The New York Knicks are going to have a hard time convincing anybody they’re not tanking after Sunday’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
The New York Knicks are in a win-win situation at this point of the season. The Knicks loss is helping them get a better lottery pick in the draft. The Knicks haven’t been good this season, but tanking is something they can do right.
Brook Lopez (25 points on 6 of 9 from 3-point range) led the Brooklyn Nets to a 120-112 victory, Carmelo Anthony was inefficient as he went 10 of 26 (38 percent) in the loss. Even against the worse team in the NBA, New York couldn’t get off to a good start on either end of the court.
The Knicks didn’t have an answer to Lopez’s five 3-pointers in the first quarter. New York couldn’t get any stops to cut away from the 10 point lead, Brooklyn tied a season high in the first quarter.
The Nets give up 114 PPG, and the Knicks couldn’t get any offense going to start the game. Anthony got off to another bad start, but he put up eight attempts and only made 2 of them.
Derrick Rose stayed aggressive early. He ended the night off with 17 points and five rebounds. Jeff Hornacek pointed towards the second unit to help the 10 point deficit, but Brooklyn offense was too much for the second unit. The bench stretched the gap out to 15 points.
Once again, the defense played poorly in the first half. The Nets scored 67 points and shot 53 percent from the field and 70 percent from three in the first 24 minutes. They dropped 39 points in the first quarter, the highest total allowed in the first quarter by the Knicks this season.
That wasn’t the only thing New York had to be worried about.The triangle offense didn’t do its job. Again.
The Knicks shot 33 percent and scored 49 points against the worst defensive team in the NBA. The coaches made second half adjustments, and the Knicks brought Brooklyn down to 46 percent in the third quarter.
The Knicks cut the lead down to cut what was a 21-point lead down to seven in the third quarter and entered the final period down 11.
New York cut the lead back down to seven with 6 minutes remaining, but ISO-Melo gave Brooklyn back the momentum.
Melo scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough. The visitors had dug themselves too deep of a hole, though and it was former Knick Jeremy Lin who buried them. After going 0 of 9 in the first three quarters, Lin was 3 of 5 in the fourth for 9 points. Every time Melo scored Lin was right there to make the next bucket.
Knicks fans and New York residents, you should cherish these last moments with Melo. We don’t know how much more New York moments he has left.
Up Next: The Knicks travel to Indiana to take on the Pacers on Tuesday, March, 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET.