Knicks Lose To Magic, Record Falls to 3-14

Published on: 30th November, 2009


Knicks Lose To Magic, Record Falls to 3-14  | read this item

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New York – It’s the same old, same old for the Knicks every night.  Almost like clockwork, they play just well enough (or poorly enough) to lose games, well, to lose 14 of their first 17, anyway. Tonight’s game against the Orlando Magic fell right into lockstep with the Knicks’ other losses as the Magic took down the home team, 114-102.Orlando, an exhausted team, were playing their third consecutive game on the road since Thursday. Yet, they summoned enough energy to follow the double-figure scoring of Rashard Lewis (26 points), Dwight Howard (24 points and 17 rebounds), and Vince Carter (23 points) to break open a close game in the third quarter and cruise to their win. 

Lewis’ performance was particularly heartening to the Magic, now holders of the best record in the Eastern Conference. Lewis has had a tough season thus far, having sat out the first 10 games of the season after he tested positive for an elevated testosterone level. He hadn’t scored more than 17 points in a game this season but tonight, he hit for 13 of his points in the third quarter as he helped the Magic take control of the contest.

“He got it going in the second half,” said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy. “It was nice to see and it was the first time he’s really gotten it rolling. That’s a good feeling.”

Van Gundy has to be just as happy for the fact his team has won seven of its eight games since Lewis’ return to the lineup.

“I think Rashard, the way he plays, it just helps all of us out,” center Dwight Howard said. “The way he shoots the ball, when he drives, his defense, all that stuff. It helps us out and we missed that for the first 10 games.”

The Knicks continue to be outclassed by most of the teams on their schedule. We can keep harping on their lack of defense, particularly in second half crunch time and their lack of a go-to star at the ends of games but the bottom line  unfolding to their season is that this particular set of players is not good enough to win many games for this particular coach, Mike D’Antoni, and his particular offensive and defensive (?) systems. D’Antoni’s post-game press conferences, only 17 games into this already decrepit season, have taken on a sameness after every loss.

“We just chipped away at it. The biggest thing was they hit some 3s, about three or four in a row,” D’Antoni said. “Give them credit, they’re a really good team. They turned it on and turned it up defensively and it got away from us.”

Give the man some credit. He’s been consistent in the way he evaluates his team’s shortcomings.

“With Orlando, we had to hit on all cylinders,” he added. “A couple of our guys just didn’t have a good shooting night. Dwight Howard is a beast. You try to keep him off. You push and shove and then somebody else comes up with the ball. If we hit more shots obviously and try to “D” them up a little bit…….”

“But, you know, they don’t go to the Finals for no reason.”

No, Coach D’Antoni, they don’t.

Howard’s monster game, 24 points on 8 of 9 shooting, 16 rebounds and two blocked shots came on the last game of Orlando’s three-game road trip that began on Thanksgiving night in Atlanta. He’s a player who continues to improve every element of his game yet one gets the sense there’s still much more to his game we haven’t yet seen, especially on the offensive end.

Nate Robinson scored 24 points for the Knicks, 22 in the fourth quarter as he singlehandedly almost brought the Knicks back into the contest.  The streaky, athletic guard seemed almost upbeat after the loss.

“We just have to keep moving forward. As long as we get better, I think we’ve improved,” Robinson said. “We just haven’t got the ‘Ws’ to show for it, but as a team we feel confident. We feel good and we just have to get ready for the next one.”

 David Lee had 20 points and 12 rebounds for New York. Wilson Chandler and Gallinari each scored 15.


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