I guess I also could’ve titled this something like “Madison Square Meltdown” or “Thank God we have our 2015 First Rounder”, but Brando pretty much sums up yesterday’s game.
Again, are the Knicks actually this bad? Like any true fan coming into this season, I’d convinced myself that our team was much closer to the 54 win ‘Bockers of two years ago and that last year was just a case of the team underperforming thanks to poor coaching, off-court distractions, and Carmelo’s looming free agency. Now, I’m not really sure.
Because the Knicks aren’t even that good on paper. Who is their second-best player? Really. Amare Stoudemire is certainly paid like he is, but this team’s future is really tied to finally saying goodbye to him over the summer. Is it Jose Calderon? Who has yet to play a single game or meaningful basketball minute with any of the guys not named Sam Dalembert. Is it Iman Shumpert? Shump’s been playing like he is, yet the team did not give him a contract extension because of how inconsistent he’s been in the past.
Last night’s loss featured one of the grossest offensive halves of basketball I’ve seen this season. The Knicks did a much better job of not rolling out the welcome mat for FTs and 3 pointers (only 2 free throws in the first quarter and Kyle Korver going 1-9 to start the game), but their offense clunked seriously, they continued turning the ball over whenver they tried to run in transition, and they might’ve failed to crack even 30 points (IN THE HALF!!!) were it not for a little last minute fireworks from Tim Hardaway Jr. Still, going into the half tied up was at least a reason to be guardedly optimistic.
Nope. Look, I know the Knicks have been buried in the third quarter, but we actually came out rolling and got off to a nice 8-0 run. Still, the third quarter is the third quarter and the Hawks came right back with a little run of their own, eclipsing ours and outscoring us by 5 in the frame. I have to say I really loved watching how competitive the matchup between Carmelo and Atlanta’s Paul Millsap was. Both of them were going to work on the block, scrapping for loose balls, and you could really see in Melo’s body language how much he wanted this game. But, of course, Millsap turned into friggin’ Kevin Love (he’d been 2-12 from 3 on the season before this game) and buried like 4 pointers to really get the Hawks going.
I don’t know what else to say. The Knicks actually got this game into within 1 with a hair under 3 minutes left. During the ensuing timeout I thought, this is where the more disciplined, better coached team comes out with the win. The Hawks went on a 6-0 run right after that and shut the door.
Ugggghhh, I’d say I was excited to pick up a third win against the Magic on Wednesday, but who knows anymore.