The Knicks Are Back! …To Their Losing Ways


Last night the Knicks lost to the Milwaukee Bucks.  Again.

The Good:

1. New point guard Sergio Rodriguez took over the starting gig from Chris Duhon.  Spanish Chocolate was a never-ending blur and managed an unbelievable EIGHT steals!

2. New undersized shooting guard, Eddie House, played point when Spanish Chocolate went out, which meant: Chris Duhon didn’t play at all!  Not a second!  And that was goooood.

3. The Knicks did a good job hustling and scrambling on defense, holding the Bucks to a mere 43% fg shooting.

4. Tracy McGrady did not just settle for easy jump shots and instead had a few nice drives to the hoop.  Yes, none were dunks and a couple didn’t go in, but it’s excellent that he’s not shying away from contact with the big boys.

5. At halftime the fans were thrilled as the Knicks honored the 40th anniversary of the 1969-1970 championship team.

6. To show how truly stupendous that 1970 team was, the current Knicks, in an outstanding show of support, got together before the game and decided to purposely play horribly so the fans would appreciate the old-timers even more.

The Bad:

1. Everything else.

Okay, okay, more specifically:

1. The Knicks are supposedly trying to play their young ‘uns to develop ’em better.  Toney Douglas only saw 4 minutes.  Though let’s be honest, he’s got a limited future, so really the younger players who matter are just Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler.  And they got a very respectable amount of minutes: 34 and 41.  However, the offense no longer seems to really involve them.  They took 8 and 6 shots respectively, versus say Eddie House’s 16.  Even Al Harrington in just 23 minutes still managed to get up 9 shots.  The whole offense seems to now be pick and rolls (involving some pair out of the threesome of David Lee, Tracy McGrady and whoever is the point guard), or isolation plays for TMac or Al Harrington (& occasionally Lee).  Gallo and Chandler have been reduced to feeding off broken down plays, much like how Shawn Marion used to do when Coach Mike D’Antoni ran this system in Phoenix.

2. Like my reader Paul commented yesterday, the excitement from the newbie’s first game on Saturday would diminish.  However, the fans were really into McGrady and the game for quite a while, until it was clear that the Knicks were just sucking.

3. As I said in my last post, TMac is not known as a particularly great jump shooter.   Last night he returned to form, hitting only 5 of 14.  Actually, the truth is he’s somewhere between the two performances.  He’s not usually THAT bad a shooter.  Another thing was that you could see him breathing heavily at times, and until he gets into better game shape, some of his jump shots and drives are gonna fall short.  Once TMac gets his legs back he should shoot somewhere in the range of 40-46%, with his free throw attempts and assists making up for the low-ish field goal percentage.

4. We don’t have a modern-day Willis Reed equivalent who can surprise and ignite the crowd/team by walking out onto the floor like he did in Game 7 of that 1970 championship game.

The Ugly:

1. The Knicks may’ve held the Bucks to 43%, but they themselves only shot a putrid 33.8%.  Most teams shoot a higher percentage than that even all the way out from three-point range.  As a result they managed a mere 67 points, easily eclipsing the season’s previous low of 78 points.

2. When it came to rebounding, the Knicks looked like grade schoolers trying to play against much taller high school guys.  They lost the rebounding battle by…  –oh, and those of you with sensitive stomachs might not want to read this next number–  …by a staggering 35-61 edge.  Oh hell, when ya get beat by that many, it ain’t an edge, it’s a frickin’ cliff.

3. While Rodriguez was a breath of fresh air compared to Duhon, and he was in constant probing motion, AND he got all them steals, he did unfortunately only get 1 assist.  TMac, he of the great court vision, also got 1 assist.  David Lee, who’s been rightly hailed recently as the best passing big man, had a mere 2 assists.  And Eddie House lead the team in assists with a whopping 3.  The whole team managed to somehow manage only a combined total of 10 assists.  Or less than Steve Nash gets all alone in a game.  With his eyes closed.

4. TMac, recovering from knee surgery, said his knee hurt after Saturday’s game.  Take that, add the picture below, and it equals how Patrick Ewing looked on the bench his last season as a Knick.  Man, math sucks.