The New York Knicks lost again tonight, 102-97. Once again the Knicks came out with little to no intensity, giving up 31 points in the first quarter. This was compounded by the Knicks giving up 33 points in the second quarter, trailing at halftime 64-54. The Knicks keep playing from behind which is a tough way to play basketball.
As coach Mike Woodson still looks to find team chemistry, this team needs to choose an identity. Woodson just can’t seem to find the backcourt leadership and clutch play the Knicks had in 2012. The Knicks record is now 1-3 and the Woodson watch has begun.
Bigger than the loss last night is the injury to Tyson Chandler, x-rays were inconclusive, but Chandler left the arena on crutches, never a good sign. Watching the video, it looked like a bone bruise, an MRI possibly set for today will be more conclusive.
As Chandler had a MCL sprain last year, we are hoping for a positive outcome. Without Chandler, who showed great early intensity, the Knicks were out-rebounded 51-33. Although Woodson loves small ball, Cole Aldrich should be considered in the interim.
Any loss is painful, but losing at home is just not acceptable, especially to a team like the Charlotte Bobcats. James Dolan is not happy and he is looking now to Woodson and Steve Mills to right this sinking ship.
After giving up 64 points in the first half, the Knicks gave up only 38 in the second half. The Knicks surged back in the game but the Knicks could not make a shot at games end. Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points but shot a dreadful 10-for-28.
With J.R. Smith only one game away the coach has many options. Upon his return, he should immediately be inserted into the starting lineup, and Andrea Bargnani can move to the sixth man role. Bargnani showed he can score, but he also has proved he is not a center. Playing him at center puts not only himself out of position, but hurts the team on the defensive end. Mills must find a center to back up Chandler. Let’s hope his injury is not serious.
Carmelo Anthony- Anthony has not shot well and seems to be working too hard to get off a shot. Tonight he gets an A for effort, an A for attitude, but for the game, he receives a C, GRADE C
Raymond Felton- Raymond once again played a poor first half, however he looked solid and was offensive in the third quarter when he scored the majority of his points. His defense was not up to Woodson standards as Kemba Walker scored 25 points. He led the Knicks with six rebounds that tells the story. He had some chances to make some key shots at games end but could not convert.
Tyson Chandler looked great but his knee injury early forced him to the lockers. GRADE Incomplete
Iman Shumpert - looked good early on and showed offensive spark. He shot 4-of-8 for the game with five rebounds. His plus minus was a -1. GRADE B
Andrea Bargnani- shot 2-of-5, was a minus 7 in 23 minutes with only two rebounds. Once Woodson moved him to center, his offense came to a halt. To develop rhythm you need to play. Woodson must find the right way to utile Bargnani and Bargnani needs to continue to shoot, to score. He is not the problem. The problem is Woodson just can’t seem to find the right way, the right minutes to play him. GRADE C
Tim Hardaway Jr., For the second game in a row the rookie forced too many shots as he shot only 2-for-7 and 0-for-4 from three-point line. GRADE D
Amar’e Stoudemire- STAT looked rusty and out of sync. He was only a minus 1, on plus minus scale. Fact is you can’t play once per week and develop a rhythm and identity. He needs more court time and needs to play more under control. GRADE C-.
Kenyon Martin, once again played a solid game, if he accepts being a role player, he can be a major factor for the Knicks resurgence. He made his only shot attempt but only had one rebound. He led the Knicks with a plus 5, GRADE C+
Metta World Peace, shot 7-for-13 scoring 18 points, his defense helped the Knicks get the game close down the stretch. GRADE B.
Beno Udrih played only four inconclusive minutes. Woodson needs to give him more time. GRADE incomplete.
Pablo Prigioni looked good when on the floor and made budding star Kemba Walker work hard on offense. He has nice court awareness and the Knicks seem to play better with him on the court. GRADE B.
Mike Woodson dressed Chris Smith, which proved to be a mistake as Woodson needed a center and additional offensive weapon. Aldrich could have had an impact when Chandler got hurt, but he wasn’t dressed for the game. The defensive lacked intensity, he still can’t find ant lineup chemistry. GRADE D.
This team looks mediocre at best and must get off to a better start of games for this team to win.