The New York Knicks, yet again, squandered away another double-digit lead for the second night in a row. The Knicks fell apart down the stretch to lose to a heavily injury-ridden Atlanta Hawks team tonight and in the process fell five and a half games behind Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
- Another game, another average NBA player lighting up the Knicks defense for a career high. Tonight it was Mike Scott of the Atlanta Hawks coming off the bench and dropping a career-high 30 points on the Knicks, not to mention eight rebounds just to add insult to injury. The Knicks let Scott shoot 6-7 from deep, an area of defense which Mike Woodson and the players seem to not understand how to defend. DeMarre Carroll also chipped in 24 points and of course Jeff Teague, sprained ankle and all, dropped in another 28 points. These three players scored 82 of Atlanta’s 107 points on the evening, all of them average less than 20 points per game for the season, the struggle is real Knicks fans.
- The theme of late seems to be “what more can I do?” when it comes to Carmelo Anthony and his production. Anthony has never said such words, but who could blame him if he did at this point. Tonight he scored 35 points, grabbed four boards and tallied three assists. Considering he spent most of the night being doubled that’s a pretty good stat line. The next leading scorer was Raymond Felton with 16 points on 6-15 shooting.
-Tyson Chandler put on a one man show of his own tonight grabbing 23 rebounds against a Hawks team with no able-bodied big men. Chandler brought in more than half of the team’s rebounds on the night. When the next two leading rebounder’s on the team are guards, Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith, you know that no one is crashing the glass with emphasis. Again, just another major reason the Knicks haven’t sustained any type of success throughout the year: effort.
-The Knicks were given a taste of their own medicine tonight by being barraged from the three point line. The Knicks allowed the Hawks to shoot an astonishing 52.6% from behind the arc, but this is no surprise given the lack of perimeter defense the Knicks have played all year. Another eye popping stat was that the Knicks sent the Hawks to the line for 33 free throw attempts, of which they hit 27. Jeff Teague was 13-15 from the charity stripe, showing once again that the defensive play by the Knicks point guards is below sub-par.
- Next up for the Knicks is a quick trip home to play the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks will need to try and contain Monta Ellis and, of course, Dirk Nowitzki. Expect another three-point party at the Garden on Monday night. The Knicks will have to start beating good teams at some point if they have any hope of making a playoff spot, a few more losses and it might be time to throw in the towel on this season.