Knicks Close First Half With Resounding Flop

And Carmelo Anthony hurt his arm to boot

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Feb 14, 2013  |  Updated 7:50 AM EDT
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A picture's worth a thousand words about the worst loss of the Knicks season.

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For the first time in memory, watching the Knicks on Wednesday night called to mind Dr. Seuss. 

The Knicks missed shots from the left and they missed shots of great heft, shots from up close and shots that looked gross and they missed as many free throws as Valentine's Day roses. Dunks weren't easy and the crowd got queasy as they watched the Knicks stammer and stutter their way into the basketball gutter. 

The biggest difference between the Knicks of the 92-88 loss to the Raptors and Seussian characters was that there's actually entertainment value to be found in Seuss books. Unless you're an Alan Anderson enthusiast, Wednesday night's game was like a terrible film played in slow motion on a loop. 

Anderson, a journeyman whose forgettable name has been pretty well matched by a forgettable game, scored 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting on a night when the other players on the court for both teams combined to shoot 49-of-136 from the floor. And it wasn't because these two teams were playing terrific defensive basketball since open shot after open shot clanged off iron and glass. 

That includes free throws, of which the Knicks missed nine over the course of the game to ensure that they headed into the All-Star break on a two-game losing streak. Sunday's loss to the Clippers was one you could swallow as the price of doing business, but this one isn't going down so easily. 

Carmelo Anthony was the biggest culprit, missing 19-of-24 shots and complaining after the game of a dead arm suffered when he took an elbow early in the game. Some would suggest that players with dead arms not take 24 shots over the course of the evening, but mostly we'll just hope any twinge of pain that might exist keeps Melo from pushing it in the All-Star Game. 

Amar'e Stoudemire wasn't much better, going 4-of-13 and either missing or getting blocked on several shots from close to the rim. There was none of the touch or explosiveness of his best performances and, as always, the defense suffers whenever he's on the court. 

You could keep singling people out for their crimes against basketball, but the point should be pretty well made at this point. The Knicks were as bad as they've been all season, so bad that the memory will smolder in the mind while the All-Star festivities are unfolding. 

At 32-18, the Knicks are better at this point in the season than they've been since Bill Clinton was something other than the husband of a potential President of the United States. That should be something to celebrate with great glee. 

Wednesday night was a view of the plane slamming into the mountain, though, and that makes it hard to skip down the lane whistling a happy tune about what's to come. The Knicks were dynamite through the first 25 games and they've been mediocre for the last 25 games, a trend that should worry Mike Woodson and anyone else charged with keeping this team on top in the Atlantic Division. 

Especially if the trend leads to more games like this because there can only be so much before people's eyes literally start bleeding in reaction to the Knicks' play. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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