We’ll hear it and say it over and over: “It all boils down to their ability to make stops in the end.” The Knicks do not make stops in the end. Therefore, they lose. Last night, the Magic, which can be as prolific from the three as the Knicks, won because they made stops when it mattered most. (Last night the Denver Knicks, now 11-4 since picking up Felton, Chandler and Gallo, finally beat the Spurs because Kenyon Martin made stops). Make fans happy. Make Stops. Win games.
- Mike D’Antoni is not wrongfully the scapegoat, but the scapegoat for the wrong reasons. It is not his fault this team is this bad. A coach is entitled to time to put in his system and cannot be expected to do so effectively in the third quarter of a season without training camp and with two new major pieces including a point guard. However, projecting D’Antoni’s work over the past 2 1/2 seasons to next season, we already know he has a great disdain for emphasizing defense which he will need to do with stars dedicated to the offensive end. Conclusion: D’Antoni needs to find another job or rest for a year until his contract expires, but this is not his fault.
- As a bunch of Fanatics projected early in the season, Stoudemire is wearing down before the season is over. Stoudemire said, “A lot of games in a few nights catches up with you at times. I think we all have fatigue factor setting in. It’s a crazy month for us. We’re feeling the amount of games in this month. I started getting a little tired in the first quarter actually. I tried to push through it. I don’t think I played a month this hectic in my career.”
- Tired Amar’e was 6-20 from the field for 13 points in 40 minutes. But he did try to play some defense as he blocked two shots. Did I just say this was not D’Antoni’s fault? After the game, D’Antoni said he thought Amar’e was tired and had no lift, yet he plays him for 40 minutes and he plays Turiaf, who has the lowest plus/minus on the team and two fouls unused, for only 19 minutes. Does that make sense to you?
- Anthony is going to be a superb player one day, the day after he dedicates using that body for defense and learns he doesn’t have to do it all in one possession ending in an off-balanced, totally defended shot when teammates are open.
- Toney Douglas had 17 points, 5 boards, but only 1 assist in 29 minutes. Gotta love his tenacity and his chemistry with Billups, but he is really a pure two guard who needs the ball in his hands so he can create his own opportunities.
- Jared Jeffries has clearly been moved into D’Antoni’s doghouse after Carmelo complained about not getting the inbounds pass to hoist an open tre with .03 seconds remaining in a game last week. Too bad because his defense is the Knicks defense, but he does look very comedic underneath the basket with the ball in his hands.
- The Knicks have 11 games remaining and are 6 1/2 games from totally vanishing from the playoff picture. However, we can be relieved that the Bobcats are free falling (Stephen Jackson is now hurt) and the Pacers are not ready for prime time, unless they are playing the Knicks.