Notes From Knicks 91-81 Loss to Cleveland

The Knicks seemed to find their way offensively Tuesday night against Charlotte only to become lost again Wednesday night in Cleveland. In a pathetic second half showing, the reeling Knicks scored only 36 points and lost 91-81. Amar’e Stoudemire showed flashes of brilliance and worked hard on the boards but was unable to find any consistent jump shot. Carmelo Anthony is a walking bandage right now and cannot consistently dominate offensively.

Here are notes from the game:

  • The Knicks need a point guard. Badly. The 3 Knick point guards, Bibby, Shumpert and Toney Douglas had a combined 6 assists tonight. Melo had 6 by himself and Billy Walker had 4. By comparison the Cavalier point guards, Kyrie Irving and Ramon Sessions, combined for 12. The Knick point guards are not only bad but they are holding the offense back. Shumpert basically did not play tonight. He was nonexistent in the 22 minutes he played and was benched early in the 4th quarter. Douglas came in and did what Toney Douglas does best. He panicked. When Douglas panics, he shoots. When Douglas panics and shoots he misses and when he does not hit his shots he is useless. Tonight, Douglas did not move the ball, he did not score and he did not get Melo and Amar’e the ball where they needed it. This game came down to the 4th quarter and in the 4th quarter the Knicks sucked. They decided to run the offense though Douglas and Jeffries despite the fact that Amar’e played strongly at the rim again tonight and Melo showed a few flashes in the 4th. Why Douglas would take it upon him self to continue chucking aimless shots, he finished 3/12, is beyond me. Which brings me to my next point.
  • I do not like to criticize D’Antoni. I do not like feeding the notion that the team would be better without D’Antoni this season because they wouldn’t be. However, I find it unacceptable that Toney Douglas was allowed to run around and basically blow any chance the Knicks had to win the game. If you’re D’Antoni, YOU HAVE to sit Douglas late in that 4th quarter. Clearly the game was moving far too fast for him. I would rather have seen Bibby out there late in the game. Bibby would have at least realized that running a high screen with Jeffries every possession was not the way to go. Again I do not commonly rip D’Antoni but he deserves blame for not benching Douglas late in this game.
  • However, I did like the Knicks ball movement in this game up until they went to the Douglas-Jeffries offense. I thought the ball moved nicely, I liked what Melo did. He did a nice job of not forcing shots and moving the ball to where it needed to go. His shots did not fall tonight as he went 5/14 but I liked how he played within the offense. Stoudemire gave a good effort as well. Despite the fact that his jump shot is anything but consistent, STAT made an impact offensively. Showing relentlessness on the boards tonight, he picked up a season high 14 boards. The bottom line is this offense is not going to gel consistently for a while, and I’ll continue to pull my hair out every night, but the two stars in particular seem to have the right idea. The offense will make no progress if the ball sticks every possession and I think STAT and Melo are doing a good job of trying to get others involved.
  • I do not understand why this damn team cannot shoot. The Knicks were 3/20 from beyond the arc tonight. How do you shoot 15% from downtown?? I do not understand this team. They should not be this bad shooting the ball. Look at the Knicks 3 point percentages from last season compared to this year and then tonight’s game.

Carmelo Anthony:

2010 w/NYK 42.4%

2011: 31.5% Tonight: 0/3

Bill Walker:

2010: 38.6%

2011: 33% Tonight: 0/2

Toney Douglas

2010: 37.3%

2011: 23.5% Tonight: 2/8

Landry Fields

2010: 39.3%

2011: 21% Tonight: 0/1

Mike Bibby

2010 with ATL: 44.1% 2010 with MIA: 45.5%

2011: 37.2% Tonight: 0/2

  • This team has guys who have shot well in the past. They should be able to shoot in the present but so far this year they have been atrocious. I think a the impending arrival of Baron Davis will help the spacing and rhythm but at some point this team just has to play better basketball. Get looks. Shoot the ball. Make the shot. Right now the Knicks are struggling to make the shots and it is incredibly frustrating.
  • Conversely, the Knicks allowed Cleveland to shoot lights out from downtown. The mighty (only against the Knicks) Cavs shot 9/20 from down town hitting their 3’s at a 45% clip. When you shoot 3/20 from downtown and allow the opponent to shoot 9/20, often times you will not win. The Knicks, especially on nights when they struggle to score, cannot allow opponents to shoot open 3’s. Chandler is doing a fantastic job of protecting the rim this season and Amar’e actually has played decent defense as of late. The strength of the Knick defense is in the paint and they must force teams to try and score there. Letting a garbage team like Cleveland shoot 45% from downtown is unacceptable.
  • Fields had another solid game. Fields scored in double digits for the 5th straight game tonight scoring 13 points on 5/7 shooting. He had a couple really nice drives to the hoop and a strong and-1 at the basket. Anthony Parker did have his way offensively against Fields late in the 2nd quarter but apart from that stretch, I thought Fields played a solid game.
  • Jeffries hit another corner 3…
  • The Knicks turned the ball over 22 times tonight. Cleveland turned the ball over 18 times. The Knicks allowed 14 offensive rebounds tonight. A big reason the Knicks are struggling is because they do not do the little things well. When playing a lowly team like Cleveland, allowing 14 offensive rebounds and losing the turnover battle by 4 is unacceptable. This team has more problems than Melo and STAT and cannot win by playing this way. To compensate for their poor shooting, the Knicks must pay special attention to offensive rebounding and ball security. The Knicks rank 27th in the NBA in turnovers per game at 16.7. Conversely, 9 of the top 10 teams that turn the ball over the least have winning records. In order to pick up some wins during this slump, the Knicks must excel in turnovers/offensive rebounding, not lose both categories to bad teams.
  • That Deron Williams guy looked pretty good for New Jersey tonight. Melo has been struggling… Just saying.



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