We mocked Andrea Bargnani’s ability to finish this dunk earlier in the day, but now this is not so funny for an already banged up Knicks team.
The injury occurred on that failed dunk above.
Bargnani has played in every Knicks game up to this point and has put up decent numbers — 13.3 points a game, and he’s played some nice man defense in the post at times. He has a PER of 14.5, just below the league average.
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However, the Knicks are simply better when Bargnani sits and Carmelo Anthony occupies the four spot — John Schuhmann of NBA.com posted this nifty graphic that explains it better than I can:
Mike Woodson has had this great desire to go big, with Tyson Chandler, Bargnani and Carmelo Anthony playing together despite all evidence that this combination doesn’t work — the Knicks are -8.1 points per 48 minutes in the 189 minutes that trip has played this season. Woodson started them last night, the Sixers went on a 13-0 first quarter run when they were all still on the court.
Now, Woodson has to play Anthony at the four, which is the spot he thrived last season. Plus, the Knicks defense is their biggest issue right now and Bargnani’s help rotations are as bad as his reputation. It’s not that there might not be a role for Bargnani that works on the Knicks, but it is not paired with Anthony.
The Knicks are home for their next five games.