Yes it is only preseason. Yes, Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace, Beno Udrih, Kenyon Martin and Amar’e Stoudemire did not play, but boy was it ugly as the New York Knicks lost by 30, 111-81 to the Boston Celtics.
There is not much positive to report from this game except for Ike Diogu, who scored 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while shooting 9-for-11 from the foul line. He did this along with eight rebounds, in 32 minutes. Diogu is not pretty, but former Celtic Coach Tom Heinson, called him the Knicks most talented frontcourt player.
He is competing against Josh Powell, who started the game and appears to be coach Mike Woodson’s favorite of the two. Maybe tonight will change his mind. Powell scored six points on 3-of-5 shooting with three rebounds in 26 minutes. Diogu clearly outplayed Powell at every facet of the game.
Once again the Knicks showed porous defense and sloppy, inconsistent offense. Woodson needs to go back to the drawing board, for as I said after last night’s game; this is not a great shooting team. The Knicks shot 3-of-18 or 16.7 percent from the three-point line and 33 percent for the game. Whereas the Celtics shot 54.2 percent from the field and 37 percent from the three-point line.
Walt Frazier said last night ” Iman Shumpert is an erratic and streaky shooter” this held true this evening as he just a meager 2-of-9 with 1-of-3 from behind the arc. He played 27 minutes and corralled four rebounds. Without ‘Melo this evening, the Knicks offense was atrocious.
Last year when Anthony was injured, Chris Copeland showed an offensive consistency that no other current Knick could provide. The losses of Steve Novak and Copeland will impact this team. Clearly if he was offered the mid-level exception he would have stayed.
I love Pablo Prigioni but I would not have panicked as Glen Grunwald did and offered him the veteran’s minimum instead. Pablo had a poor game scoring no points with one assist in 16 minutes.
Rookie sensation Tim Hardaway Jr., showed he was human tonight scoring only nine points in 36 minutes while shooting 3-of-16 from the field and 1-for-6 from beyond the three point line.
The Knicks offense was sluggish and stale. Imagine Chris Douglas Roberts leading the team with only three assists in only 12 minutes.
Andrea Bargnani struggled without his Batman, Anthony. He shot only 2-of-8 from the field, 6-of-6 from the free-throw line for 11 points and only three rebounds in 23 minutes. His shot and stamina are not yet there and seems to be better when he is not the primary offensive weapon.
Woodson gave Toure Murry a long look. He knew he was playing for a roster spot and tried to force his offense by shooting only 8-of-21 from the field and 0-of-5 from the three point line with four rebounds and two assists. He often looked out of control which a point guard should never be. He was outplayed by the young Celtic backcourt and seems headed to the D-League.
Cole Aldrich was again limited to 16 minutes. He scored four points, with four rebounds, two offensive, two defensive. I would have liked to have seen more of this young man, but he and Diogu are my leaders to make the team.
GM Steve Mills better watch the waiver wire. This team needs more scoring, better shooting and better rebounding. The Knicks were outrebounded 45-34. This is a young well coached Celtic team that outplayed, outhustled and outshot the Knicks.
Woodson better go back to the drawing board as this team tonight showed without Carmelo this is a limited team and the Knicks will need him to stay healthy for us to achieve any success this season.
Dr. Eric Kaplan is a Best Selling author www.drerickaplan.com