It was a light week for the New York Knicks, in terms of their games played, but a heavy one in terms of the pressure the 70-year old organization received from the media and fans around New York.
The Knicks only played three games this week instead of four and had three days until their next game, but the critics of the Knicks took no days off this week. The usual Knicks fans booed their team as they lost to the Pelicans at the Garden and to the Sixers in Philadelphia, but they also have been publicly criticizing Carmelo Anthony on multiple social media platforms begging the team to trade him. The week the plot thickened by Phil Jackson’s good friend, Charlie Rosen, jumping into the conversation suggesting that Melo would consider waiving his no-trade clause in his current 5-year $124 million contract, only if he was dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers or Cleveland Cavaliers.
Up until now Melo has said time and time again that he isn’t waiving his no trade clause under any circumstances. Suddenly it appears that he may have a change of heart.
For the second straight week, the Knicks have only won one matchup, but lets discuss how the first contest went.
The first matchup was against the New Orleans Pelicans.
This was one of the many bad games for the Knicks this season because they got off to a slow start and never were able to regain their footing. They lost just about every battle from field goal percentage to assists to points in the paint, you name it. The only battle the Knicks won was the rebounds battle, and that was by one rebound.
Overall, the Knicks couldn’t get much of anything to work out in their favor. The Pelicans’ largest lead was 29, while the Knicks’ was seven.
Despite having such a bad game, the topic of conversation was about the Knicks’ point guard, Derrick Rose. He was with the team for their morning shootaround but right before the game he was nowhere to be found. This, as you might imagine, was very alarming for his teammates, coaches and fans. However he was okay, he just went back to Chicago to deal with a private family matter. Should he have let the team know before he left? Sure, but does this really surprise you given the way this season has went for the Knicks?
Brandon Jennings, who started in place of Rose, adjusted to his teammates' absence well by scoring 20 points.
The final score was 96-110.
The second matchup was against the Sixers in Philadelphia.
This was a very good game for the Knicks, but it ended up being a wasted effort due to a buzzer beater by T.J. McConnell.
New York shot nearly 50% from the field while Philadelphia only shot 38%. Neither team could hit 3s, as the Knicks shot 18% and the Sixers shot 25%.
One of the main shortcomings of the Knicks is that they were (-15) in rebounds and (-10) in offensive rebounds. They also committed 20 fouls resulting in 17 Sixers’ points.
One of the main shortcomings of the Sixers is that they turned the ball over 14 times, but the Knicks couldn’t even capitalize on that, as they totaled only five fast break points.
Offensively, the Knicks couldn’t get much going as only three players on the whole team scored in double digits, and one was Kyle O’Quinn off the bench with 10 points.
The Sixers, on the other hand, had five players score in double digits, and two were off the bench. Joel Embiid led the way with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
In the last few seconds McConnell’s buzzer beater over Melo forced Melo to throw his hands up in disbelief about the way the game ended. Just like that, the Knicks’ season in a nutshell was summed up all in a matter of seconds.
The final score was 97-98.
The last matchup was against the Chicago Bulls.
This was a complete game for the Knicks who collectively put in a good effort for a full 48 minutes for a change.
New York shot 47% from the field, while Chicago shot 39%, and neither team shot well from behind the arc. The Knicks shot 30% and the Bulls shot 16%.
The rest of the game seemed pretty even matched as both teams totaled 54 rebounds, both scored about the same number of points in the paint and the Knicks were only up three at halftime.
However it was a low-scoring third quarter for Bulls that cost them the game. In the third quarter the Bulls scored 14 points to the Knicks’ 22, and the Knicks capitalized for the rest of the game.
Throughout the game the Bulls’ biggest lead was 3, while the Knicks’ biggest lead was 15.
Offensively, the Bulls’ leading scorer was Dwyane Wade with 22, and the second-leading scorer was Taj Gibson with 12.
The Knicks’ leading scorer was Melo with 23 points. He also dished out six assists and grabbed nine rebounds.
The final score was 104-89.
“They battled the whole time,” said head coach Jeff Hornacek. “The fight that we had to put up tonight was good to see.”