Timofey Mozgov (25) of the New York Knicks drives past Nene (31) of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 16 2010 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

New York Knicks: That Sound You Hear Is A Losing Team

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Knicks Playing, Sounding Like A Bad Team

The New York Knicks are 3-8 and have lost six straight games after falling to Denver, 120-118, Monday night. The Knicks are playing like a bad basketball. And, more ominously, they are beginning to sound like one.

Eleven games into the season, and it's enough for coach Mike D'Antoni to be satisfied that his team played hard?

“As long as they play this hard and they’re this engaged and want to get it done,” D’Antoni said. “It was a little bit of a positive step today. We did some things better.”

The Knicks did rally from 16 points down, but, umm, Mike there are no moral victories in professional sports. You win or you lose. And when you lose with a team that most think has enough talent to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference you don't keep your job for long.

Star-Ledger columnist Dave D'Alessandro summed up the state of the Knicks this way:

This team has become hard to watch. Maybe it’s not Guatemalan-leaf-cutter-ants-eat-your-fingernails kind of torture, but it’s close, because the Knicks always play stupid when the situation calls for poise and intelligence, and butcher games they should win fairly easily.

The best example was Friday past in Minneapolis, where they kicked a 21-point, third-period lead in a dispiriting defeat marked by the way Kevin Love (31 points, 31 rebounds) and Michael Beasley (35 points) overwhelmed Amar’e Stoudemire and Wilson Chandler with such arrogant ease.

Two days later, Stoudemire trashed his team for its lack of urgency after Sunday’s loss to Houston — a game in which coach Mike D’Antoni started two rookies that nobody heard of two months ago, unless that nobody happens to be a sad and lonely scout embedded in Europe (Timofey Mozgov) or the Pac-10 (Landry Fields).

As for that other young cornerstone, a scout said this about Danilo Gallinari the other day: “The Knicks are starting to figure out that Gallo wears No. 8 for a reason: He runs like Yogi Berra, but I’m almost certain Yogi jumped higher.”

Anyway, Amar’e questioned his teammates’ hearts, temporarily ignoring the fact that Love literally took his away by going double-double on him two nights earlier. Then Amar’e spent the next few days walking back some of his remarks, with the disclaimer, “I never say comments that I regret.”

One of the problems with the Knicks, and a fairly surprising one for a D'Antoni team, is that they have no idea how to play good, solid offensive basketball. They have two plans when they have the ball -- a) throw it to Stoudemire and get out of the way, or b) somebody bomb up a three. Unfortunately for the Knicks, Option A can be stopped by defensively clogging the lane. Option B is pretty much stopped by the Knicks themselves, who rely on the three ball, but can't shoot it. They are 26th in the league in three-point accuracy at .321. Yuck!

The Knicks try again tonight in Sacramento. We will have a preview of that game later on.


Nuggets 120, Knicks 118: Carmelo Anthony Leads Denver Past New York

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points and pulled down nine rebounds, as the Denver Nuggets held off the New York Knicks, 120-118, from the Pepsi Center.

Al Harrington added 22 points off the bench for the Nuggets, who had lost three of four coming in. Gary Forbes ended with 19 points and nine boards, while Nene chipped in with 17 points and five rebounds for the victors.

"I want to make my family happy," Anthony said about the trade talk. "I want them to be comfortable. If your household ain't right, then ain't nothing right."

Amare Stoudemire had 24 points and six rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost six in a row. Wilson Chandler tallied 23 points.

Landry Fields and Danilo Gallinari each finished with 21 points. Fields and Gallinari also pulled down 17 and 10 rebounds, respectively, in defeat.

Trailing by 11, 109-98, with under 6 1/2 minutes to play, the Knicks ripped off 11 straight points to tie the game. Chandler had five points during the burst, including two free throws to pull even with about three minutes to go.

Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson made jumpers around a Gallinari miss to give Denver a 113-109 edge with over two minutes remaining. Following dunks by Chandler and Nene, Anthony made a pair of free throws to make it a 117-111 game.

Raymond Felton made 1of-2 from the foul line to make it a five-point game with 1:18 to play. Stoudemire made a three-pointer with 15.1 seconds left to cut the gap to 117-115.

The Nuggets made 3-of-6 shots from the charity stripe in the final minute to seal the victory.

"We just missed too many foul shots in the second half to get it all the way home," Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni said. "But the effort was good...I thought our players played hard."

The score was 26-26 after 12 minutes of action, but the Nuggets outscored the Knicks, 35-28, in the second quarter to take a 61-54 lead into the half.

Harrington's trey at the end of the third gave the Nuggets a 94-82 margin.

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