Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Knicks lose to Sixers 106-94

Key stat: Sixers were 51% from the field and 56% from behind the three-point line

Stoudamire and Anthony sit the bench during the forth
The Knicks' losing streak extends to 5 games following another tough loss to the 76ers at home. New York played bad defense for most of the game despite the return of Tyson Chandler. The Sixers had an easy time getting to the basket and played with a mostly athletic, small lineup of guards and forwards. New York looked out matched, but kept it close in the first half. But the third quarter fell apart for the Knicks as they were outscored 38-24 by Philadelphia. The Knicks did start to get it together late in the game and locked down the defense in the final quarter allowing only 17 points. But it was too little and too late.

The 76ers were led in the win by Evan Turner who scored 24 and hauled down 15 rebounds. Lou Williams also put in 28 points off the bench. Philadelphia was able to play efficient overall, shooting well from the field and three-point range. The Knicks defense was disjunctive and showed poor chemistry which allowed the Sixers to score 51% from the field. Impressive considering the Sixers received little help from their big men (Brand, and Vucevic) who combined for only 13 points and Vucevic was left scoreless on two shot attempts.

The Knicks offensive on the other hand was slow and ineffective. Carmelo led the team with an efficient 22 points on 13 shots and was able to get to the line 12 times. Jeremy Lin didn't look as good, scoring only 14 points on 18 shots with 7 assists and 6 turnovers. In general, the team looked lackluster in this day game, and had trouble finding good shots. The Knicks also committed 18 turnovers and shot poorly from the field (41% for the game).

The only time the Knicks showed any fluidity was during the attempted comeback in the 4th when both Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire (8pts in 28 minutes) were on the bench. But some shots still weren't falling during this stretch either.

Coach Mike D'Antoni kept Anthony and Stoudamire on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. This allowed for the Knicks bench to take over and make a small run. But D'Antoni said after the game that he wasn't trying to send a message to the Knick starters. “These guys [the bench] are fighting, they had us back. I didn't feel it was fair to them,” said D'Antoni. “If guys are going to fight that hard to bring you back you got to give them the chance to finish it up.” But the bench's efforts weren't enough to save the Knicks from a 12 point defeat.

Following the lost, and during the game, the team seemed dejected. Anthony expressed that the Knicks' need to find their chemistry. Anthony said that the game isn't “fun right now.” The team has lost the zeal of Linsanity and energy is down all around. During the blowout lost, the Knicks were booed at different times during the game. Anthony was booed at one point after taking a three point shot on a fast break. After the game, Anthony pushed to keep the attitude positive around the team. “I just see guy's heads dropping.” said Anthony “The situation seems so tense out there right now. So for me I got to remain positive and keep my guys positive.”

Lin also emphasized a positive attitude following the game tweeting: Stay with us knicks nation! Ill be better and we will improve as a team. Time to turn things around.”

The Knicks' tough schedule gets even harder as they go on the road to take on the Chicago Bulls tomorrow night. The Bulls currently are the top team in the conference and also have the best record in the NBA. The Bulls are 16-3 at home which is currently the 4th best home record in the NBA behind Miami, Oklahoma City and Los Angeles.

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