The Knicks got blown out again on Thursday night.
The 105-90 loss wasn't quite as full-scale a rout as the ones against Golden State or Denver, but there wasn't much doubt that the Trail Blazers were the better team. Of course, there wasn't much doubt about that before the game even started.
Tyson Chandler joined Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire on the inactive list, leaving the Knicks to play a lineup that would make you chuckle if not for the fact that it contributed to the Knicks continuing to hand away their division lead. Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Kurt Thomas, Kenyon Martin and Chris Copeland started for the Knicks and the game went pretty much as you'd expect it to go.
An early Knicks lead evaporated in the face of a 13-0 Blazer run in the second quarter as the ancient Knicks team -- there were moments when Thomas shared the court and memories of an age before smartphones with Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby -- was pushed further than they had any business being pushed. J.R. Smith did his thing enough to make you wonder if he could steal the game all by himself, but, ultimately, the Knicks didn't have enough.
The whole thing would have been utterly forgettable if not for the fact that the Portland crowd treated Felton's return as if he were Sherman returning to Atlanta eight months after burning it to the ground. For a bunch of hipsters overly concerned with the childhood memories of their bacon, they sure know how to hold onto hatred for a guy who spent 60 years with a franchise that used to have so many players in legal trouble.
Felton, who was terribly out of shape and accused of mutinous behavior in the locker room last season, was booed every time he touched the ball, certainly making him the least significant player in basketball history to get such a dishonor. Trying to figure out an equivalent figure for the Knicks is tough, but only because the Knicks have had so many good candidates for the job.
If Felton keeps getting roasted by point guards the way Damian Lillard roasted him Thursday, he may actually get the same treatment at the Garden. If Felton had played better, perhaps the Knicks pull off the upset but that's probably wishful thinking.
The Knicks have been running in place for a while now and the injuries and half-hearted efforts are catching up to them all at once on this road trip. Three straight losses with two games to go and absolutely no hope in sight for a quick way to get back on track.