By, Max Marcilla – Knickswag Contributor
Knicks 90 Blazers 105
After the worst two game stretch of the season, in which the Knicks lost by an average of 31 points, the Knicks showed life. The Knicks came out driving and thriving, led by the trio of veteran big men (Camby, Thomas, and Martin). The most impressive stat was that the Knicks assisted on 9 of the 13 first quarter baskets. While this was not the best quarter of the season, this was one of the most impressive quarters of the season, as the Knicks led 30-22 without their big three of Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler.
For the first nine minutes in the second, the Knicks continued taking the ball into the paint, avoiding costly turnovers, as they took their biggest lead of the night, 13 points. However, just like the past two games, the Knicks surrendered and looked like they gave up. In the last 3:24 of the first half, the Blazers went on a 13-0 run, making the Knicks look similar to how they looked the past two games.
Finally, in the third quarter, the Blazers pulled away, holding the Knicks to 5-27 from the field, a total of 14 points. A little fourth quarter comeback brought the game to within 4, but once again the Blazers conquered the Knicks defense with a 15-4 run and finished the Knicks off for good, 105-90.
This season had a lot of promise for the Knicks, but now fans and possibly players, are wondering if they still have potential. Each month, the Knicks record has gotten worse and worse and progressively, the team is collapsing. With injuries to their three stars, and Kenyon Martin leaving tonight’s game with an apparent knee injury, the Knicks don’t look like they have the depth to make up for it.
One of the Knicks problems was that they were flat offensively. They didn’t move the ball and settled for more jump shots instead, despite the early success in the paint from big men Camby, Thomas, and Martin.
Another problem for the Knicks is their shooting. The Knicks key to their success is often found in their shooting percentage from beyond the arc and yet again, it was poor, as the Knicks finished with that mark being at 28%. I’m starting to think that instead of building the team around three-point shooters like Novak, and Kidd, New York should try to build around “in-the-paint” players.
Lastly, the Knicks are turning the ball over way too much. The Knicks had no turnovers in the first and then had 12 in the final three quarters, including 4 in the later half of the second. That is inexcusable, considering one of our weaknesses is transition defense.
With the Knicks struggling, and players getting injured on nearly every play, the Knicks championship hopes have diminished from slim to none. New York has a lot of potential, but unless we can figure out whom we are and how to play together successfully, Knicks fans should brace themselves for a lot more of these losses.