Another loss for the New York Knicks doesn’t surprise anyone. Carmelo Anthony plays well, but he and his teammates are on a different level, giving up too much of a head start to the Milwaukee Bucks in a 117-113 loss that wasn’t really that close.
Anthony led the Knicks with 26 points, followed by Tim Hardaway Jr. with 24 and Iman Shumpert with 21 points. However, with no defense, even 30 assists and shooting so well from the field wasn’t going to be enough against a very fun team to watch. Unlike the Knicks, it seems like there’s a lot more to expect from them, maybe even this season.
The sad thing about the New York Knicks is that they’re not tanking. They’re just a very bad team that overpaid it’s best player and by that limited it’s ability to get better. Not just this season, put probably in the very near future as well. They’ve now fallen to 3-9, as things look quite dysfunctional whenever Anthony isn’t on the floor. You don’t need the triangle offense to know that or to keep things exactly as they were: With Anthony being the beginning and ending for everything.
On the other side, there’s a surprising Bucks team at 6-5. They have only one player averaging more than 15 points per game – Brandon Knight, scoring 14 points with 9 assists, part of a seven-players-in-double figures effort, led by Ersan Ilyasova scoring 20 points, part of the never ending line of power forwards this team has. The Bucks, especially compared to the Knicks, look deep when it comes to offensive talent, sharing the load quite nicely between the guys, including Jabari Parker with 12 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo scoring 13 points and O.J. Mayo coming off the bench to add 11.
There’s a sense of something refreshing, new and emerging. Not all of these players are who the Bucks want to see down the road when they try to envision the playoff team that might be just one year away from competing considering the lower difficult level of the Eastern conference. But it doesn’t feel like a job that has no end in sight, unlike the Knicks, who seem to be filled with players that the management would love to get rid of.
The Knicks didn’t even shoot that bad or turn the ball over too much. They simply played lethargic, lazy and foolish basketball for almost three entire quarters, waking up a bit too late. They did hit 55% of their shots, but their defense was non existent, allowing a lot of easy points for the Bucks, including 48 points in the paint. The more they play with Samuel Dalembert on the court, the more you realize how much the trade with the Mavericks was a bad one, at least looking at it short term.
Things can be turned around, and the Knicks have some individual talent that can help them win games, but only if they find a way to stop leaking points on defense. More importantly? Create some sense of team and offensive system. Maybe it is just a matter of time before it finally sinks in and this becomes more than just the Carmelo Anthony show. But maybe, it’s just another repeat case of last year, which means it’s going to be a very depressing and long season.