This was supposed to be the easy part of the New York Knicks’ schedule. Two days after dropping a decision to the Toronto Raports, the Knicks allowed a season-high 118 points on their home court to the Charlotte Bobcats in an eight point loss. The defeat dropped the Knicks to 2-4 and if things don’t turn around quickly, there’s only a matter of time until the Mike D’Antoni watch is officially on.
For the second straight night and third in the past four games, the Knicks had a lifeless second quarter. The Knicks allowed the Bobcats to score 32 points with nine assists in the second frame and take a 62-52 lead heading into the second half.
The Knicks got Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert back from injury, and both had impressive games. Stoudemire had a double-double with 25 points and 12 boards, while Shumpert had a career-high 18 points with five rebounds and three assists. Carmelo Anthony added 32 points of his own, but it wasn’t the offense that was the problem. Scoring 110 points should win games on most nights, especially against an inexperienced team like the Bobcats.
In their worst defensive performance of the early season, the Knicks allowed Charlotte to connect on 55% of its field goals and go 7-11 from 3-point range. Former D’Antoni player Boris Diaw, who is averaging eight points a game this season, had 27 on 12-of-15 shooting. Gerald Henderson hit 10 of his 13 shot attempts for 24 points, and point guard D.J. Augustin handed out 10 assists to go along with 14 points of his own. It was a quiet night for former UConn Husky Kemba Walker, as the rookie finished with just seven points.
The Knicks have two more opponents they should beat coming up on the schedule. Friday they visit the lowly Washington Wizards and Saturday they travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons. They are two games the Knicks should absolutely win. But if they only show up on one side of the ball — which has been the story of most of this early season — all bets are off.