Despite how bad the New York Knicks looked against the Detroit Pistons in the second half, the lack of heart or determination from anyone on the defense and the combined 6-for-26 shooting night from the backcourt of JR Smith and Raymond Felton, they still aren’t out of the playoffs in a terrible Eastern Conference at 21-40.
The Knicks may have found a complementary scorer to the brilliant Carmelo Anthony, and he might have been under their noses the whole time. Yes, I’m talking about Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire has proved that he can still be a productive second scorer while playing well above the minute “cap” that was assigned to him earlier in the season.
Defense is a whole other story with Stoudemire, however, and you begin to wonder if him being on the floor defensively outweighs the impact of his scoring. But at this point the Knicks need all of the scoring help they can get.
Kenyon Martin is slated to come back in the next week, which should shore up some of the interior defense problems if his ankles can hold up. And with a predominately soft schedule (record wise, not Knicks wise) coming up, the Knicks should be able to string a couple of wins together. The Knicks only have 22 games left with 12 road games and 10 homes games, and being 6.5 games out of the No. 8 seed doesn’t bode well for a team that has currently lost 10 of their last 12 games.
The Knicks didn’t show any heart at the end of the Pistons game, allowing the Pistons and Will Bynum to torch them with Andre Drummond grabbing a career-high 25 boards. If the Knicks are going to make the playoffs, they’re going to need to start rebounding the ball and defending with some sort of consistency, which they haven’t been able to do all season. They didn’t look like a team hungry enough to make the playoffs.
If these Knicks don’t turn the ship around quickly, it seems time to play the young guys who deserve a shot like Jeremy Tyler, who played solid minutes against the Pistons, and Toure Murry, who’s seen limited action.
Major changes are coming in Gotham in the foreseeable future if this team doesn’t make the playoffs, and the question will continue to be will they include Carmelo?