Basketball is a really simple game sometimes. Tuesday night in Denver was one of those times.
In the first three quarters of the game, the Nuggets consistently got the ball below the foul line on their offensive possessions. That led to easy buckets and a lot of trips to the foul line, two things that help you win games. The Knicks, on the other hand, rarely ventured inside the key and continued their season-long fascination with a stagnant offense leading to three-point heaves. No surprise then that the Nugs led by 12 entering the final quarter.
Those final 12 minutes, however, saw a major change of heart from the visiting bunch. The Knicks suddenly started pushing the ball into the paint and saw the same happy results that Denver was getting all night. They tied the game in the final minutes before missing free throws and blundering their way to a 120-118 loss, their sixth straight defeat after a 3-2 start to the season.
It's a familiar tune to anyone who has spent much time with the Knicks this season. Most songs that get pushed into heavy rotation are at least hummable for a while before they become grating overplayed monstrosities. That explains the difference between basketball teams and pop songs.
Did that seem like a strange digression? Probably, but that's the hard thing about covering the Knicks right now. It is tiresome to simply write about the things they do wrong after every single one of their games when they do the same exact things wrong every single night. The loss of Danilo Gallinari's shooting touch, Raymond Felton's inability to set up his teammates for easy shots and Mike D'Antoni's unwillingness to do anything about it have become as hard to write about as they are to watch.
The only difference about Tuesday night's game is that the Knicks actually toyed with a better approach and that the notion of trading for Carmelo Anthony might have been dealt a fatal blow. While Anthony is a superior scorer, he needed 21 shots to get his 26 points and the last thing the Knicks need to get is less efficient offensively right now. Adding Anthony would simply alter the flavor of the same nutritionally deficient slop that the Knicks have been serving all season.
Maybe things are different in eight months when he's a free agent, but the thought of surrendering a bunch of pieces and sacrificing flexibility right now for one guy who won't change all that much is laughable. We've already got enough to chuckle about with this basketball team, so much that it feels like crying.