Nov 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) drives past Atlanta Hawks power forward Paul Millsap (4) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta Hawks won 110-90. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Knicks are 3-6. Not exactly a record they imagined themselves with after all the offseason hype that surrounded them. After a second round exit from the playoffs last season, the Knicks made some moves (the acquisition of Metta World Peace and Andrea Bargnani) that they thought would help them get further into the postseason this year, but the mention of playoffs and Knicks in the same sentence is funny. The Knicks have been playing like a lottery team again and they’ll be lucky to finish the season with a .500 record.
For the first time since Carmelo Anthony joined the team, they have lost five in a row at home, including losses to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats and the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s still way too early in the season to write off the Knicks, but their efforts aren’t exactly inspiring hope.
Oct 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Charlotte Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker (15) has his shot blocked by New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) in front of center Tyson Chandler (6) and shooting guard Iman Shumpert (21) during the third quarter of a preseason game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Knicks’ rock on defense, Tyson Chandler, is out for four to six weeks after fracturing his right fibula, but that can’t be the Knicks’ reason for their downfall. They need to figure it out. Their defensive woes are the main culprit for their slow start. The Knicks’ defense is allowing 110.4 points allowed per 100 possessions to opposing team, ranking last in the league.
You can’t win games if you can’t get rebounds. The Knicks have been horrible in this category, and again, it is due to Chandler’s injury, but they can’t let it be the end of their season because of his injury. At home, the Knicks are at -3.7 rebounds, good for 27th in the league.
Nov 14, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) and fans react after he was fouled late during the fourth quarter of a game against the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
With superstar Carmelo Anthony and sixth man of the year J.R. Smith on the roster it’s hard to believe that the Knicks are struggling on offense, but that is exactly the case — there has been a significant drop in scoring efficiency. Last season, the Knicks blew opponents out of the water (hiding their defensive deficiencies) while setting an NBA record for 3-pointers made. This year it’s a different story; their 3-pointers made and attempted are down, indicating that they have had trouble finding the open man and scoring.
The Knicks’ rhythm and confidence have been knocked out of them, which in turn has knocked the life out of the Garden, but they can’t let that be the end of their season — they’re a few healthy players away from getting back into the mix of things.