Yeah, it's like mangu said in the game thread. The Knicks can't just lose a game. They have to flail and gasp and tease us before they finally go down. New York, without Tyson Chandler and Jared Jeffries once more, demonstrated a remarkable inability to do two things at once. A new, small lineup opened with an unbelievable run of eleven straight makes, which kicked off solid team-wide shooting and some decent offensive games from the starters (sans J.R. Smith). The team teetered between offense and defense, though. It never felt quite like New York was in control on both ends of the floor at once.
Just a little bit more after the jump.
Mike D'Antoni rummaged wildly through lineups and got similarly wild results. The scoring came in torrents, but almost always coincided with appallingly poor defense against the typical Knick-killers-- Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova, and Mike Dunleavy Jr. (forgot he was on the Bucks. Wish I never remembered). New York missed Chandler and Jeffries very, very badly, but even without those two, the defense was bewildering stuff...
...until the late fourth quarter, when the Knicks suddenly put up a fight against the Milwaukee scorers (though the frontcourt gave up some critical rebounds), but experienced a steep offensive slide because, again, they just couldn't push on both ends of the floor. It's like the court was a giant see-saw that never laid flat.
Amar'e Stoudemire had one of his most efficient offensive games (27 and 11 on 15 shots) but allowed equally efficient opposing offense. Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields were both out of control at times but got things done offensively. Lin played brasher ball than he has of late and finished with 20 and 13 (though, even in instances of solid defense, he got lit right back up by Jennings). Fields moved well away from the ball for his 18 points. Melo...well, he had his moments, and finished with 22 points on 17 shots. Baron Davis and Steve Novak also had moments as reserves, but Iman Shumpert all but stuck to the bench and Josh Harrellson didn't get much spin.
It was a loose, delirious game that sort of soured as time elapsed. I'm keeping my notes and will have more to cover tomorrow. In the meantime, I guess we can just look forward to the next one, when Chandler should be back. The defense should recover, but can anything close to this kind of offense sustain? Can they manage both at the same time? Please?
Also, who's getting this shirt? One of you will hear from me soon! Free stuff, guys! Ha-HA! Ha-HAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa