The New York Knicks were destroying the Charlotte Bobcats last night. They were up 38-20 after the first quarter, and even extended the lead to 30 points at one point. However, the final score showed that New York only won 111-102.
Two games ago, the Knicks took on the Memphis Grizzlies. Carmelo Anthony’s squad led 69-41 at halftime, but was outscored 60-39 in the second half by the resilient Memphis team. Although they wound up winning 108-101, the Knicks nearly blew a game that should’ve been over after the second quarter.
Is this becoming a problem?
It seems as though the Knicks are showing an inability to close out games. The team falls asleep once it gets a big lead, and takes its foot off of the gas. In the NBA, huge blowouts are rare- most teams will make a run eventually to narrow the gap, and the Knicks are the oldest team in the NBA, and complacency is becoming a serious problem.
No one other than J.R. Smith, who has scored 30+ points in three straight games off the bench, and Anthony seem to have the killer instinct needed to simply put teams away. The Knicks have no problem getting up big against a lot of their opponents, but can also get down by a large margin very easily.
As the team heads towards the play-offs, this is a problem that Mike Woodson needs to address. Against the top teams in the Eastern Conference that the Knicks will be going up against in the post-season, playing with complacency (regardless of the score) will most likely result in a first round exit for New York.
It would be wise to fix the problem now, rather than deal with it while on the verge of elimination from the play-offs.