7 Things I Learned About the Knicks Tonight:

1) Free Throw Shooting cost them the game and will probably haunt them again. 56% just won’t cut it.

2) Amar’e Stoudemire can not carry this team if the defense collapses on him. He has to recognize the defense and not force the issue. Several times down the stretch the Blazers overloaded the side that Stoudemire was on and he either turned the ball over or forced a bad shot.

3) At this point Danilo Gallinari should not be a starter. Slump or not he can not disappear for 3 games. I’d rather have Wilson Chandler or Bill Walker in there. I was mistaken to think that Gallinari could one day be comparable to Dirk Nowitzki. That’s never going to happen.

4) Raymond Felton is way better than Chris Duhon. I already knew that but maybe if I reiterate that point folks will fall in line. He needs to take charge a little bit more but that will be difficult with Stat being the Alpha Dog.

5) While the defense has been much better, there are moments when the Knicks either don’t communicate or aren’t aware of open players on the wings. The Blazers were given easy buckets in transition and back door cuts.

6) Inserting Landry Fields in the starting lineup was a great move by Coach D. The kid can play. He gives the Knicks a lot of flexibility with defensive match ups and he flat out hustles. He is pushing the vets because as a rookie he still feels he has to prove himself worthy. He’s yet to be tainted by the stain of complacency. (Gallo)

7) The crowd at MSG was somewhat subdued. They remain skeptical even though change is in the air. It will take awhile for the black cloud that hangs over the franchise to evaporate.

Overall this was a great team effort. The mistakes are correctable. It’s not all doom and gloom but you can bet that the Knicks will remember this game in May and consider it one that got away.