Magic Make Knicks Go Poof into the Dark Night

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Updated: November 13, 2014
Phil-Jackson-Welcome-Home 3

Phil’s crew now lose sixth straight game

NEW YORK – What’s that old saying of ‘the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray’?

Translation: Things often go wrong even though you have carefully planned what you are going to do.

And in the immortal words of Mike Tyson: “Everyone has a plan until they get hit.”

The Knicks lost their sixth straight game against the Orlando Magic, 97-95 behind Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic’s 28 and 20 points respectively.

The new Knicks offense and scheme is starting to look more like an inverted obtuse triangle more than the vaunted triangle offense that won so many championships in Chicago (Bulls) and Los Angeles (Lakers). Sure they need time to gel, mesh and find the precise pieces to make things all work, but at the same time, those games that the hard charging fans are attending aren’t free to see. The fans rightfully want to see wins. Can’t say that the Knicks are dogging it and not trying to play hard, but it’s a new offense and they need better talent overall.

The team needs better talent but they also need better decision making on the floor at critical times. J.R. Smith (he of late of another suspension, this time for hitting Washington Wizard guard, Glen Rice Jr. in the groin area at a game at Madison Square Garden on November 4th) took an errant 3-point shot that missed the rim entirely. The shot was so hard it sounded as if it put a dent in the fiberglass backboard.

Carmelo Anthony who led the Knicks with 27 points, lamented that he didn’t take that last second shot. He was open on a pin-down. “I thought we ran the play that was designed,” Anthony said. “J.R. took it. He had an open shot or thought he had an open shot.”

To the Knicks’ credit they have been playing without new acquisition Jose Calderon. He of course arrived along with Samuel Dalembert in the Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton trade.

Point guard has become unequivocally the sexiest position in the NBA and if your team doesn’t have competent leadership on some level at the point or in the case of a LeBron James as point forward to run the offense, your team will be bogged down down the stretch of games.

Sure, the essence of the triangle doesn’t call for a ‘true’ point guard as it is, but leadership on the floor as far as making the right decisions and seeing to it that guys are in their rightful positions is of most importance. Calderon, who is a below average defender, is an excellent shooter and floor general. And his assist to turnover ratio is one of best in the League. He’s been out with a calf injury.

SHADES OF LAST YEAR: With the sixth straight loss, the Knicks fall to 2-7 which includes 1-4 at home.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS: It was a Madison Square Garden and New York homecoming of sorts for the likes of a few Magic Players. Tobias Harris (Dix Hills, Long Island) and former Knicks draftee and player, Channing Frye (White Plains, New York) and Ben Gordon, (Mount Vernon, New York). Frye and Harris are actually first cousins as their mother’s are sisters.

Jerald L. Hoover
jeraldhoover@blackathlete.com

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