It’s bad enough that the New York Knicks look simply awful at the beginning of this season. They’ve now lost at home to the Charlotte Bobcats 102-97, and Tyson Chandler, who left the game with a probable knee sprain, keeping him out for quite some time, which is simply more bad news for Carmelo Anthony.
Instead of having a championship team being built around him, Anthony and the Knicks are now 1-3, losing three consecutive games, including two straight at home. The only thing keeping some sort of defense together was Tyson Chandler. Maybe they can now go with a more attacking lineup that includes Andrea Bargnani at center, but it means bad rebounding and a non-existent defense.
Anthony looks around him and doesn’t see anyone who can help him. Amare Stoudemire, who has become the biggest waste of money in the NBA, finished the game with 2 points and 5 turnovers. The most interesting thing he did was his incoherent barking at himself, and it’s slightly depressing to see such a great level have this kind of fall to something less than a role player in less than two years, with his knees not allowing him to do more than that.
Kemba Walker had no problem slicing through the Knicks defense after Chandler went down. Walker himself got banged up, as did other players in a game filled with reckless falls and behavior, but he did enough to lead the Bobcats to the win, scoring 25 points and adding six assists.
The Knicks did manage to get close in the fourth quarter, as Carmelo Anthony baskets twice cut the lead back to two, but they never seized the moment when they had a chance to take the lead, trailing the Bobcats the entire game except for their 2-0 nothing lead.
Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points, but it was on a typical display of simply doing whatever he wanted, shooting 10-of-28 from the field. Without Chandler, the Knicks lost the rebounding battle by 18, allowing 16 offensive boards to Charlotte, who are still playing without Al Jefferson but are making up for that with athletes like Kidd-Gilchrist, finishing with 16 points and 8 rebounds.
So can the Knicks shake this injury off? Kenyon Martin might see himself more and more in the lineup, or Metta World Peace stepping in, moving Anthony to the power forward position. No matter who you try to make the switches, the Knicks took a huge blow that will be very hard to recover from, considering how limited this roster was before Chandler went down when it comes to rebounding and defense. Suddenly, thinking about their “achievement” from last year sounds almost like an impossible wish when considering their terrible start to this season.
Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert offer some relief with 14 points each, but it’s not what the Knicks are going to need. Their offense is tough to watch, with the ball moving so slowly and hardly any designed plays taking off. Without Chandler as the something that gives them an extra something against most teams in the NBA, it’s hard to see them recovering from this horrible start unless Carmelo Anthony hasn’t shown us everything he has in his arsenal.