Last Sunday, the Milwaukee Bucks jumped out to a 32-9 lead against the New York Knicks and never looked back. Tonight, it wasn’t as dominant, but the Bucks once again ran out past the Knicks in the opening quarter and held on for a wire-to-wire victory, outlasting the Knicks 102-96 at Madison Square Garden. The loss dropped the Knicks to 35-37, having lost five straight games, eight out of nine overall, and are just 7-11 since the blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade. This loss absolutely has to put the Mike D’Antoni watch officially on.
Most concerning for the Knicks, perhaps, is that in their five straight losses, they have failed to score 100 points in any game. For a Mike D’Antoni team, new players or not, that is seemingly impossible. The Knicks have managed to do that mostly because of poor fourth quarter execution, which continued tonight. And of course, when the shots aren’t falling, these Knicks show no defensive fight, allowing Brandon Jennings to a season-high 37 points in tonight’s game.
D’Antoni has to produce some wins, and fast. If not, he may be unemployed by the time the playoffs roll around. For whoever is making the decisions at the Garden, the Knicks’ recent slide would have to put D’Antoni right on the chopping block. With a contract negotiation coming up, don’t you think GM Donnie Walsh will try to save this season? And of course owner James Dolan will be looking to pull the trigger at any point, given he wants as many playoff games to be played at the Garden as possible. It may not be all his fault, but if the Knicks don’t snap out of it soon, D’Antoni will be gone. The only question is, how many consecutive losses would it take?