Not bad. Not great. For the better part of three plus quarters the Knicks seemed to be up to beating the Orlando Magic despite allowing Ryan Anderson (30 points) and JJ Reddick (21 points) to look like all-stars. They led much of the game until the last 7:42 left.
The Ryan-Reddick show happened because the Knicks made the strategic decision on defense to try to keep Dwight Howard with constant double- and triple-teams. They seemed to double him no matter where he was on the court with the ball and despite bringing in Tyson Chandler to handle assignments like this. They did keep Howard in check as he ended the game with 8 points and 4 turnovers. Unfortunately, the Magic moved the ball around well and consistently found a sharpshooter from the arc, where they shot 48.6% (17-35).
After the Magic went into the zone, giving the jump-shooting Knicks an excuse to settle for jump-shots faster than usual, Carmelo Anthony (33 points on 9-27 shooting} and his mates went cold for the the last 3:28 of the game.
Carmelo kept the Knicks in the game and shot the team out of the game with 9 for 27 shooting. Stoudemire took blame for the loss because he got himself into early foul trouble and was basically invisible until late in the second half. Stoudemire seemed to bring little effort and remains out of sync where he is normally money on mid range jumpers and power moves to the rim.
Tony Douglas (12 points) seemed much more comfortable coming off the bench and playing off-guard, while Shumpert (12 points) has certainly muted his offensive aggression, but continued to make buckets and wreak havoc with his defense.
Reserves Jared Jeffries (6 points and 3 boards in 25 minutes) and Josh Harrellson (8 points and 2 boards in 13 minutes) had solid games. Jeffries received an ovation from the home crowd for his efforts. Harrellson was out best three point shooter (2-3) on the floor.
This was a good effort game for everyone but Stoudemire. However, it seems the strategic decision on defense and the continued lack of ball movement on offense are the Knicks biggest problems. This is attributable to the coaching staff. The entire coaching staff.
What did you see?