We fans are not asking much of our New York Knicks these days. You don't have to win, guys. You don't even have to be particularly competitive. It would be nice, however, if you didn't lose so badly as to inspire a fresh wave of "LOLZ the Knicks are the worst team ever" thinkpieces from every corner of the basketball world.
For the second night in a row, the 'Bockers failed in even that most elementary of tasks, falling behind 24 points by halftime and limping to a 105-82 loss. P&T'er Jesus and Ham on Rye was smart enough to give up on this game. We all should have been so lucky.
Frank Vogel essentially ended Mike Woodson's stint as a competent head basketball coach two years ago when he discovered that posting literally anybody will lead to a complete breakdown of New York's defense, as the other four Knicks lose their minds and track the ball-handler like a pack of flu-ridden bloodhounds.
Sadly, that tradition continued on Wednesday under the "new" reign of Derek Fisher. Various Pacers -- from guard C.J. Miles to backup center Ian Mahinmi -- posted throughout the evening. As before, the goal wasn't so much to beat the Knicks from the block, but to instigate a fresh case of Knicks post defense madness. Guards left shooters wiiiiide open at the three-point line. Bigs didn't even consider blocking out, leading to multiple point-blank put-backs. It was annoying reminder that, for all their scrapiness, these Knicks can be just as dumb as the old Knicks.
On offense, well, let me put it this way...here is a basketball court:
That outer rectangle is the court boundary. A player can not step over that boundary with the ball. A player can not throw a pass which lands beyond that boundary. Dem's the rules!
The Knicks took a big, stinking dump on that court boundary this evening. What I found striking was not so much the volume of turnovers (19), but rather the blatant lack of regard each Knick paid to staying in bounds. Never in my life have I seen an NBA team step out, throw passes directly to spectators and generally act like they were playing on an invisible racquetball court. You can't bank a pass off the noggin of that claims adjuster sitting in the second row, no matter how hard you try.
- The Triangle offense often runs through the frontcourt, and this was a disturbing reminder of how horrible it can look when you employ bigs who can't pass. Peep the turnover breakdown:
- Guards: 3 combined turnovers (Galloway, Hardaway, Larkin: 1)
- Forwards/Centers: 16 combined turnovers (Amundson: 5; Bargnani: 4; Thomas: 3; Smith, Aldridge: 2)
That's less than optimal, folks.
- This was probably Lou Amundson's worse game as Knick, which is surprisingly quite an accomplishment! He did pull down 10 rebounds, but committed five turnovers and managed to throw a pass eight feet over the head of Langston Galloway.
- We got everything we could expect from blowout Bargs. Andrea Bargnani led the Knicks in both points (25) and assists (4). He even shot 2-3 from beyond the arc!
- Alexey Shved also shot 2-3 from beyond the arc. Bargs and Shved hit four of the Knicks' six threes, which is both unsurprising and terrifying.
- Galloway had zero assists tonight, and three in his last two games. Assists aren't the greatest stat -- and it's not like Galloway has been hogging the ball or anything -- but that is a bit concerning coming from the team's nominal starting point guard.
The Knicks won't play again until Saturday. That seems like too long a wait. This Knicks campaign is a crusty band-aid: Better to rip it off all at once and get it over with.