Hey, they tried for a while. Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani played pretty lovely offensive games, and those two alone were enough to help the Knicks tread water against a defense nearly as flimsy as their own, combining for 35 of 45 first-half points. The bench offered absolutely nothing and the defense disintegrated any time the Clippers set a pick or pushed of a miss. Weak traps, dudes straight-up bumping into each other on switches, no help at the rim...the usual. Even still, a couple scorers and a few offensive rebounds kept the Knicks competitive.
Melo and Bargnani quieted down as the game progressed, so the Knicks lost it. Raymond Felton picked things up momentarily with a li'l flurry in the third quarter, but nothing else was doing. Guys either missed open looks or killed possessions with untimely isolation. And that bench just couldn't put anything together. Only J.R. Smith-- with a couple nice drives and that one dummy three-- managed to produce while Amar'e Stoudemire (and the Knicks' frustrating commitment to force-feeding him) drained New York on both ends, Metta World Peace couldn't hit an open three for the life of him, and the guards served only as revolving doors for Clipper penetrators. And man, the whistles did not help.
I dunno, I still wonder if this team could outrun its own defensive ineptitude-- especially against a team like the Clippers-- with a tighter rotation and spacier lineups. They had their moments, and a couple nice individual performances (10 boards, 4 blocks, no turnovers for Bargnani! Well done, sir!). Just a little something more on offense-- someone making some open shots, Iman Shumpert producing anything at all, more aggressive pick-and-rolls, fewer J.R. and Amar'e isos-- could have made this a game right down to the buzzer, but it wasn't to be. Then again, if the Clippers just hit their open threes, it could have been a blowout all along. Either way, it's seven straight losses now, and that sucks a whole wheelbarrow of cat asses.
That's all I got. No notes tomorrow, as I'll be on the move for the holiday. If we don't speak in the morning, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love you all very much and I'm so glad I have y'all to talk to during these most trying of Knickstimes.