The New York Knicks kicked off a four-game road trip Saturday night whit yet another disappointing loss, this time at the hands of the Washington Wizards.
The 98-89 defeat in which the Knicks offense became stagnant in the second half and their defense had all kinds of problems staying in front of John Wall, was the fifth consecutive defeat for Mike Woodson‘s team.
The Knicks shot only 44 percent from the floor and a miserable 40 percent from the free-throw line in defeat.
The first half was very strange as the Knicks actually showed good ball movement, evident by the 16 assists they had. Considering the fact that the Knicks average only 18 dimes per game, that was an impressive performance and a big reason why they scored 52 points and took a three-point lead into the locker room.
However it was a typical third quarter for the Knicks as they looked flat at both ends of the floor, the ball stopped moving as much and their lead evaporated very quickly.
After anther disappointing Saturday night for the Knickerbockers, let’s take a look at how each player graded out in the loss to the Wizards.
Beno Udrih (2 points, 1-of-7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 5 assists)
After a nice night in the loss to Indiana, Udrih struggled badly from the floor, canning only one of seven shot attempts. While his shot was off, Udrih still had five dimes and grabbed four rebounds. However his inconsistent performance just adds to the Knicks point guard woes this season as Raymond Felton hasn’t been much better. Grade: C-
Iman Shumpert (6 points, 2-of-4 shooting, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 3 steals)
Shump had a nice night, making his presence felt at both ends of the floor, but the Knicks have to find a way to get him more than four shot attempts. He even ran the offense for a brief stint in the second half. His line wasn’t bad, but it would be nice to see him get more opportunities as it is hard for the third-year guard to impact the game much when he only gets four looks at the basket, one of which was a meaningless late layup attempt that was swatted by John Wall. Grade: B-
Carmelo Anthony (23 points, 9-of-19 shooting, 12 rebounds, 2 assists)
Melo came out determined and got 13 early points to help power the Knicks to a first half lead. He couldn’t find it in the second half though as at the end of the day he needed 19 shot attempts to score 23 points, something that is killing the Knicks offense. It was another very good performance on the glass though as Anthony grabbed 12 more rebounds on the night. Grade: B
Kenyon Martin (4 points, 2-of-5 shooting, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block)
Martin brought energy in his 25 minutes and in addition to his baby hook and put back slam for his four points, K-Mart also snatched seven rebounds, dished three assists and blocked a shot. Unfortunately the rest of his teammates don’t feed off his physicality and his energy as the Knicks were outscored in the paint and outrebounded on the night. Grade B-
Andrea Bargnani (11 points, 5-of-14 shooting, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block)
Bargnani struggled to score, tallying only 11 points on 14 shot attempts. He also grabbed only four rebounds, but did help move the ball well, tallying five dimes. But it wasn’t Bargnani’s best night overall, evident by his team-low minus-13 rating as he took a beating from Wizards center Marcin Gortat, who finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds. Grade: D+
J.R. Smith (15 points, 6-of-14 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 steals)
After taking only three shots in the first half, Smith let it fly in the second half chucking up 11 attempts. That’s part of the reason the Knicks offense struggled. They can’t keep allowing a guy like Smith to chuck up 14 shots when he scores only 15 points. He also missed four consecutive fourth quarter free-throws, which proved to be big at the time. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year did knock down 3-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc. Grade: C
Amar’e Stoudemire (12 points, 5-of-5 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal)
Stoudemire got 22 minutes and looked good. He ran the floor well, including a fast break dunk and showed some of his post-game tallying 12 points, knocking down all five of his shot attempts. He probably should have gotten a few more touches in the second half, but that won’t happen when the ball stops moving. Overall though it was a very encouraging night for Stoudemire. Grade: A
Metta World Peace (5 points, 2-of-7 shooting, 3 rebounds, 1 block)
The Knicks bench actually outscored Washington’s 43-6 in the loss. World Peace looked good in short bursts, returning from getting his knee drained. But he shot just 2-of-7 from the field but added two offensive boards and a block in his 10 minutes. Grade: C
Pablo Prigioni (6 points, 2-of-4 shooting, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal)
Prigioni did some good things in his 19 minutes of action, but was torched often by the much quicker Wall. The older Prigioni had plenty of problems with the younger and quicker Wizards’ backcourt. Grade: C-
Tim Hardaway Jr. (5 points, 2-of-3 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 assist)
The rookie came off the bench late in the fourth quarter and wasted no time in draining a crucial three-pointer to trim the deficit to seven. Hardaway finished with five points on 2-of-3 shooting, one rebound and one assist. Yet the Michigan product played only seven minutes. Grade: C
Rookie Toure Murry only played one minute at the end of the game so he gets an incomplete.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.