Saturday night the Atlanta Hawks became the fifth team already this season to come into Madison Square Garden and thump the Knicks, beating them 110-90. No team has more losses at home this season than New York, who is 3-6 overall to start the season.
Once again, without Tyson Chandler the Knicks defense was softer in the middle than a Twinkie. Once again, the offense wasn’t able to compensate for that. It’s early, but right now they don’t look like a playoff team, let alone a contender.
Carmelo Anthony is fed up. He vented after the game, ripping the Knicks effort, as reported by the New York Post.
“I’m disappointed in all our effort,” Anthony said. “We’re not getting it done from an effort standpoint. It’s like we’re not even trying right now.
“We can’t worry about the boos. We got to play harder. We’re not playing worth a [expletive] right now….
“It’s surprising. To come into the season with a mindset of being better than we were last year and to be where we’re at right now. I know it’s 3-6, but we got to turn this around quickly. It’s a nasty feeling within the team.”
The Knicks need a shakeup, and with James Dolan as the owner predicting what they will do next is impossible. That is why the Iman Shumpert trade rumors have to be given some validity.
Another problem has been J.R. Smith — he was 3-of-18 shooting overall, 1-of-9 from three against the Hawks Saturday. In his four games back (following off-season knee surgery and a five-game drug suspension, he is shooting 22.6 percent overall and 26.9 percent from three. He has admitted he is playing like, well, organic fertilizer.
So maybe he shouldn’t start. Coach Mike Woodson says he is re-evaluating Smith as a starter.
All the words from Anthony are nice, but is he really the guy that can lead a defensive renaissance on this team? Until Chandler returns the Knicks need more defensive effort, but they also are going to need a lot more points.