The New York Knicks are going to look the same way as they did last year: Carmelo Anthony taking most of the shots, while Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton try to help. Andrea Bargnani isn’t worth the money he’s being paid, while Amare Stoudemire isn’t even healthy enough to play. Maybe when J.R. Smith returns things will look a bit better.
Not that the Knicks didn’t win, picking up a 90-83 victory at home against the Milwaukee Bucks. It just looked bad in the process. Both teams combined to turn the ball over 45 times. Even the play that pretty much won the game for the Knicks – Pablo Prigioni giving himself up for the loose ball, Tyson Chandler winding up with it and giving it to Carmelo Anthony for the layup, giving his team a three point lead late in the game, looked bad and forced.
Fluidity? Beautiful basketball? This isn’t the team for it. As long as Tyson Chandler doesn’t get tired, the Knicks will be mostly good and efficient on defense. The center finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks, but it’s going to take him some time to erase the bad impression he left in the series against the Pacers six months ago.
Raymond Felton doesn’t look much lighter than in the past, but that didn’t stop him from having his way with anyone guarding him, scoring 18 points against a team that doesn’t look quite sure about who should be starting – Larry Sanders was in the lineup but played only 12 minutes. Brandon Knight was injured after only two minutes, causing big problems for the Bucks, already missing Luke Ridnour.
How about Iman Shumpert? The only chance the Knicks become more than the 6 to 4 seed in the Eastern conference is if the athletic guard turns into a borderline superstar, who is more than just a high flyer and dependable man on man defender. The Knicks are withotu J.R. Smith for the time being, and they need more reliable scoring next to Anthony. The question remaining is if Shumpert’s 16 points are a sign of a newly found consistency or just a positive way to start the season, without it lasting very long.
Off the bench, Andrea Bargnani and other veteran names didn’t do much. Bargnani was every bit of frustrating like in his Toronto days, scoring only 6 points while taking bad shots and looking soft all around. The others: Metta World Peace, Kenyon Martin and Beno Udrih played their part, but the Knicks will need a lot more if this season is to going to be an upgrade and improvement to the previous one.
It was a test for us tonight to see what type of team we are when it comes down to situations like that. There’s definitely things we can learn, and like I told the guys coming into the locker room, we want to put teams away, especially, you know, you’re going into a back-to-back, so you have an opportunity to rest. But like I say, at the end of the day, learning experience, and I’d rather learn with a win than a loss.