Can we all agree Week 9 of NBA basketball was the worst week of the season for the New York Knicks? The Knicks would lose to the Washington Wizards on Monday, 101-102, barely escape a win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, 107-101, and lose another against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday, 87-95.
The Knicks started off the week in poor fashion. Knicks fans left Madison Square Garden stunned after New York faced the Washington Wizards. The first half was unbearable, missing what felt like every shot. John Wall was on pace for another scorching game, scoring 19 points in the first half. New York then went on a 22-5 run in the third quarter to bring the Knicks back into the game. The defense allowed John Wall to score only one point in the second half. The Knicks built up a seven point lead in the fourth, only to later be up by one point with 24 seconds left. Mike Woodson would make two crucial mistakes within these next 24 ticks. Woodson put Beno Udrih on Bradley Beal, who (Beal) would drive past Udrih for an easy lay in. Then, with seven seconds left in regulation, Woodson decides to not use a timeout and let Carmelo Anthony bring the ball up the floor and shoot a three pointer over two Wizard defenders.
Wednesday’s matchup featured the two bottom-of-the-barrel teams of the Eastern Conference in the Milwaukee Bucks and the New York Knicks at the Bradley Center. Even with the long-awaited return of Tyson Chandler, the Knicks made this game much more difficult than it had to be. The interior defense seemed notably better, but when Chandler was on the pine was when the Knicks were exposed defensively. The Bucks forced overtime, and with seconds left and New York up by one, the ball was tipped to Bargnani who shot an ill-advised three which would fail to fall. Second overtime was when the Knicks would seal the game at 107-101, proving just how vulnerable New York really is. Walt Frazier’s “What is he doing, folks?!” echoed through my head the entire night.
Saturday was yet another tough pill to swallow, as the Knicks hosted the Memphis Grizzlies for a matinee game at noon. Coach Mike Woodson went with the larger lineup in Carmelo Anthony, Andrea Bargnani, and Tyson Chandler, only to be pounded in the paint and on the glass. Memphis was previously on a five-game losing streak, only to get in the win column on the road at Madison Square Garden. “That’s embarrassing, especially when you start a big lineup,” Woodson stated.
Where do I begin? The Knicks were embarrassed by several poor decisions against the Wizards. Udrih should have used his foul-to-give against the driving Beal. Then, Woodson should have used his timeout, because the Knicks were down by only one, and a three pointer is a much lower percentage shot. Then, on Wednesday, it took New York two overtimes to score 107 points and beat the awful Bucks. Bargnani may have the lowest basketball awareness in the Association. I cannot overstate that. Lastly, on Saturday, the Knicks proved to be one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA when they were out hustled by the Grizz.
Pablo Prigioni went down for the Knicks on Monday, suffering a hairline fracture in his toe. Prigioni’s timetable to return to action is at least two weeks. This puts New York down to only Beno Udrih and rookie Toure’ Murry at the point guard position. I have expressed my want for an upgrade at the point via Twitter, in specific with the potential signing of Kendall Marshall. The former 13th pick of the 2012 draft was signed on Thursday to the Los Angeles Lakers. Marshall has a pass-first attitude, and his unselfishness could have been an instant upgrade for the Knickerbockers.
What do Knicks fans want for Christmas? Wins. And hopefully Saint Knick can bring home the wins this week. Week 10 brings the Orlando Magic(win 103-98), Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Toronto Raptors twice. These teams combine for a total record of 52-52. With the unpredictability of New York, this week could be either be a boost or an anchor to sink them even deeper in the hole they’ve dug.
Happy Holidays Knick fans.