respect him all that much from outside, and he’s not even providing the Knicks with second- or third-option scoring. He doesn’t give the Knicks much to begin games, and he doesn’t get the chance to at the end of games when he’s glued to the bench,

Final Grade: C

Tim Hardaway Jr. – 12 minutes, 4 points, 2-7 FG, 0-4 3FG, 1 rebound, 1 assist, -9

7 shots in 12 minutes, no makes from downtown. Timmy’s fun to watch, but he’s probably not getting minutes when J.R. Smith comes back.

Final Grade: C

Pablo Prigioni – 19 minutes, 3 points, 1-1 FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, -1

Credit to Prigs for legitimately giving Charlotte’s speedy guards some grief on defense. After barely seeing the floor in the first half, he played most of the fourth quarter and looked gassed. But he still should’ve pulled on some of those three-point opportunities instead of swinging to a cold ‘Melo or World Peace.

Final Grade: B-

Kenyon Martin- 19 minutes, 2 points, 1-1 FG, 1 rebound, 2 blocks, +5

No one ever said K-Mart isn’t a warrior. Despite being on a game and minutes-limit, Martin got some extended burn in Chandler’s absence and tried his darndest to either swat any basket-bound Bobcat or lay them on their backs. Unfortunately for Martin, he’s neither a viable option in most offensive sets, nor is he a very good rebounder, which hurt the team late in the game.

Final Grade: B-

Amar’e Stoudemire – 11 minutes, 2 points, 1-3 FG, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 TOs, +1

Legitimately sad. Too many knee injuries, too little space on the team, too much time missed. Stoudemire looks finished. At least the Bobcats and refs kind of gave him one courtesy dunk on a back-down on Jeff Adrien.

Tyson Chandler – 7 minutes, 2 points, 1-1 FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, -1

No, no, no, no! He was looking so good, too! Please be OK, Tyson.

Final Grade: N/A

Beno Udrih – 4 minutes, 0 points, 0-1 FG, 1 assist

Beno is alive, at least. Played the first half, but didn’t see any action in the second. I’d like for him to see more time, but I doubt it’d really solve anything.

Final Grade: C

The Knicks will take on the Charlotte Bobcats again on Friday in Charlotte.

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Topics: Carmelo Anthony, Charlotte Bobcats, Kemba Walker, New York Knicks, Player Report Cards

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  • Tommy

    Bargnani is atrocious! And Woodson is messing up the whole team just trying to ‘take advantage’ of his skillset. Guess what? Him and his ‘skillset’ deserves to be planted on the bench. He sucks at basketball. Though Amar’e might be worse right now. (sigh) this team is hopeless. How did we win 54 games last year?? MWP has been one of our better players. Is JR Smith really that good?