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Suns 132, Knicks 96: "I knew our defense was bad, but I didn’t think it was bad enough to allow a Collins brother to score."

You can't describe it much better than bluecheese999 did. I'm towards the end of the game tape now, and it was evident throughout that the Knicks didn't have the manpower nor the energy to tangle with the Phoenix big men. Amare Stoudemire had a parade to the foul line, Robin Lopez and Louis Amundson out-hustled everybody, and yes, even Jarron Collins had his moment to shine. The Suns pushed the ball constantly and found those big men with nary a Knick obstructing the basket.

Danilo Gallinari played aggressively on offense even when his shots were falling. Gallo also defended Steve Nash pretty nicely, but his checking the point guard created a number of mismatches that killed the Knicks. Toney Douglas, for instance, was forced to stick the bigger, stronger Jason Richardson or Grant Hill for extended stretches, which made it far too easy for the Suns to run post-ups every time down.

Douglas, for his part, looked a little bit over his head. Toney had trouble with his shot, but also couldn't find the seams to beat his man off the dribble and start the offense from the paint. The rookie gave in to a little Chris Duhon-itis, ditching the ball early in possessions and failing to make the pass at times. To my eye, on occasions that Toney did break down the defense, the ball movement and quality of shots improved dramatically, so it would've been nice to see him look for more of those opportunities.

Ultimately, to beat a team like the Suns, the Knicks would either have to scrap to defend bigger, more athletic players, or shoot unusually well. Neither scenario took place, and the proof is in the final score. If the Knicks can't rediscover some of the grit that got them that win against Denver, this promises to be a long road trip. The Knicks are back in action tomorrow night in Utah.