Melo Jr. Gives It His All

Well apparently the Knicks didn’t get the memo about Kevin Durant.  He is a beast in the 4th quarter!  Durant scored 12 of the Thunder’s 20 points in the 4th quarter and they won the game 95-94.  J.R. Smith and the Meloless Knicks gave it their all against one of the best teams in the league, but it just wasn’t enough.  J.R. Smith did his best Carmelo impression last night scoring 36 points on 29 shots.  He played a good game off the “bench”, but he couldn’t beat the Thunder by himself.  Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire both added 16 points, but the offense was pretty inefficient as a whole (they shot 40% from the field and 32% from 3 point range).  Believe it or not, the Knicks actually had a 6 point lead heading to 4th quarter, so it makes sense that they got outscored by 7 points in the 4th quarter (haha, figures).  That leads me back to my original point.  Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA that is not named Lebron James.  The Knicks obviously didn’t realize that.  They should have been double teaming Durant in the 4th quarter and forced someone else to beat them.  Outside of Durant and Westbrook, no one else on the Thunder took more than 7 shots.  If you had doubled them and forced Serge Ibaka or Kevin Martin to beat you, I bet you would have had some success.  Unfortunately, the Knicks decided to go one on one with Kevin Durant, and he killed them when it mattered most.  I have to put most of the blame on Coach Woodson.  Mike Woodson keeps preaching that it doesn’t matter who starts games, it only matters who finishes games.  Well Mike, you continue to screw up the lineups at the end of games so what exactly are you talking about?!?!  How you don’t have Amar’e Stoudemire in against the Heat down the stretch is beyond me.  Plus last night he did the same thing with Tyson Chandler sitting him for 5 and a half of the most crucial minutes of the 4th quarter.  How many times do I have to hear about the questionable moves and substitutions from Woodson before someone questions him as a great coach?  People think because the Knicks have a good record that he must be doing a great job, but I’m here to tell you that their record could and should be even better.  Woodson needs to pull his head out of the sand and start managing his roster properly.  For starters, I like Kurt Thomas, but send him off to the nursing home already.  Secondly, James White should be a star in the D-League, not A STARTER on an NBA roster (let alone on a good NBA roster).  The next step for Woodson is to get Melo 100% and bring he and Amar’e back to the starting lineup together.  This will infuse some instant offense into the starting lineup and will keep them from getting down early in games.  It will also bring some size into the starting lineup, and while Amar’e is not a great rebounder, he’ll certainly grab more boards than James White or Kurt Thomas.  Everyone questions Amar’e’s defense, but everyone’s defense on this team is questionable besides Tyson Chandler.  At least Amar’e is trying on the defensive end, which is more than you can say about Steve Novak.  Is he not the worst defender in the NBA?  I defy you to find a worse defender in the entire NBA than Steve Novak.  Woodson should leave J.R. in his role as the 6th man, because it would make no sense to have 2 “Carmelo’s” on the floor at the same time.  If Woodson continues to bring Jason Kidd in as the backup point guard, Kidd can manage Smith’s personality and mold him in to a well-rounded basketball player.  As for size, defense, and toughness the Knicks have Chandler and need to hope and pray that the combination of Kenyon Martin and Marcus Camby can help in those departments.

Let me get back to last night’s game.  The Knicks should take only positive notes away from this loss to the Thunder.  Think about it this way, did anyone in the world besides a completely biased Knicks fan think they were going to win that game last night?  No chance in hell.  I personally thought they were going to lose by 10 points.  The fact that they had a lead heading into the 4th quarter and only lost by 1 point without their top scorer is an impressive feat if you ask me.  It would have been a nice game to steal since they have an insane schedule in March, but they should feel good about themselves moving forward.  The Knicks have a much needed day off on Friday, but will be right back in action Saturday night at home against the Utah Jazz.  Maybe we’ll see Carmelo Anthony back in uniform by then.  Either way, tune in to MSG @ 7:30 P.M. to watch the Knicks beat the Utah Jazz.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

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2 thoughts on “Melo Jr. Gives It His All

  1. I think as Knick fans we need to come to a realization, one in which ESPN Knicks bloggers explained after the Knicks – Thunder game. The fact is that this a veteran driven team, with guys like Kidd, Chandler, and Melo who have won playoff series before. It might be tough to swallow, because as Knicks fans, who haven’t seen winning for more then a decade, we want to win every game and want the players to give it their all and want the coach to play his best guys all the time; but this team is playing out the season like a team that is waiting for the playoffs; and this IS NOT a bad thing. The ESPN blogger’s main point was that the Knicks simply don’t have the mindset of getting up for the Detroit’s, Toronto’s, and Charlotte’s of the world, but when it’s time for a big game on national TV, they have shown through the entire season they can compete with anyone, and that is what we should take out of the Thunder game: confidence. They beat Miami twice, and lost a third close game. They beat San Antonio twice, and they lost to OKC by 1. The Knicks should win the division and get a top 3 seed in the east. Whether its 2 or 3, they probably don’t care. As die hard Knicks fans we need to come to the realization that they are going to be on cruise control for the rest of the season, probably losing a couple games they shouldn’t be losing, but come playoff time all these guys will be ready to go for every game. In the playoffs is when you’ll see Melo playing 42 minutes per game, and Amare going past the 30 minute mark. Again, it sucks as a fan because we want to see that effort every game, but we also need to trust that we have a pretty good team here who has proven it against good teams, and come playoff time they’ll be ready to go.

    • I agree that they’ll be ready to go..but look at the standings..while they want to cruise into the playoffs and stay healthy it is crucial to stay as that 2 or 3 seed so they don’t have to meet Miami until the conference finals (If they get that far). U really think they are going to stay ahead of Indiana Chicago and Brooklyn playing the way they’re playing now?? Man I hope so. Home court is huge and avoiding Miami at all costs is huge. Well see if it pays off. Question: do you like Woodson as a coach or are you starting to see major flaws in him just like me??

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