Knicks Hit Rock Bottom In Home Loss To Nets

Published on: 7th March, 2010


Knicks Hit Rock Bottom In Home Loss To Nets

Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni in the first half when the New York Knicks played the Detroit Pistons March 3, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, NY. KNICKS V PISTONS S Original Filename: knicksvsanantsabo0187.JPG  | read this item

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New York – This can’t possibly be the way Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh pictured it when they accepted Jim Dolan’s money to help this sinking ship, the New York Knicks from completely submerging into the darkest, deepest regions of the National Basketball Association. Yet, that is exactly what they’ve gotten. Or, would it be more accurate to say, that is exactly what these two respected basketball men have created with their own decision-making.

Tonight’s loss to the New Jersey Nets at home in front of a shocked Garden crowd is about as low as this franchise has been in years, and that includes the pathetic Isiah Thomas years at the helm. New Jersey, proud franchise that it is, won its seventh game of this season (against 55 losses) as the Knicks couldn’t hold down the ferocious Nets offense, losing 113-93.

Devin Harris and Courtney Lee, the Nets starting guards, had their way with whomever D’Antoni put out there, scoring 31 and 25 points, respectively. Meanwhile, the Knicks starting guards combined for 22 points, 20 of which were scored by Wilson Chandler (starting at the two) while getting just two points from Tracy McGrady.   

The Knicks have twenty games left to this disastrous season and it appears these players and their head coach have turned the page on this campaign and are already pointing towards June free agency and all that represents for this franchise and for their individual careers.

“It’s as bad as it can get,” said D’Antoni. “We just have to come back Monday and try to do better. I don’t have a whole lot to say, we just have to pull it together and find a little bit of a combination that works a little bit.”

Then, D’Antoni shared the most telling remark of the post-game.

“They started making threes and that gave them life while it seemed to take the life out of us. We started off playing good defense and then, it went downhill.”

There you have it. D’Antoni’s Knicks began to give up points to the NBA’s worst team and simply couldn’t handle it so they spit the bit, as George Steinbrenner used to like saying when one of his players choked under pressure. The Knicks stopped guarding people while the Nets grew in confidence as their open looks from all spots on the floor were increasing in frequency. And, of course, the boos began to rain down from the upper rafters all the way to the courtside seats.

The Knicks also set a record for futility tonight, missing all 18 of its three-point attempts. No other team in NBA history (or since three-point shots were implemented in 1979) had ever taken and missed that many three-pointers in a game. According to research by STATS, LLC, the previous most attempts without a make was 16 by Washington against the Celtics on Nov. 2, 2007.

Devin Harris scored 31 points and the Nets erased an early 16-point deficit to beat New York 113-93 on Saturday night.

The Nets improved their NBA-worst record to 7-55, while the Knicks missed all 18 attempts in the most futile 3-point shooting night in league history.

Courtney Lee added 25 in his return to the starting lineup for the Nets, who are trying to avoid finishing with the worst record in NBA history. They beat the Knicks for the second straight time, but have completed the season series with their almost-as-hapless neighbors across the Hudson River.

McGrady, coming back from micro-fracture surgery on his right knee, is still struggling.

“I struggled getting up and down the court, moving,” he said. “For the most part, I felt better on this back-to-back than I have in the past.”

McGrady’s line read like Chris Duhon’s, who didn’t even play for the eighth consecutive game. In 22 minutes, he shot 1 of 6 from the field, with three rebounds and seven assists. His two points were not exactly what these Knicks were looking for when they traded for him.

“No disrespect to them, but I think we’re a better team and for them to … come in here and put it on us like that, it’s kind of tough on us,” Knicks forward Al Harrington said.

Uh, Al, that probably is no longer the case as this Knicks team has been torn to shreds in preparation for what may turn out to be a gigantic anti-climactic July, when the greatest free agents in the league may decide NOT to come to New York. Wouldn’t that be a slap in the face, after all Donnie Walsh has done to rid the Knicks of Jamal Crawford, Zach Randolph, Nate Robinson, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, and a couple of number 1 draft choices?

Taking advantage of the easiest game on a difficult early March schedule, the Nets snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the first time since stunning Boston last Saturday. Despite its woeful record, New Jersey has actually won three straight road games.

“When everybody’s healthy and we’re all on the same page and making the right plays for each other, the game is easy,” Lee said.

Brook Lopez finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds for New Jersey, which made 14 3-pointers and took control in the third quarter behind 13 points from Harris.

“At a certain point you do have to score some,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “They got hot and they got confidence and they just beat us.”

The Nets were coming off consecutive home losses to NBA powers Cleveland and Orlando and are running out of time to surpass the 9-73 record of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers that is the worst in NBA history. This was the opener of a five-game road trip that now moves to the Western Conference for games at Memphis, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Houston.

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