Before I caught myself getting too excited about going above .500 since the 2015 season opener, I remembered the ludicrous 16 assist (!!!) performance Ish Smith had put on us as a Philadelphia 76er and became very worried. I became more worried when Detroit’s forward combo, Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris, bolted out of the gate like someone had spit on their moms, and had spiritually checked out by the time the Knicks had given up an unseemly 64 points in the half.
It’s hard to know what to do with the Knicks’ defense right now. You almost wish they would switch more because none of them can really defend one v one (outside of a THUNDEROUS smack Melo gave to knock the ball out of Harris’ hands down the stretch). But then, every time they start to rotate they look utterly lost as well and it’s a small miracle every time they recover fast enough to prevent giant, wide-open slams. I guess Kyle O’Quinn did have four blocks at the rim, but he played a wholly forgettable game on the other side of the court when he was largely asked to run the bench offense with Jennings.
And, shit, talk about a dipshit pair of players to run your second unit. Both of these guys have a real flair to their game when it’s clicking, but looks absolutely terrible when their wild shots aren’t falling. Pair them with Lance Thomas going 1-6 for the night (and who has still yet to hit a three pointer on the season) and it’s no wonder why the ‘Bockers have absolutely stagnated offensively during long stretches this season. Hornacek made a point to play both Noah and KP together with the reserves this game (an odd choice), but he’s still yet to really stagger Rose and Carmelo’s minutes, which should be the key to staying competitive when the majority of the starters are off the court.
Rose again, had a very boom or bust game and it’s starting to become painfully clear just how much he’s looking for his own shot every time he drives down the lane. He had a couple nice pick and pops to KP in the 3rd quarter when the big guy was starting to warm up a little, but I’m beginning to worry this Knicks team has a lot of players on short term deals looking to put up points and earn their next contract. Last year’s Knicks were bad but had some genuinely fun moments; this year has the feel that it could get ugly very quickly.
Of course, this is just the needless pessimist in me coming out after a few bad games. And I did miss the home opener at Memphis, so it’s fair to say that I’ve yet to witness a win. This team looked a little more in sync on offense with just 11 turnovers (and only 1 in the first quarter) and improved the defense in a big way during the second half. Porzingis came on after the break as well and the Knicks looked downright awesome in the 3rd quarter with he and Melo swishing jumpers. There’s a chance they keep putting it together as the season goes along, and tomorrow at home against the woeful Houston defense might just be the time to do it.
League Pass Preview:
1.) Wednesday, November 2nd – Thunder v. Clippers
Reigning Western Conference player of the week Russell Westbrook, he of the 38-12-12 stat line, takes his unbeaten Thunder into L.A. to play their first real competitive game of the season. Against the undefeated Clippers.
2.) Thursday, November 3rd – Thunder v. Warriors
It kills me to put the same team up here twice but C’MONNNN!! You can even forget about the elite level talent, this game is going to be worth it for the narrative alone with every hard foul and side eye stare down fodder for the ongoing media circus that is the Golden State Warriors. Pray for them if they lose this game.
3.) Friday, November 4th – Suns v. Pelicans
I’ve sadly yet to watch a minute of either of these teams this year, which is a true shame with the kind of video game numbers Anthony Davis has been putting up. The two teams are a combined 0-8 right now and there’s a strong chance that Friday is going to be the first chance for either of them to get into the win column.