City Sports Report

What Has Happened to the Knicks by Derrel “Jazz” Johnson

The 2010-2011 season for the New York Knicks started with lots of promise, with the signing of all-star Amar’e Stoudemire. Young players like Wilson Chandler, Toney Douglas, Raymond Felton, Landry Fields, Danilo Gallinari, Tomofey Mozgov, and Anthony Randolph gave Knick fans hope for this year and beyond, but now many of those fans are saying it’s the same old Knicks.

The Knicks began the season with a win in Toronto, followed that with two close losses, 105-101 to the Boston Celtics, and 100-95 to the Portland Trailblazers. I think Knick fans could live with those losses. They followed those losses with back-to-back impressive wins against the Chicago Bulls, 120-112, and the Washington Wizards, 112-91. They have not won a game since.

They lost their next game in Philadelphia by 10, then were down 22 points after the first quarter in a game on Tuesday, November 9, 2010, to the Milwaukee Bucks, a game they would eventually lose 107-80. They then lost a close game at Madison Square Garden to the Golden State Warriors, 122-117, and gave up the first 30-30 performance to Kevin Love since 1982, when Moses Malone did it for the Houston Rockets. Yes, the Knicks made us compare Kevin Love to Moses Malone. Love is a terrific player, but he has a ways to go to get to Malone. Then Knicks then lost to Houston by 8, and Denver by 2, and sit at 3-8. What are the problems?

Rebounding and Continuity. Amar’e Stoudemire leads the team with 7.9 rebounds per game. On a team with a fast pace like the Knicks, that is simply not enough. The Knicks used a smaller lineup for a couple of games, a mistake, in my opinion, which enabled teams to take even more advantage of the Knicks lack of rebounding. Continuity can mosy quickly be attained while using the same starting luneup.

Overall, I think the Knicks, except for the Milwaukee game, have played competitively, and, hopefully, when they have their continuity intact, they will be able to win the close games they are losing now. Knick fans have to be patient, but no, this isn’t the same old Knicks.

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