You almost knew it wouldn’t last.
After playing so well to start the month of January, the New York Knicks were up to their old tricks once again Thursday night in a 117-89 embarrassing loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Lance Stephenson torched the Knicks to the tune of a career-high 28 points, four rebound and four assist performance and that was all the Pacers really needed.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 28 points, nine in the first six minutes and 18 in the first quarter when it was still a game, but the Knicks couldn’t keep up with Indiana.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how the Knicks graded out in yet another embarrassing effort.
Raymond Felton (12 points, 5-of-10 shooting, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals)
Felton’s statistical line doesn’t look bad but he played a major role in the Knicks’ offense once again going stagnant. Throw in the fact that he had as many turnovers as assists and was his usual inadequate self defensively and it wasn’t a good night. Getting a minus-19 from your point guard is never a good thing. Grade: D
Iman Shumpert (2 points, 1-of-4 shooting, 5 rebounds, 2 assists)
It is no coincidence that Shump’s production has gone back down with the return of Felton. The ball just doesn’t move and Shumpert doesn’t get many opportunities to contribute. However he wasn’t that great defensively on the night and that played a big role. Shump’s minus-10 rating was the best of any Knicks starter though. Grade: C-
Carmelo Anthony (28 points, 8-of-17 shooting, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block)
Melo looked like he was going to carry the Knicks early, scoring 18 points in the first quarter on an efficient 6-of-8 shooting. But he went just 2-of-9 for the rest of the game. The hot start is nice but in big games Melo has to come up big in the second half. With the Knicks down so big he didn’t play in the fourth quarter, but he was the only reason the Knicks didn’t lose by more than 50. One big problem though was his inability to guard Paul George, who killed him all night. Grade: B-
Andrea Bargnani (6 points, 3-of-9 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks)
With David West and Roy Hibbert inside for the Pacers, this was where Bargnani should have been big as he should have been able to stretch the Pacers out. That’s why the Knicks got him. Unfortunately that didn’t happen as he made only 3-of-9 shots and attempted only one three-pointer. He also finished the game a whopping minus-23. Grade: D-
Tyson Chandler (13 points, 4-of-8 shooting, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block)
In 26 minutes, Chandler put up 13 points and nine rebounds. He was the Knicks only effective presence inside and did a very good job on Roy Hibbert, limiting the Pacers’ big man to only 11 points and six rebounds. Grade: A-
Amar’e Stoudemire (8 rebounds, 3-of-6 shooting, 3 rebounds)
STAT got of to a decent start offensively before spraining his ankle after 14 minutes of playing time. He was a minus-12 in that span though. Grade: C
J.R. Smith (12 points, 6-of-12 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist)
Smith made half his shots, which is a good thing, but most of his production came in the second half when the game was already out of reach. Grade: C
Kenyon Martin (0 points, o-of-1 shooting)
K-mart sprained his ankle after only seven minutes, but did nothing in tat span. I will be fair though and not judge him based on not enough minutes. Grade: Incomplete
Tim Hardaway Jr. (4 points, 2-of-10 shooting)
The rookie has hit a wall and continues to struggle, throwing up brick after brick on the night. He didn’t impact the game in other areas either during his 22 minutes. Grade: F
Beno Udrih (0 points, 0-of-3 shooting, 4 assists, 1 block)
Udrih wasn’t great but the offense runs better with him in the game opposed to Felton. He had as many assists as Felton did in half the minutes: Grade: C-
Jeremy Tyler looked good in seven late minutes and Cole Aldrich and Toure’ Murry got a combined eight minutes but neither played enough meaningful minutes to get a grade.