Bobcats 102, Knicks 97: "A downer from beginning to end."

Elsa

Blub.

This is a bad team right now. They are bad for exactly the reasons you're used to them being bad; it's just all the reasons all at once. Tonight against the Bobcats, the Knicks sent out awkward lineups of big guys who wouldn't make space for one another. They switched haphazardly on defense such that Kemba Walker and his little friends could skitter around big men while the Knick guards got overwhelmed down low. Carmelo Anthony, playing 42+ minutes for the third straight game, looked sluggish and creaky with the ball in his hands. Tyson Chandler messed his knee up. Raymond Felton compounded his absent defense with poor shooting. The catch-and-shoot guys missed the easiest of looks. Amar'e Stoudemire contributed less than nothing in just 11 minutes.

As I write this, the Knicks are pretending to make this game interesting with a late flurry of takeaways and big shots bu-- nope, there goes Iman Shumpert missing a free throw. Let that last little run-- and the fact that the Bobcats couldn't fully exploit a team that lost nearly all its interior defense when Chandler went down-- serve as a reminder that the Knicks fell to a bad, short-handed team playing below its potential. The Knicks are an easy target and they are decaying, not improving.

This team is talented and there are 78 games left to play. So far, though, they have been ill-prepared, poorly managed, and disinterested...and now they may be physically broken. It was 100% bummer tonight, like LarryLowLife said. I've got all these notes written down, but they're pretty much just that first paragraph over and over again in increasingly broken English. Bad times, y'all.

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