Saturday night came and went with another disappointing New York Knicks loss. This time it was a 110-90 beatdown at the hands of the Atlanta Hawks.
The loss was the fifth consecutive defeat for the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Maybe it is the dreadful orange uniforms, as the team fell to 0-4 wearing the orange digs on the season.
As for the game itself, there weren’t many positives to take from it.
Still, the Knicks can’t get stops defensively, have too many poor possessions offensively, don’t make hustle plays, and get outworked at both ends of the floor.
With that being said, we will see if the two days off help the Knicks before they take on the Detroit Pistons, but until then let’s hand out player grades for Saturday’s less than spectacular effort against the Hawks.
Raymond Felton (7 points, 3-of-8 shooting, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 4 turnovers)
Another pretty lousy night for the Knicks floor general as it has become apparent that Mike Woodson either needs to cut Felton’s minutes or find another point guard. Offensively he was erratic and defensively he was abused by Jeff Teague as the hawks point guard had no problem blowing by him all night on the drive. Given as poorly as Felton has played, it makes you scratch your head when you see Beno Udrih receive a DNP and Felton get 33 minutes. Grade: D+
J.R. Smith (7 points, 3-of-18 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 assist)
The ball stopped all night once it hit Smith’s hands as if it were a one-on-one video game. Unfortunately for him, this is the NBA and not a video game. Smith doesn’t move the ball and after the first two possessions of the game quit attacking the basket. The results were a flat jump shot and not a single point scored the final 24 minutes of the game. Smith finished the night shooting 3-of-18 and 1-of-9 from three-point range in a simply atrocious performance. Grade: F
Iman Shumpert (11 points, 4-of-8 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal)
The unfortunate part of watching a guy like Smith hoist up brick after brick is that the other guys on the floor don’t get much of an opportunity to contribute. One of those guys would be Shumpert, who had a pretty decent game. He made half of his attempts from the loot and canned all three of his three-point attempts, including back-to-back three-pointers to bring New York back to within five in the third quarter. He wasn’t bad defensively but maybe had he gotten a couple more touches, could have made a difference when the game was close. Grade: B-
Carmelo Anthony (23 points, 8-of-21 shooting, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal)
I hate to see how bad this game would have been had it not been for Anthony. He was a beast in the first half, especially on the glass and kept the Knicks in the game while none of his teammates could get it going. Most of his field goals came in the paint, so I like that strategy and it was another solid effort on the glass. Anthony made only 1-of-4 attempts in the fourth quarter, but that’s not enough to deter what was a pretty solid night. Grade: B
Andrea Bargnani (16 points, 5-of-11 shooting, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks)
The stat line for Bargnani would lead you to believe he had a solid night and overall he has been playing great on the offensive end of the floor since Tyson Chandler got hurt. But once again Bargnani’s help defense was awful and that lent a big hand into the Hawks shooting 56.4 percent from the floor. The Knicks have to stop allowing easy baskets at the rim but as long as Bargnani remains the man in the middle, which is going to be a big problem. It’s hard to totally fault Bargnani because he is playing out of position, but it is a huge problem nonetheless. Grade: C+
Amar’e Stoudemire (5 points, 2-of-5 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 assist)
Stoudemire had a nice stuff over Gustavo Ayon to begin the fourth quarter. However he played just 14 minutes in total, scoring five points and won’t really be able to make an impact playing so few minutes. It was an encouraging 14 minutes, but as long as he has a minutes restriction, Stoudemire is simply just taking up a roster spot. Grade: C
Kenyon Martin (6 points, 3-of-6 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists 1 steal)
K-Mart had a pretty productive night in his 17 minutes. He was very productive on the glass, grabbing six boards in not much playing time. Grade: B
Tim Hardaway Jr. (8 points 3-of-7 shooting, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal)
It was a decent night for the rookie as well as he knocked down both of his attempts from behind the arc. Hardaway had a couple issues defensively but he proved to be a decent spark of the bench. Grade: C+
Pablo Prigioni (5 points, 2-of-4 shooting, 1 steal)
Even with Felton getting torched left and right, Prigioni only got 15 minutes of playing time. He made half of his field goal attempts. But he really wasn’t on the floor enough to help get the offense into any sort of rhythm.
Cole Aldrich and Toure Murry only played three minutes each and receive incompletes.
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