The New York Knicks are 6-16 after losing to the Celtics twice this week and the Cavaliers on Tuesday. Their lone win came against the depleted Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, and that was after squandering a 23 point lead.
The Knicks started the week on Sunday losing by 41 to the Celtics at home — the 3rd largest defeat in a home loss ever for the Knicks — and the Knicks blew an 11 point 4th quarter lead to the Celtics Saturday night.
The Celtics came into this season trying to position themselves for the upcoming draft, but they are in first place in the Atlantic Division. The Knicks could give the Celtics some pointers on how to lose.
The Knicks experienced more of the same issues this week. They played sporadic defense, relied too much on Carmelo Anthony to score, and the role players did not provide necessary production.
Look no further than Saturday night’s game where the Knicks shooting — and I use that word loosely — guards combined to score 5 points on 1-11 shooting. J.R. Smith who has been ineffective the entire season attempted 1 shot in 26 minutes, and yes he missed it.
A silver lining for the Knicks has been Amar’e Stoudemire. Stoudemire played in his first back to back game of the season on Wednesday against Chicago. In four games this week Stoudemire has averaged 16 points and 5 rebounds off the bench, while shooting 70% from the field.
It was a welcome sight to see production out of Stoudemire. He started the season on a minutes restriction due to his chronic knee injuries. If the Knicks have any chance at competing in the playoffs — if they make it — they need a healthy Stoudemire to provide post scoring off the bench. Stoudemire will be even more important if J.R. Smith cannot return to at least half the player who averaged 18.1 points per game off the bench last season.
Other than Stoudemire’s emergence there is not much good news for the Knicks.
Raymond Felton will miss 2-3 weeks with his hamstring injury, Tyson Chandler is still recovering from a fractured leg, and Kenyon Martin limped off in Saturday’s game with an abdominal injury.
Felton’s injury has prompted the Knicks to explore a trade for a point guard. The Knicks have expressed interest in trading for Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, but any deal would probably include Metta World Peace. World Peace cannot be traded until Sunday.
The Knicks have their fair share of problems, but at least they can count on consistent minutes from Amar’e Stoudemire. Provided he stays healthy, of course.