Well, Knicks fans, it was only four days ago when your team was in the midst of a season long five-game winning streak and people had the nerve to say the New York Knicks had actually turned the corner. Though they were still nine games under .500, there were actually credible sportscasters who were seriously prognosticating on whether or not this signified a turnaround for the Knicks. All sorts of reasons were given for the win streak, which featured wins over such teams as the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns. But the primary reason was because they appeared to finally buy in on a simple concept-defense wins games.
All of the aforementioned teams would be in the playoffs if the season came to an end today, all except the Knicks. The quality of these wins fed a deliciously sweet mixture of hope and faith to a Knicks franchise that has been floundering for most of the season. However, that concoction may as well be mixed with arsenic as the Knicks were trounced by Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats, who had lost eight of nine games prior to defeating the Knicks on Tuesday.
That game was the second of a back-to-back so I kept my musings to myself. The Knicks looked fatigued and it was a fair excuse. So, I kept quiet. Contrary to what some might believe, I actually want to see New York win. But then last night the Knicks got ran up on like Deebo, and the New York Knicks tucked their chains and cowered until the 117-89 beating was over. Carmelo came out scorching hot early on. He had 18 points in the 1st quarter. But Melo getting off early is a double-edged sword. Yes, he had 20 points in the first half, but shot very poorly in the 2nd quarter and that's when they needed his scoring the most as the Pacers began to surge. But offense wasn’t really what spelled defeat for New York. It was defense.
New York couldn’t stop a nosebleed with an infinite roll of toilet paper. The Pacers are just bigger than the Knicks at every starting position except small forward, where Melo has a strength advantage over Paul George.
Remember when people truly believed Tyson Chandler was one of the best defensive centers in the league? Yeah, well I know the consensus is still largely in favor of that belief, but he looks overmatched against Roy Hibbert of the Indiana Pacers more often than not. Though their stats were similar this time around (13 and 11 points, as well as 9 and 8 rebounds, respectively) Roy sat out a lot of the 4th quarter and Tyson played in the 4th quarter and throughout garbage time. Hibbert got wherever he wanted to go whenever the two played against one another. Lance Stephenson dominated the Knicks shooting guards with 28 points, 4 rebound and 4 assists. He almost broke out and did the Dougie after a reverse scope shot in the 2nd quarter. Paul George would chip in 25 points. Carmelo Anthony would lead the Knicks with 28 points and 7 rebounds. Ok, Knicks fans, back to your regularly scheduled pity party.