Knicks Continue Defensive Woes In Loss to Lowly Bobcats

Published on: 5th January, 2012

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paul-silas
Knicks Continue Defensive Woes In Loss to Lowly Bobcats  | read this item

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New York – When the Knicks brought in Mike Woodson this off-season to be in charge of teaching this Knicks team about playing defense, the former Indiana Hoosier and New York Knick player surely must have seen both the inherent challenge ahead of him as well as the potential to mold this group of disparate offensive players into a cohesive point-stopping unit.

Woodson, who played for Bobby Knight at Indiana University and for Red Holzman when he was the Knicks number one draft choice in 1974 surely learned the defensive end of the business from two of the legendary practitioners of the art of guarding ones’ man while seeing where the ball was moving.

To this point in the 2011-12 season, whatever it is Woodson is teaching hasn’t been learned, yet. The Knicks went down at home tonight for the second consecutive game, 118-110, losing to a struggling Charlotte Bobcats team that had lost four in a row coming into tonight’s game. The Knicks allowed the Bobcats to shoot 55% from the field, including 64% from the three-point stripe. It was an utterly pathetic defensive performance against a team that came into the Garden playing on the second night of back-to-back games, having lost badly last night to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 115-101.

Boris Diaw, who seems to have been in the league since the beginning of last decade, drilled outside shots without anyone in his face, scoring 27 points, four shy of his career high. Diaw hit a nice, leisurely 12 of 15 shots, getting all the time in the world to sink jumpers as whoever was guarding him seemed to feel badly for the old man. On the previous night, against the Cavs, Diaw had a different sort of game, scoring zero in 18 foul-ridden minutes.

“They were making unbelievable shots,” said Amar’e Stoudemire. “We played well offensively but on defense, we had a few let downs and they got hot in the fourth quarter.”

Which game was Stoudemire watching? In the first half, Charlotte put up 62 points, hitting more than half their shots and two thirds of their three-point attempts. Whether it was due to poor Knicks defense or their own great shot-making, the Bobcats certainly didn’t just get hot in the fourth quarter, as Stoudemire seemed to think.

Carmelo Anthony seemed to take the loss a little harder.

“That hurt. I mean it hurts to lose games like that,” he said. “To dig ourselves a hole like that and try to fight back every time takes a toll on everyone. It’s just a matter of us being comfortable with one another, and trusting each other on the defensive end.”

Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert came back much sooner from a sprained knee ligament than the 2-4 weeks that were projected and said he felt fine. However, the youngster notices the lack of defensive intensity.

“I think we’re just not up in people early in possessions,” he said. “We let people get their confidence going, they get that swagger. They get into their rhythm. We can play good defense when we want to. I think we have to start being more aggressive earlier.”

Never was better advice uttered by a rookie with just five games under his professional belt. Maybe that’s what Woodson is trying to teach this team. So far, it doesn’t appear to be sinking in with his students, whose record fell to 2-4 overall, 1-2 at home.

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