The New York Knicks are officially under the most scrutiny of the 2013 season after their loss to the Denver Nuggets last night, 117-94. It was one of the ugliest performances an NBA team has ever brought to the table, and to top it off, it was a national televised ESPN game, raising the level of embarrassment to new heights.
The Knicks kicked off their five game west coast road trip with just as ugly a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday, falling 92-63. With an 0-2 start to kick off the trip, the Knicks confidence level seems to be diminishing. The Nuggets simply ran the Knicks out of Denver just as fast as Carmelo ran himself out of the town when he was approaching free agency in 2010-2011.
The problems certainly didn’t end for the Knicks with the simple x’s and o’s on the court, but regining defensive player of the year Tyson Chandler left the game last night with a knee contusion, and did not return.
The Knicks got hammered on the boards, losing the battle 53 to 33, while giving up a whopping 62 points in the paint. The Nuggets would often score within seconds of a Knicks bucket, showcasing the lack of defensive prowess and intensity any team needs to win. Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, two of the biggest pieces in the Denver-New York Carmelo trade, combined for 40 points in the effort. The effort was unacceptable for the Knicks last night, and as the head coach, it’s vital Mike Woodson finds a way to get this team back on track.
Carmelo scored just nine points on 3-12 shooting before officially checking out of the game with 9:45 left in the third quarter with the Knicks down 70-44, for an additional look at his knee. Carmelo pushed his return from the injury maybe a little to much just to show up the Denver crowd, ultimately causing the Knicks to send him home for the remainder of the west coast trip to get his knee drained.
The Knicks have an array of obstacles to overcome for the duration of the season, and thus far their failing miserably. The Knicks must find a way to gather up some cheap wins with heart, effort, and dedication, so they can remain in the second seed, holding off the Indiana Pacers. If the Knicks stay in the second seed, a potential Miami Heat playoff matchup would have to wait for the Easter Conference Finals.
The Knicks will continue the west coast swing when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at 10:30 p.m. EDT. Once again a nationally televised game on TNT, the Knicks will need to hit on all cylinders to avoid another early rout.