Written by William Lee
Make it seven! Seven game losing streak…for the New York Knickerbockers.
With New York looking straight up at Detroit in the Eastern Conference standings, and every game a must win, since maybe two weeks ago. The Knicks again showed their lack of desire and passion for the game of basketball. They showed that they have lost faith in their coach and each other. With as much as a 14 point lead in the first half, it was all but squandered away by halftime. New York held a five point lead after the first half 44-39 mainly due to the great play of the Knicks frontcourt.
Amare Stoudemire was inserted into the starting lineup, and immediately made his presence felt scoring eight points in the first quarter, and finishing with 22 points, in one of his more effective nights going 9/11 from the field. Tyson Chandler also had himself a great first half, almost collecting himself a double-double by intermission with 8 points and 9 rebounds. Chandler continued his rebounding rampage, averaging 14.2 rebounds in the last ten games, collecting 18 rebounds by game’s end.
Carmelo Anthony had his typical good starts to games, connecting on back to back threes to start the game Monday night. Anthony scored 16 points in the first half, with the last couple of baskets coming at the end of the first half in a very fortunate matter. Anthony was complaining about a no call on the layup attempt that ended up getting officially registered as Andre Drummond’s third block, even though Drummond hit Anthony’s head on the swipe down. This was very fortunate as his Anthony’s discontent with the referees, arguing and not coming back on defense actually worked out well for the Knicks. Brandon Jennings forced up an ill-advised shot, and it led to a Chandler outlet pass to Anthony for a slam dunk. Then Jennings tried an ill-advised pass, and again Anthony was lagging behind on the play, and was the beneficiary with an uncontested layup as Chandler stole the pass, and fed Anthony again. This gave New York the five point lead, and some breathing room to work with.
The last couple of plays were a perfect picture of what the first half was, not only for the Pistons, but for the Knicks as well. Both teams combined for 19 turnovers, in a very sloppy game. Both teams shot sub 40%, but not because of good defense, it was because of poor decision making and poor shot selection by both teams.
The Knicks would continue to be as listless as ever, and continued their poor play after half time, while the Pistons snapped out of it, and put together a 30 point quarter. Detroit would go on an 8-1 run to start the third quarter to take a 47-45 lead with 9:57 remaining in the game. Raymond Felton would answer with a three (only field goal made by Felton all game 1/9 FG with 4 turnovers), to give the Knicks the lead. This would be the last time New York would hold the lead as the Pistons took care of the Knicks easily, and kept New York at arm’s length the rest of the game.
Carmelo Anthony tried his best to single handily will his team back, knocking down a 27 foot three-point buzzer beater at the end of the third quarter to get within reach of the Pistons, 69-64.
Just as the Pistons got off to a quick start in the third quarter, Detroit was able to start off the fourth quarter with a hot start as well. Will Bynum got inside the paint for a couple of layups and handed out a couple of assist to personally spark an 8-0 to claim a double digit lead over New York, and essentially put away the game for good. Bynum finished the game with 16 points, in a 96-85 Detroit Pistons victory over the New York Knicks.
The New York Knicks continue to gift-wrap career highs to opponents, Monday night Andre Drummond collected a career high 26 rebounds. Drummond finished the game with the best +/-, +13 for the game on an incredible stat line that would have fantasy owners drooling. 17 points 26 rebounds 2 steals 3 blocks, and the bonus was 5/7 free throws from a career 38.8% free throw shooter. The next opponent waiting to feast on the Knicks are the Timberwolves Wednesday night.