As exciting as the Christmas Day win over the Boston Celtics was, the Knicks showed all sorts of little problems that will require fixing as this truncated, mad-dash season goes along. All of those problems, plus several more new ones, plus some aberrations that can't possibly be sustainable, flared up last night in Oakland. The Knicks lost to the Golden State Warriors 92-78 last night, and pretty much everything went wrong. If you fell asleep before the fourth quarter, you are extremely fortunate.
You name a Knick, they had a bad game. Carmelo Anthony? Missed a shocking number of shots and scored only thirteen points. Amar'e Stoudemire? Clang. Tyson Chandler? Early foul trouble, and honestly, it's difficult to remember him even playing. And the entire backcourt was a disaster, whichever one you choose. (Though Toney Douglas honestly looks like every pass he throws is the first he's ever thrown, like he just wants to get rid of the ball as fast as possible, like someone told him there was anthrax on it.) The Warriors were missing Stephen Curry, their best player, and they still beat the Knicks handily. It was all just pretty gross out there.
The fourth quarter was so nasty — the Knicks were outscored 28-14 — that you almost forget the game was tied heading into it. The Knicks were even up six at halftime. But the implosion of the fourth quarter felt more like a logical conclusion to what had come before, rather than some strange late magic. The Knicks' offense was out of sync all night, and when that happens, and Carmelo Anthony's insta-offense isn't coming to him, the Knicks, right now, have no other options.
It's probably not gonna get much worse than the fourth quarter last night, and all told, it's a bit of a relief to have another game tonight (against the Andrew Bynum-less Lakers) to wash away the taste of this one. The Knicks were as bad as they could possibly be. But those problems — particularly the almost total lack of even average guard play — are still there, and aren't close to being solved. When Baron Davis and Iman Shumpert return, they might be. (Might be.) But right now the Knicks are trying to figure it out on the fly, like everyone else in the NBA. And it's not pleasant to watch. At least it's on the West Coast, with start times too late for most Knicks fans to stay up for. If you slept last night like a normal person, you have no idea how bad the Knicks can look. Lucky you.