Knicks Don’t Give Fans a Christmas Day Present in Blowout Loss to Thunder

Published on: 25th December, 2013


Knicks Don't Give Fans a Christmas Day Present in Blowout Loss to Thunder  | read this item

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The beleaguered coach can't find right combinations

The beleaguered coach can’t find right combinations

New York — The Knicks would have been hard-pressed to compete with a streaking Oklahoma City Thunder team if they had all their players active and healthy. But, without Raymond Felton, Metta World Peace, Pablo Prigioni, and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks had two chances of staying in the game with Kevin Durant and company.

Slim and none.

So, in a nationally televised Christmas game, for all of the country to see, the result was as predictable as Santa Claus coming down the chimney with presents on the night before December 25th. The Thunder blew the Knicks out of Madison Square Garden by a score, 123-94, that wasn’t nearly as close as the 29-point differential might indicate.

Durant lit up the Garden like a Christmas tree with 29 points in 32 minutes and point guard Russell Westbrook recorded a triple-double in just 29 minutes. Neither star appeared to sweat during the game.

As the losses mount for the New York Knicks, the post-game press conferences become increasingly maudlin.

Without Prigioni, Udrich had to run the point against Westbrook

Without Prigioni, Udrich had to run the point against Westbrook

Mike Woodson, the embattled coach of the 9-19 Knicks, has taken on a look and tone of acceptance of his plight. He recognizes he’s the head of a sinking ship, a vessel he had little to do with in the configuration of this roster of mismatched pieces.

“I don’t think we ever established anything from a defensive standpoint, today,” Woodson said afterwards. “We couldn’t get stops when we needed them and that’s why the score was so lopsided.”

Woodson has developed a habit of tapping his fingers on the table at his post-game press conferences, sort of a nervous tap, tap, tap that didn’t exist when the Knicks were winning games.

“It didn’t matter who Oklahoma put in the game, they had their way with us,” he added. “We’re a team right now that’s struggling and we’re shorthanded.”

No Melo. No Christmas miracle. No defense and no real chance.

Anthony, “a game-time decision,’’ surprisingly elected to sit out despite his initial optimism of gutting through a sprained left ankle to play against Durant in front of a national audience.

The Knicks’ home record fell to 4-11 and a brief upper-deck chant of “Fire Dolan!’’ could be heard early in the fourth quarter in addition to boos. There were a lot of single voices screaming “Fire Woodson!’’ during the fourth quarter but no sustained chant.

With Anthony absent, J.R. Smith took it upon himself to lead the scoring charge and finished with 20 points on 8-of-22 shooting. Early in the third quarter, he got booed walking the ball up court after three straight misses to start the third quarter.

Anthony was a game-time scratch

Anthony was a game-time scratch

The Knicks have a home-and-home Friday and Saturday against the division-leading Raptors. After the two Toronto games, the Knicks have four days off, a potential window for a coaching change.

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