Thunder 107, Knicks 99.

Ugh. What a waste of two and a half hours of my life. These Knicks are maddening and if you follow them you have to expect to be perplexed. It all started with the same sloppy, unfocused play that the team has exhibited during their recent stretch of poor play (by the way, at some point it stops being a recent stretch and turns into “most of the season”). The ball didn’t move for most of the game. Just guys jacking up contested shots.

In a game like this it is apparent how badly the Knicks miss having a go to scorer, especially in the post. Yes, I miss Zach Randolph, though I’m not sorry the Knicks traded him. I know Heri, I’m a man of contradictions. Anyway, lets see what Eddy Curry can do. I have a feeling he really could have helped tonight. He’ll be an inside option so the team doesn’t always have to live and die on threes and contested jumpers. How sad is this pining for Eddy Curry. He makes Oliver Miller look like Calista Flockhart:

Watching the team try to score inside is just sad. They either got rejected (the Thunder had eight) or just fumbled around and forced it. The futility inside was especially harmful considering the awful outside shooting. The last several games it seems like Nate can’t hit the side of a barn. Indeed, over the last five games hes shot 24.5%, which is atrocious. The Knicks aren’t going to win a lot of games with their best outside shooter shooting that poorly.

No excuse to fall behind by 23 to the Thunder who only managed to beat four other teams this entire season. The Knicks have the dishonor of being the fifth. That’s what happens when you let your opponent shoot 52%, even though the Thunder had no business making some of those shots (Jeff Green, I’m looking at you).

The fact that the Knicks mounted a comeback that they couldn’t finish makes the loss that much harder to handle. They ran out of gas with about 8 minutes left and could never recover. Even if the team won though, I wouldn’t have been too happy with it.

None of the players look like they did when the team was playing well. What happened to Duhon? He was up there in assists to turnovers for a while. Now it seems like 4 turnovers is the minimum for this guy. As mentioned, Nate completely lost his touch. Chandler still isn’t demanding the ball and taking it to the paint. This is a guy that made KG look like an amateur, but cant get to the rack against Robert Swift, Chris Wilcox, Jeff Green, or Joe Smith? Lee put up nice numbers but it seemed like he was the main test subject of a Desmond Mason rejection experiment, and when the team needed offensive boards the most while mounting their fourth quarter run, he was nowhere to be found. Lee was -25 for the game and when Tim Thomas (!) was +21 in relief.

On the plus side, it seems like D’Antoni might be realizing that Jeffries is a net liability out there, as he barely played in the second half. How do you have a system premised on spacing the floor using good shooters when you start a guy who couldn’t throw a pebble into the East River? I’d rather put Air Bud at center, he’d look better on offense bouncing balls into the basket off his snout. If you are going to wear Allan Houston’s number your jumper should look like you’ve at least played pee wee ball. My jumper looks nicer than Jeffries’. I play ball against my girlfriend (she’s a great player…the Knicks should start her at center if they can’t find Air Bud) from time to time and she’ll tell you that I can hit 60% or 70% of my foul shots…Jeffries can’t (not that he took any tonight).

But enough ranting about Jeffries. You all know my thoughts on him. The only guy who looked OK out there tonight was Harrington, though that possession with a few minutes left where he lost the ball and slapped it around on the ground for 5 seconds until the shot clock basically expired was infuriating.

Well, on to Dallas, Houston and New Orleans. Which team will show up? The one that lost to the worst team maybe ever, or the one that beat the best? Just keep in mind that Boston also lost to Golden State this year and they’ve been slumping.

Anyway, has anyone seen Ricky Rubio play this year? Blake Griffin sure looks good (and would mitigate a loss of David Lee via trade by the way).

5 comments

  1. JLS125

    This is a travesty that the Knicks management is purposely sabotaging this team this year. I’ve thought about it and understand why this gets under my skin. D&D (D’Antoni and Donnie) said that this team was built to reach the playoffs while trying to get under the cap in 2010. I bought the NBA League Pass for the first time to see a more improved Knick team.

