The Knicks led 81-70 early in the fourth quarter and looked like they were on their way to a second consecutive victory. But with these Knicks, Mike D'Antoni's Knicks, you just never know. And before long, the Pistons, a team that quit on its coach a month ago and is playing for absolutely nothing, went on a 19-5 run to take the lead, eventually winning 99-95. The Knicks blew another lead and lost another game to a bad team because of poor focus and miserable defense. It's starting to become a staple of these D'Antoni Knicks.
Perhaps most alarming about tonight's disaster was the performance of Carmelo Anthony, who scored a measly six points on 2-of-12 shooting. When Jared Jeffries hits as many shots as Anthony in the same game, you know you're in big trouble. Amare Stoudemire had an efficient 20 points and 12 boards, and Toney Douglas once again provided a spark, scoring 20 points and doling out 11 assists. But it all didn't matter. The Pistons, the lowly Pistons, with the likes of Chris Wilcox and Will Bynum, dominated the fourth quarter and came away with the win.
The Knicks will make the playoffs, but it's increasingly looking as though D'Antoni is starting to lose the team. You had better believe that if things don't turn around quick, D'Antoni could be unemployed. Whether its for better or for worse, it may just happen. James Dolan just upped ticket prices by nearly 50% for next season. Anthony and Stoudemire are on board. Those guys come first, as they should. And if D'Antoni doesn't figure out how to get this team playing better ball -playing harder and with more focus - and doesn't do it soon, summer may come early for him.