The Furnace went to the Knicks/Nets game on President’s Day and lists the FOUR reasons why we feel the Knicks lost…
1. Carmelo Anthony- Melo was totally ineffective on both sides of the ball. He shot 36% from the floor, scored a total of 11 points, and turned the ball over six times. He never shook off the rust that had accumulated after being sidelined for the last seven games. His shots and passing were awkward and tentative as he clearly was not ready to return to ‘primetime’.
2. Deron Williams- He had circled this day and this game on his mental calendar. Williams wanted to atone for the humiliation heaped on him in their last meeting when Jeremy Lin dropped 28 on him in a Knicks win. He, as they say, was on a ‘quest’! He made 10 baskets on the night; 8 of which came from 3-point land, a career high. Had he not fouled out in the 4th quarter he might have scored more than the 38 that he already had. And he made sure he rubbed the Knicks’ noses in it as he bumped a team mate after a time out had been called right after making one of his 8 threes- just to mimic the bumping that Lin and Landry Fields often do.
3. Iman Shumpert/Bill Walker-Having these two players sidelined with injuries, hurt them significantly on defense. At 6′ 5″, Shumpert (knee) although an offensive liability at times, can be a pest to opposing players when he’s on ‘D’. Same goes for Billy Walker (elbow), and both can, on occasion, shoot the three which would have been helpful to the Knicks on Monday as the Nets dropped 15 threes on them. With Steve Novak and J.R. Smith going 2-13 from beyond the arc last night, Walker and Shumpert could have made a huge difference.
4. Mike D’Antoni- There were two things that D’Antoni didn”t do in the Knicks loss to the Nets that we find fault with. The most glaring one was not finding an answer to Deron Williams. Why not double him up and force him to pass or at best have the press make him more susceptible to turning the ball over. He could have even tried switching Lin and putting Landry Fields, a much more adept defender than Lin, on Williams. It’s inexcusable for any player to drop 18 points in a quarter on any team let alone on the Knicks who have played pretty good defense most of the season, but that’s what Williams did. Understood that you can’t stop Deron, but at least slow him down. Limit him to 9-10 points in the 3rd quarter and the Knicks might have won the game. (they only lost by 8).
We also didn’t care for the way D’Antoni utilized Carmelo. Here’s a guy that was out with a nasty groin injury and missed seven games. He shoots 36% on the night and turns the ball over six times, as we had mentioned, and yet D’Antoni has him play more minutes than any other player on the team!?! It wasn’t like he was getting any better as the game wore on…
The Knicks go on to play the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. The Hawks who are already without Al Horford (pectoral surgery) and is not expected back until mid April, will also be without the services of Joe Johnson (knee). Marvin Johnson (personal) who missed yesterday’s game is due back for Wednesday’s contest vs the Knicks. He’ll get plenty of extra time in this one for those of you in fantasy leagues in need of rebounds, threes and points and a fill-in on the last day of games before All Star weekend.