At this point the New York Knicks (8-17) are glad to win any game they can. This is why after a double overtime win against the worst team in the NBA on Wednesday, Mike Woodson said, “It was a good win for our ball club.” It depends on how you define good.
In a sense it was a good win for the Knicks. Tyson Chandler returned from his fractured leg to play a strong 35 minutes, scoring 9 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Knicks were also playing without their starting point guards in Pablo Prigioni, and Raymond Felton.
A loss to the worst team in the league would have lowered the team morale even further, and increased the speculation around Mike Woodson’s job security. This was after Woodson botched the end of regulation against the Wizards earlier in the week, where he failed to call a timeout in a 1 point loss.
A win is a win, but how the Knicks played is very disconcerting. Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points, but on 9-29 shooting. Throughout the game the Knicks fell into the trap of running too many isolations because the players were not making shots.
As a team the Knicks shot 37.6%. J.R. Smith was 7-23 from the field including 5-17 from three point range. Smith is the only player since 2009 — he has done it two other times — to attempt 17 threes in a game. Smith continues to struggle with his shooting, after averaging 18.1 points last season.
Iman Shumpert had 6 assists, but scored 1 point on 0-5 shooting. J.R. Smith is not playing well but he is being aggressive. In contrast, Shumpert is playing without any confidence. The Knicks need more production from their shooting guards — not named Tim Hardaway Jr. — if they want to string together consecutive victories.
The Knicks might have only needed one overtime had it not been for Andrea Bargnani (5-16 FG). Bargnani attempted a three pointer with the shot clock turned off at the end of the first overtime and the Knicks leading the Bucks by two. He missed, and the Bucks scored on the ensuing possession to force the second overtime.
The Knicks outscored the Bucks 13-7 in the second overtime to close out the game.
The Knicks needed a win, but their play was sloppy. The Knicks would have been blown out had they been playing a team with significant talent.
Asked after the game what would have happened had the Knicks lost, Carmelo Anthony said, “I don’t want to think about that.”
It could have been a disaster, but instead it was just an ugly win that left no one feeling like the Knicks are poised to turn around their poor start to the season.