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Progress, But Still An L

Posted By Jordan Lauterbach On Nov 17 2010 @ 12:42 am In New York Knicks | No Comments

This team continues to perplex. It’s an awful thing when you’re anything less then disgusted after a loss, really speaks to the state of an organization, but I think you have to be generally pleased with the way the Knicks played in last nights 120 – 118 loss to Denver. They made a ton of mistakes at the end of the game, but bad teams tend to do that. Remember, the Knicks still are a bad team. The close loss didn’t change that, it just cooled the “disgusted” level a little. Or at least it should have.

  This game really should not have been close. Once again, a team designed to sink three pointers missed a lot of three pointers, especially in the first half.  They shot 29% from behind the arc, softening the voices that say the Knicks can’t be competitive in games where they shoot poorly from behind the arc, but not silencing those who say they can’t win those games.

 But, I don’t think many teams can win games where they shoot 31 threes and nine go in.

 Yet again, the Knicks failed to show they can win a game that’s still hanging in the balance with less then two minutes to go. They made two big mistakes in the final minute. One was, obviously, Felton loosing the in bounds pass late in the game. The other was a little more subtle, but none less egregious. They were down five with thirty seconds to go and chose not to foul Denver. This surprised everyone in the Pepsi Center – including Denver.

 It ended up working out on the scoreboard. The Nuggets, clearly expecting to get fouled, waited too long into the shot clock and turned the ball over. However, this took 24 seconds off the clock. The Knicks could have used that extra 22 or 23 ticks when they suddenly got hot at the very end.  

 The struggles of Danilo Gallinari are particularly frustrating to watch. Gallo was 2 of 10 from three point range last night, adding to his opening month shooting woes. History would tell you that Gallinari will turn it around, but who could blame the Knick fan whose patience is draining. Generally, he is ineffective when the threes aren’t falling, but that wasn’t the case last night. He had 21 points, ten rebounds, and made seven of eight free throws. That’s a pretty good night for someone who gets down on himself when the shooting percentage isn’t there.

Down by 16 at one point in the fourth, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to think it would balloon to a 30 – 35 point loss by the end of the game. But it didn’t. This Knicks showed fight. This Knicks showed heart. Although the NBA is a bottom line league, the Knicks took steps last night to get back to the level of play, energy wise, that they had during the first few games of the season.   

 For what seems like the tenth time in eleven games, Landry Fields was the biggest positive. Fields had 21 points and 11 rebounds. How this guy was so overlooked in the draft is becoming hilarious. I know it’s only a few games, but is Fields already Donnie Walsh’s prize pick of his Knick tenure?

 Looks like it.

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