Days after the Knicks downed the Bucks in Madison Square Garden to kick off the Carmelo Anthony era in, well, decent style if not glamor, things have taken a turn for the worse. The Knicks were beaten by the Cavaliers Friday night before they meet the Heat on Sunday.
Yes, the Cavaliers.
Yes, those Cavaliers.
The reason? I’ll tell you. Are you ready? Because you’re never going to believe it. This will literally knock your socks off. That’s not an expression. I’m actually saying your socks will be blown off of your feet. You might want to get some slippers. Here it is.
The defense was horrible.
I know, right? Who could have seen that coming? It’s a bigger twist ending than (insert twist ending here).
Okay, I’m done. Anyway, even for a Mike D’Antoni team, even for a Knicks team, the defense was outrageously bad last night. The Cavs average a 101.9 efficiency mark (points per 100 possessions, estimated), and the Knicks allow a 109.9. The Knicks allowed a 110 efficiency for the Cavaliers. Which is the Knicks average, yes, but that factors in good teams and average teams. Not terrible teams like the Cavs. If the Cavs are slicing and dicing, you have a serious problem. The Cavs don’t slice and dice anyone.
(Or maybe they do. The Cavaliers now have wins over the Laker and Knicks in the last week and a half. But still. It’s the Cavs.)
Carmelo Anthony actually complained of an elbow injury afterwards, but the biggest reason, again, was defense. And with the super-shortened rotation the Knicks are dealing with at this point, there aren’t many options.
Not exactly how we thought the Melo would era would start, even those with doubts.