Knicks Lose Cool In Loss To Bulls – Anthony, Chandler, Woodson Tossed

Published on: 22nd December, 2012

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Knicks Lose Cool In Loss To Bulls - Anthony, Chandler, Woodson Tossed   | read this item

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New York – Who said the sport of hockey has been cancelled?

What looked like a hockey game, replete with fights and players jawing back and forth, broke out tonight at Madison Square Garden when the Knicks faced the Chicago Bulls in an NBA contest. When the game was over and the Bulls had defeated the Knicks for the second time this season, 110-106, there had been more ejections between these two long-time rivals than a typical NHL match.

Knicks center Tyson Chandler and his Bulls counterpart, Joakim Noah were both thrown out after they got into a tussle during the fourth quarter. Just prior to that, Knicks coach Mike Woodson had been ejected after receiving his second technical foul while he was explaining a few things to referee, Zach Zarba, in his own inimitable coach-to-referee style of communication.

But that wasn’t the end of it. With 6:45 remaining in the game, Carmelo Anthony, the one instant-offense player the Knicks could least afford to lose when they are far behind an opponent, was himself tossed out of the gym for words deemed inappropriate by the refs.

So, if you are keeping score, it was the Knicks with three ejections, the Bulls with just one. The Knicks had six different individual technicals called on them while the Bulls had three. In a game like this, it almost seemed like there should be a penalty box to cool the players moods instead of being banished to the locker rooms.

Whatever the referees could be blamed for, and there was certainly enough inconsistent and incorrect calls, this still wasn’t a good game for the Knicks on several levels. That seems to be a recent trend heading down a concerning path for Woodson.

They’ve now lost two of their last three home games and although their record is still a sterling 19-7, there appears to be a few holes forming in their game, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the court.

Shooting the basketball, or lack thereof, seems to be priority number one for the Knicks and their coach. They began tonight’s game falling behind 14-2, hitting only one shot out of their first 14. From that point forward, they were playing catchup in a game they never held a lead. Not even one.

Woodson, in his post-game press conference, maintained his composure, unlike some of his players during the game.

“Just bad coaching tonight,” he said. “It was just bad coaching on my part. I won’t comment on the referees or any of that stuff.”

Woodson didn’t want to be dragged into a verbal battle over the proficiency of NBA referees after such an emotional game. Surely, he’s more comfortable keeping his money in his own pocket rather than giving it away in NBA fines for publically lambasting the game officials. David Stern frowns upon such things, you know.

“In the heat of the battle, things are said,” Woodson added. “You try to play hard and do the right things. You have to give Chicago credit, they played great tonight, and they came out of here with a win.”

Opponents are beginning to figure out a few things about the Knicks streaky shooting habits. Very simply, if Ronnie Brewer has a wide-open shot from anywhere on the court, let him shoot it. Chances are, and the league knows this, it’s going to be a miss. By a lot.

The other weakness that has shown up in recent games has been the outside shooting and decision-making of the supposed lead-dog of the Knicks, the point guard, Raymond Felton. Felton’s shooting percentage over his last five games is a very un-sterling 38% but even worse, he’s only hitting at a 16% clip (3 for 18) from the three-point arc over that time frame. On Felton’s pick and rolls with Chandler and Anthony, defense’s are packing it in underneath instead of staying with Felton up top, letting him have that open shot near the top of the key, which he is invariably missing.

“From the jump, they were the more physical team and carried that out throughout the whole game,” said Anthony. “We reacted rather than coming out of the jump as the more aggressive team. When we tried to be more aggressive, it was too late.”

The focal point of the Bulls aggressiveness seemed to stem directly from their center, the 6’10” Joakim Noah. The 27-year old native of New York City, having his best all-around season with almost 14-points and 11 rebounds per game, outplayed Chandler tonight, with 15-points, 12-rebounds, six assists, and a blocked shot in 41 minutes. Chandler only took one shot in his 34-minute stint, scoring just five points to go along with eight rebounds.

“Things happen but we won the basketball game,” Noah said. “I wish I wouldn’t have gotten ejected. Two guys were trying to for a rebound. We play hard. We don’t back down.”

Noah is known for playing the game with an edge, something that often irritates other players in the league.

The Knicks noticed Noah’s combative style tonight.

“They let Noah be very aggressive tonight,” said Anthony. “He is the anchor and motor of that team. When he gets going, everyone else gets aggressive.”

It looks like the Knicks and Woodson have a few things that need ironing out in the next few days but practice time will be limited. Their next game is on Sunday, against the Timberwolves, who have both Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio back in their lineup. Based on what we’re seeing out of the Knicks lately, don’t expect an easy game for them. The league has a way of catching up to teams.

 

 

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