Knicks Look Sluggish in Loss

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Blazers 105 Knicks 100

Knicks defensive woes continue as they lose to the Trail Blazers 105-100. New York the last 2 weeks have not played top 10 defense and now their offense is not getting them over the hump either. Lets break it down.

 Boxscore

 Things They Need to Improve:

-       New York’s offense has been very sluggish of late. They bring the ball up the court very slowly and their offense seems predictable allowing their opponents to get into sets, set their feet and defend their man.

-       Defensively the Knicks look to switch too much and their defensive assignments are blown. This must drive Mike Woodson nuts. They need to get back their intensity and get into their opponents. They let other teams get into rhythm and then the shots start dropping.imgres

-       Better point guard play. The loss of Raymond is showing more than we thought. Kidd and Prigioni need to run the offense crisply and get the ball moving.

-       Steve Novak has not stepped up so far this year. He has been very inconsistent so far this year. If he is not going to get open and take his shots then there is no point for him to be out there.

Things That Look Good:

-       JR Smith has been dominating the court on both sides of the ball. JR had 28 pts 11 rbs 5 asts and 3 stls. That is a stat filler if I have ever saw one. His role of 2nd option on this team is solidified in my book.

-       Carmelo dropped 45 pts tonight with hot shooting from the start, however he missed a few key free throws down the stretch and of course missed the game tying 3-point ball.

-       Marcus Camby got a little burn tonight, but when he is out there he looks very active and hopefully Mike Woodson gets him in more games to deter the opponents offense.

-       Stat is back! Nice to have Amare out there on the receiving end of some Pick and Rolls. Once his legs and timing get back, he will be a boost for this struggling offensive team.

Middle Ground:

-       Jason Kidd looks tired. The task of bringing the ball up the court is killing his stamina. This affects everything else about Jason. His 3-point shooting has been off and the offense looks slow and boring with very little ball movement. The exhausted looking Kidd might be the cause of the poor ball movement. He needs rest and needs to play the 2 guard like he did earlier before Felton got hurt. Look at their 1st imgres-1quarter woes; this is something to keep an eye on. If Jason needs help at the point then maybe starting Pablo will help alleviate Jason’s responsibility with the ball and let him get back to what was successful for him earlier in the season.

-       Amare was rusty and that will wear off, however during the game I noticed that the Knicks players were looking to get Amare involved, especially when he first entered the game. It has been so long since Stat has played that it seems as if the players have no idea how to play with him. They need to let the ball move and let the game flow. That is the only way for this team to be successful, not forcing the ball in his hands.

-       Amare must play defense. The spotlight is on Stat defensively, especially by the coaches. If he blows assignments and doesn’t box out, then I have a hard time having him on the court. Trading baskets is no way to win games.

In summary, the Knicks never give up, but going down early in the first the last 2 games by double digits is a problem. The Knicks have lost the 1st quarter the last 6 games. That is a ominous stat. The Knicks are playing like a a.500 team right now and need to figure things out and hold the lead in the Atlantic Division. The schedule doesn’t get any easier on Thursday as the Knicks face the San Antonio Spurs at MSG at 730pm. The Spurs are one of the smartest teams in the league and will eat the Knicks alive if they play with no intensity and have defensive issues like they have the last few weeks. Lets Get It!

 

Peter A. Knickswag Chief

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