Less than a week ago, the Milwaukee Bucks added themselves to the list of underwhelming teams to take out the New York Knicks. That list seems to be growing by the day during this most recent stretch for the Knicks, once that has seen them drop seven of their past eight games. New York, now at 35-36 on this season, has showed a common theme in most of their losses; an inability to execute in the fourth quarter. That was evident in last Sunday's loss to the Bucks in Milwaukee, and even more so in their past two losses, albeit to great competition in the Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.
The Knicks are now 7-10 since they pulled off the trade for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups, and their swoon has caused questions to be asked. One possible answer that has arisen in recent days is fatigue, and there may be some merit in that. The Knicks are obviously going through an adjustment period with their new roster, but the NBA schedule makers did New York no favor in March. It's been their busiest month of the season. Post All-Star break, right around the time when they acquired 'Melo, the Knicks have had consecutive days off without a game just once. They've also played six back-to-backs during that same stretch. Head Coach Mike D'Antoni has admitted that Amare Stoudemire is experiencing fatigue, and has admirably owned up to overusing him, especially before Anthony arrived.
But everyone in the NBA is tired at this time of year, and the Knicks find themselves losing games, and more importantly losing confidence. This team is in dire need of a victory, any victory. Quite simply, with the talent this Knicks possess, a home game against the Bucks should provide a lifeline. But the Bucks, as evidenced by Sunday's game, give New York trouble. Brandon Jennings is always tough to guard, especially for the aging Billups. The Knicks will have to deal with the size of Andrew Bogut, and Carlos Delfino has been a sharpshooter recently. They're a tough team who will make the Knicks work hard on every possession. D'Antoni gave the whole team off yesterday to recharge their batteries. It remains to be seen whether or not they've gotten enough rest.
@ New York Knicks
Friday, Mar 25, 2011, 7:30 PM EDT
Madison Square Garden
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