    They were showing signs of improvement and competing for a playoff spot and you could see the team responding to the new offense. Then, they blew up the squad by trading J. Crawford (their #1 scorer and go to guy) and Randolph (their #2 leading scorer and top rebounder) for 2 lesser talents in Thomas and Harrington. Since then, it should be no coincidence that this team’s winning momentum suddenly stalled. I don’t see this situation getting better particularly when I see them losing to teams that they should be beating such as MIN and IND.

    it is ridiculous to me that D&D think that you can be successful and reach the playoffs by running your PG for 40+ minutes a game! That makes no sense to me and reeks of sabotaging a season. And how in the world can you trade your 2 best scorers and not get anything in return other than cap relief in another year?!!! What are you telling the fans who are paying their money to support this team night in and night out?

    I’m tired of seeing this team underachieve because they don’t have the resources. You can’t get mad at the players when they have no backups to get them a breather. We’re not fresh and it shows on the basketball court. Now this team not only doesn’t have a superstar talent or a leader, but they don’t even have enough players to field a decent team. This is a slap in the face to all Knick fans and Knicks Management needs to start taking this a little more seriously.

    Get some more bodies that can play backup PG and SG and get at least 1 DEFENSIVE player. We’re the shortest team in the league!!! What? Is height not a priority to this team?!!!

  2. Italian Stallion

    I think the Mobley retirement hurt Walsh’s plans to remain competitive. We lost the guard that was supposed to be the replacement for Crawford’s scoring. We also lost a body that was deperately needed because of all the injuries. I think if we had a decent starter at the SG position since the trade, the team would be closer to .500 and we’d be in a better position.

  3. EZ

    Trading Crawford and Randolph was neccasary to get under the cap for 2010. The whole “built to compete now” was a PR line built to appease season ticket holders and keep tv ratings up as much as possible. I don’t think management was lying, but what they what they really meant to say is “we will do everything in our power to make the playoffs now but the primary objective is to be under the cap for 2010″.

    Look I know it’s frustrating, and we are all sick of the losing. The hard reality is for the first time in a long time we are rebuilding, its tough to take because we should have done this 8 years ago. Unfortunely managment took a different direction (i dont need to rehash the details)

    I applaude Walsh for his courage and integrity – he has a plan and he is sticking to the plan – that is what real leaders do. We could have kept Jamal and Zach, and we would probably be a playoff team. In my opinion who cares? I really have no interest in being this years version of the 2006-2008 Golden State Warriors – up tempo team capable of some exciting basketball and maybe getting to the second round of the playoffs but no real chance at a title.

    I’m willing to be patient one more year (18 months really) for that chance at being elite. A chance to win a CHAMPIONSHIP, at the very least compete for one year after year.

  4. Dan L

    Thanks EZ. As I tried to explain in this post, http://www.knicksfan.net/?p=123 , the stated goal was always to TRY to remain competitive. BEING competitive THIS SEASON was never an integral part of the plan. It should be looked at as a bonus, if it happens.

    Indeed, trying to remain competitive may, nay, probably does interfere with the long term overarching goal. That is, WINNING A TITLE. Being an 8th seed this year is detrimental to that goal.

  5. JLS125

    First of all, thanks for the shoutout in today’s post I really appreciate it…

    I’m not unhappy about the rebuilding process as I think it should have happened back when Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley were on the team. However, I’m really upset that D&D have equally as deceptive as Isiah was in how they have been treating the fan base. While Isiah was tight lipped and stand off-ish D&D smile in your face while lying. It’s not fair to the fans who truly care about this team. Don’t get our hopes up just to let us down.

    All I’m saying is that people are paying the same ridiculous prices on some sort of Knicks merchandise (from the costly tickets to a T-Shirt) and this is how they are treated? It’s really not fair and it reeks of not caring about the fan base. Stop lying already and just be forthcoming. Be more customer friendly to the fans while you’re rebuilding and stop being deceptive.

    It’s obvious to everyone that NYC is the best place to be if you want to become a star no matter what business you’re in. So getting back to winning is only around the corner. For this reason alone I’ve always believed that Knicks fans are loyal even during a rebuilding season and we’ve proven it for 8 agonizing years.

    We should be treated better is all I’m saying.

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