Carmelo Anthony is one of the best scorers in the NBA and usually dominates the ball for the New York Knicks. The Knicks need his offense to win games, but they also need contributions from other players. When they put this team together it was under the assumption that Amar’e Stoudemire would continue to be an All-Star player and be the perfect complement to Anthony.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, Stoudemire continues to spend time in street clothes with injuries and has an unmovable contract. Their next best player is Tyson Chandler who is a great rebounder and defender but cannot be relied on for offensive production. That leaves a group that includes Raymond Felton, Andrea Bargnani, J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Iman Shumpert to put up points.
On Monday against the Brooklyn Nets, Anthony did what he usually does which is score and shoot a lot. He had 26 points on 8-for-19 shooting in 39 minutes. The rest of the team combined to go 16-for-52 from the field in a 103-80 home loss. Shumpert was 2-for-8, Felton was 2-for-11 and Smith was 4-for-12. As a team, the Knicks shot 24-for-71 (34 percent) while the Nets went 37-for-75 (49 percent).
Other than the shooting, the biggest difference in this game was how the teams moved the ball. The Knicks are a team that has a lot of players that like to go one on one, and they usually don’t pass the ball well. They managed to get only 13 assists on their 24 makes. The Nets, on the other hand, have been playing their best basketball in January and had 25 assists on their 37 makes.
This is huge homestand for the Knicks, playing six games against all sub .500 teams. Their loss to the Nets showed exactly where they are as a team, and they don’t deserve to be a playoff team in 2014.