New York Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks
Game 40: January 16, 2017
Hawks 108, Knicks 107
Can your heart break if it is already broken?
The annual MLK Day Matinee at Madison Square Garden saw the New York Knicks take on the Atlanta Hawks. The Knicks, who showed little effort against Toronto in the previous game, came out fighting against the Hawks. The biggest story from this one was the insertion of Ron Baker and Mindaugus Kuzminskas into the starting lineup, and both of those two delivered. Baker scored 12 points, all three pointers, and Kuz had 14 points. Carmelo Anthony delivered 30 points on an efficient 10/16 shooting, but missed a key put-back at the end of the game. Dennis Schroder scored 28 points for the Hawks, and former Knick Tim Hardaway Jr scored 20 points.
A real positive from this game was that the Knicks actually showed up to play this afternoon, but morale victories aren’t going to make this sting any less. Carmelo, one game after his comments about the rumors of him waiving his no-trade clause, showed up with a #VintageMeloGame and was scoring from all over the court. Three pointers, drives, pull ups, were all working for him today. Offense continues to not be the issue for the New York Knicks.
It’s the porous defense, most notably from the guards, that is killing the Knicks.
On multiple possessions, Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings were letting Dennis Schroder get right into the paint and score at will. Schroder is a solid guard who can score, but he should have to work to get his points. It shouldn’t look like a layup line for him. On the other hand, the Knicks forwards were frustrating Paul Millsap for the entire game, as he scored 17 points on 18 shots. He had 6 assists, but he was constantly taking tough shots, as well as missing a few easy ones.
As for the final play of the game, it doesn’t matter whether Derrick Rose was fouled or not, that isn’t why they lost the game. The Knicks missed 8 free throws throughout the game, and shot 8-26 behind the three point line, which is good for 30%. Also, 18 turnovers for 18 points given up by the Knick offense today, which is too high of a number.
I don’t even want to mention this, but it needs to be said. Kris Humphries had 14 points and 3 three pointers tonight. Yeah, the dude who Kim Kardashian married for like 18 minutes was killing the Knicks in the third quarter. If that isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is. Perimeter defense needs to be the subject of every single practice from now until the end of the season, otherwise this thing will never get turned around.
The Knicks take on the Celtics Wednesday night at the Garden on the first game of a back to back, and the third game in four nights. Remember what I said about defense on the perimeter? Well, it’s really going to be a focus when Isaiah Thomas walks onto the Garden floor, because we all know that dude can fill it up.
Keep your heads up everyone, it’s almost time for pitchers and catchers to report. 17-23.