We were as excited as you, after the Knicks’ thrilling loss to the Thunder on Saturday night. No one expected wins, but we did expect a pleasant diversion to idly bide our time until the summer free-agency period came around. The rest of the season would be a goofy ride. And then, last night, in front of the 1970 championship team and a crowd so desperate for something fun to watch, the Knicks scored 67 points at home against the Bucks. Sigh.
“They just seemed lost,” coach Mike D’Antoni said after the game, and it’s definitely worth remembering that this is an entirely new team that has no idea how to play together, one that D’Antoni said got by on “adrenaline” on Saturday. There was less “adrenaline” last night, and a lot more “players just standing around because they only know three offensive plays.” Sergio Rodriguez, in particular, was playing out of control: It looked like magnetic football out there.
The larger problem is that even when the Knicks figure out their offense, any team with an offensive center taller than 6-foot-10 is going to destroy them: David Lee’s a middling defensive player when he has help, and right now he has none. When the team’s at that much of a defensive disadvantage, and the offense is as chaotic as it was, you’re going to have nasty, ugly nights like last night.
The good news is that Tracy McGrady, despite leaving last night’s game early, isn’t seriously hurt or anything. He’s got sore knees, which is to be expected when he barely plays for a year and a half and then goes all out twice in three nights.
So these new, temporary Knicks won’t always be pretty, but we’ll always have that electric night last Saturday. You know, when they lost.