The Knicks have lost five games over the past eight days: two of them on the road, and three of them at the Garden, an arena at which they’ve won just once in five tries this season. Those back-to-back wins against Chicago and Washington seem like they happened a month ago, when in reality, it’s just a matter of days. By the end of yesterday’s game — a 104–96 loss to a Houston team that entered the game just 2–6 — the scene at the Garden was all too familiar: Lots of empty seats and a chorus of boos from those who stuck around until the end.
Perhaps we should clarify: It’s a scene all too familiar to Knicks fans. But this is all new to Amar’e Stoudemire, according to Amar’e Stoudemire. Via the News:
“I don’t understand why we’re not playing with the urgency,” Stoudemire said. “I’m not used to it. We’re not playing like we’re on a four-game losing streak, now five. It’s almost as if it doesn’t matter. It’s not something that I’m used to.
“I can’t keep saying the exact same things. I keep saying it but we’re not having (a) reaction.”
It’s worth noting that a lack of urgency is hardly the Knicks’ only problem: If Raymond Felton could execute a damn pick and roll with Stoudemire — who admits the Knicks aren’t creating enough “easy baskets” — the Knicks offense might be in a better place right now. His point is well taken, though: This is an organization that’s accepted losing for years now — by design, even, for the past two seasons, ones intended to set up successful campaigns in 2010–11 and beyond. But losing matters now, and Amar’e wants his teammates to know it. Perhaps, as Will writes in the magazine this week, “These growing pains are sort of the point.” But that doesn’t make it any easier to watch — or in Stoudemire’s case, play through.