Remember when we were right at .500 a few days ago and seemed ready to fight for playoff contention? Right now the team is playing as bad as last year’s squad. Coming off two losses, you’d think New York would play with urgency. Instead they came out completely flat, mustering just 11 points (5/23, 22%) and falling behind by 18 points at the end of the first quarter.
The embarrassment continued throughout the night. At halftime the score was 60-35. There was a faux run late in the game, but Jazz never let the Knicks get the lead into single digits.
Why did we look so bad? Let’s start with our leader, Carmelo Anthony. He hasn’t looked right in about a week now, and we can speculate whether that’s due to lingering effects of the strep throat illness, banging knees with Giannis Antetokoumpo or a combination of both. He has no lift on his jumpshot nor lateral movement. He mustered just 12 points on 3/11 shooting. The only good thing to say is he played just 25 minutes and should be sufficiently rested. But if he isn’t right physically, I’d rather him sit than aggravate any ailments.
Our second scoring option in rookie Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t much better. He seemed lost trying to cope with the Jazz’s small ball and got yanked after scoring just 4 points (2/8) in 13 minutes of play. I disagreed with Fisher shutting him down like that. When it became clear the game was out of reach, Porzingis should have gotten some time just to learn.
Arron Affalo had been a big help in recent games, but he was also absent in mustering 4 points (2/5) in 21 minutes.
Finally, the Knicks’ defensive switching was again exploited. The constant mismatches allowed the Jazz’s frontline to abuse our guards with easy baskets. Did Fisher find Mike Woodson’s playbook somewhere around the Knicks office? This needs to stop… NOW.
On the Jazz’s side, their lineup outscored the Knicks starters 58-31, powered by Gordon Hayward (24 points) and Derrick Favors (20 points).
Fisher wasn’t forthcoming about adjustment details, but he did mention changing the starting lineup.
Something has to give.