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Knicks Roll to Unlucky 7
Jazz buzz Knicks at Garden in stunner
NEW YORK – The game started one sided for the New York Knicks and ended in heartbreaking fashion. Utah Jazz guard, Trey Burke hit a form jumpshot as time ran out from the left corner in front of his team’s bench. The Jazz outplayed the Knicks virtually all game as they jumped out to a 23-10 lead late into the first quarter and rarely looked back. Burke said after his heroic shot, “A lot of time you think you have less time than you do but two seconds is a lot of time. It was kind of the last option. I was able to create separation, got it off and it looked good the whole way.”
J.R. Smith was guarding Burke when he made the shot. “I had to create separation to get that shot off. I had to think quick but I knew we needed a shot or at least a good look.”
To add insult to injury, (pun intended), starting guard Iman Shumpert (who has been having a splendid season thus far averaging 13-points) went down with a right hip contusion just 55 seconds into the game after a collision with Jazz center, Enes Kanter. Shumpert is the Knicks’ best, if not the only legitimate two-way player, so he not being available for the Utah game and likely Sunday against the Denver Nuggets looms large.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, JR. Smith is still JR. Smith and last year’s surprise rookie, Tim Hardaway Jr. has seemed to regress a lot. Maybe it’s the dreaded sophomore jinx as his minutes this season, thus far have been akin to a rookie trying to find his way. Not to mention Jose Calderon is still out as the starting point guard. That means Shane Larkin will be forced into the starting spot. Larkin typically is still a rookie although he’s in his second year. Last year, while still a Dallas Maverick, Larkin’s season was abbreviated he recovered from a severely sprained ankle. He played 48 games, but could never really find his rhythm.
Head coach, Derek Fisher however is remaining most positive as he said in his press conference, “You don’t make it to this level in life without fighting through some challenges and having some adversity. I don’t think it is challenging at all as long as they believe I have their back and as long as management and coaches are behind them. They can stay forward thinking. We have to stay together right now.”
The Knicks have now lost five of their first six games at home. With shades of the season past, one has to wonder if it will be panic time at The World’s Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden.
KNICK KNACKS: Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 46 points on 16-26 shooting. He also had a team high of seven rebounds. This is the 35th time Melo has reached the 40-point mark in his career and 16th as a Knicks. His career high is 62 points which bested Hall of famer, Bernard King’s Knick high of 61 points. Pablo Prigioni had a solid game with 13-points on 5-8 shooting and a season high of four steals over 29 minutes of yeoman work. When Prigioni runs the triangle, it’s beautiful to watch. It’s just too bad he’s not 8 years younger.
Jerald L. Hoover