By the time the first quarter ended, the Melo-less Knicks had scored a just 13 points on 30% shooting and were looking at a 17-point deficit. Being a “Knicks loyalist” feels more like being a sadist these days, as the team never got within striking distance and ended up losing 105-78.
WESTBROOK UNSTOPPABLE: In his first game back from a broken right hand, Westbrook was a terror on the Knicks’ hapless defense. He slashed to the rim for dunks and layups, hit pullup jumpers, and even dished the ball when necessary. He ended up with 32 points and 8 assists, with most of his damage being done in the first 24 minutes with OKC scoring a season-high 59 first half points. New York was held to just 33, the second fewest all season by an OKC opponent.
EMBARRASSING DEFICITS: Jose Calderon’s return has seen a marked improvement in the ball movement, but the team is still composed of too many players that can’t create their own shots and have to settle for long, contested jumpers. The Knicks were 2/19 from three-point land and could only muster 39% shooting from the field.Only two players managed double figures (Stat, 20 points and Hardaway, 11 points). In the second quarter, the Knicks were down 40-13. By the third, the deficit had ballooned to 37 points.
ALARMING NUMBERS: Right now, the Knicks are out of the playoffs by about 4 games. However, the team has went 0-3 on this road trip and 1-9 in their last 10 games.The schedule gets much tougher in December, meaning if the NY doesn’t find some type of continuity in the next several weeks, it’s likely they’ll be a lottery team headed into 2015.
MELO UPDATE: Our leader spoke to the media before the game and advised he’s getting “closer” to coming back from back spasms that started during the first quarter of the Rocket game. In addition, he’s still dealing with some nagging left knee soreness.
UP NEXT: New York gets their first crack at the new look Miami Heat on Sunday night at MSG. Although nowhere near as bad as the Knicks, the Heat are also off to a sluggish start with an 8-7 record.[youtube http://youtu.be/mj2536ZOnA0]