Another game – another loss. There was some good play. There was some awful play. The net result was another loss. Another blemish for these new look Knicks.
Carmelo Anthony had a very good game, shooting 13-25 for 36 points. Sure he had his fair share of momentum killing, bonehead shots. Sure he played Swiss cheese defense at times. But overall, he was the whole who stepped up in the fourth during the late game surge that almost let the Knicks steal a win in Charlotte. Down double digits heading into the 4th, the team made a late push once Carmelo was finally re-inserted into the lineup. Down the stretch, Melo hit two big threes. But much like recent games, the Knicks have been able to keep it close late in the game, but have been unable to take the next step and overtake their opponent.
All in all, it was the second quarter that killed the Knicks. The Knicks were outscored 34-20 during that period. The Bobcats are a team that has averaged less than 90 PPG since trading Gerald Wallace. Tonight, it only seemed natural that they would torch the Knicks for 64 points in the first half.
There were points during this game where the Knicks made Kwame Brown look like Andrew Bogut, DJ Augustin look like Steve Nash and Shaun Livingston look like Kobe Bryant. There were points during this game where the Knicks practically opened the door to the lane and checked their opponents’ coats right at the rim. It seemed that the Knicks almost tried ot make it that easy for the Bobcats.
Late in the game, Melo helped to make it close. Landry Fields did his part as well with a couple of late buckets and free throws. But with Billups’, Williams’, Fields’ and Walker’s three balls not dropping, the team just could not take the extra step (the team shot 6-28 from downtown tonight). Oh, and did I mention that Amare was yet again not on his game? I am not sure what has happened to him, but he is not the same player that he was earlier in the season. Could it be that all of those minutes that D’Antoni insisted on playing him have caught up to him? Is sharing the spotlight with Melo too much to ask? Who knows? Whatever it is, he has to reverse his recent trend.
No moral victories here.