New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards
Game 50: January 31 st , 2017
Wizards 117, Knicks 101
Written by Eric Weinstein – @ericcweinsteinn
If the Knicks play like they don’t care, why should we care?
That headline may be a little harsh considering the Knicks were without Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose tonight, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the team should be excused for a complete lack of effort on the defensive end. Brandon Jennings and Willy Hernangomez were inserted into the starting lineup to replace the two missing Knicks, and both of those guys played well on the offensive side of the ball. Jennings finished with 21 points and Hernangomez had 15 points and 14 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony continued his hot streak of scoring and led the Knicks with 26 points on 10-17 shooting,\ and also pulled down five rebounds. Offense isn’t the problem on this team, but I think we all know that by now.
I couldn’t count how many times Jennings let John Wall get into the paint in this game. In his defense, Wall is one of the best point guards in the NBA, but at least try and make it a little bit difficult for him to get to the basket. The big man duo of Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn can only bail out their teammates so much when they just continue to let the opposing guards get right into the lane, which leads to a lay-up or a wide open three.
Kelly Oubre, Markeiff Morris, and Otto Porter are all guys on the former Washington Bullets who can consistently make three pointers, and they all need to have a defender on them. If their man has to sag off of them because Rose and Jennings can’t keep their man out of the paint, then guys like the one’s I just listed are going to have a field day behind the arc.
15 minutes. 0 points. 4 rebounds. 1 assist. Phil Jackson gave this man 72 million dollars for numbers like this. Would you give that money to someone who puts up these numbers? If you answered yes, I don’t think basketball is for you. Joakim Noah continues to be just awful for the Knicks, and I don’t see it getting any better. Hernangomez needs to stay in the starting lineup when Kristaps Porzingis returns, because it is enough wth this dude. Horrible.
I stopped watching early in the fourth quarter. I just can’t stomach watching this team continue to be disinterested on the defensive end. If this team thinks they can get out of this slump, the defense has to improve. It’s that simple. Guys like Hernangomez, O’Quinn, Justin Holiday (who had a tough game), and Courtney Lee all play so hard when they come into the game, and I don’t understand why it isn’t contagious. To be fair to the rest of the Knicks, those guys aren’t perfect, but the effort is there every night. If someone one year ago today told me I would be praising the effort of Kyle O’Quinn, I would have laughed at them, but he has been one of the few bright spots of the Knicks this season. Maybe the Knicks dangle him for draft picks at the trade deadline? Who knows, but for now, I want to see him or WHG in the starting lineup every game.
The Knicks come right back and play a struggling Brooklyn Nets team at the Barclays Center Wednesday night, and that one has to end with a Knicks victory. You absolutely cannot lose to the Nets, who were a robust 1-15 in the month of January. I’m borderline done with the Knicks this season, and if they lose to Brooklyn, I’ll be fully done. 21-29.