After their 100-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks yesterday afternoon, the New York Knicks dropped to 7-8 since the trade for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups.
That was not exactly the record that the Knicks and their fans had hoped for. While many felt that was it would take time for the team to gel, their problems look to be getting worse and not better. They have lost five of their last six games. Four of those losses are to teams that are more than 10 games under .500
Carmelo Anthony expressed concern for the first time after yesterday’s loss that the team could take time to get together.
“For everyone to get 100% on the same page, it might take next season,” Anthony said. “But right now, in this short period of time, we’ve just got to come together as a unit. As far as everybody jelling and the chemistry and clicking to where we want to be at, it’s going to take some time.”
Their latest performance against the Bucks was another alarming loss and it was not their defense that did them in. New York played an embarassing first quarter that saw them get outscored 32-9. The Knicks didn’t score their first basket until an Anthony jumper three minutes in and shot 4-for-25 in the quarter.
New York would come right back in the next quarter as they outscored the Bucks, 32-15 to cut it to a 47-41 Bucks lead at the half. They got it down to one in the third quarterbut could never take the lead.
“We dug ourselves too deep of a hole,” said Stoudemire. We couldn’t get out of that 20-point deficit we started out with. Offensively, we couldn’t get anything going.”
Despite all the problems, the Knicks appear to be on its way to reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The team is seventh in the conference, one-half game behind sixth-place Philadelphia and seven ahead of Milwaukee in ninth.
New York hopes that Madison Square Garden can give them a lift tonight when they play the Boston Celtics in their first game of a tough three game homestand.
The Celtics are 2-0 against the Knicks season as they come in tonight tied for the best record in the Eastern Conference with a 49-19 record. They have already clinched their it’s 20th division title in franchise history.
In the teams’ first meeting on December 15 at the Garden, the Knicks lost a thrilling but heartbreaking 118-116 game to Boston. The Knicks led throughout the game but Paul Pierce hit a jumper with 0.4 seconds left while Amar’e Stoudemire’s 3-pointer came just after the final buzzer as the Celtics won.
Boston has struggled a little bit lately as they have lost four of their last seven. Boston has played excellent on the defensive end as they have only allowed 81.8 points per game but have not scored much. They have scored under 90 points in six of their last eight games. If their was a time for the Knicks to get their scoring touch back on for one night, then this would be the time.