The Knicks Get Back to Their Ugly Business - NBC New York

The Knicks Get Back to Their Ugly Business

Loss to Cleveland erases any goodwill from Tuesday night



    Meet Four Inspiring Kids Tackling Cancer
    The Cavaliers flicked the Knicks aside like a fly.

    After Tuesday night's rousing victory over Charlotte, we were left to wonder if the improved Knicks play was a result of the team dedicating itself to a new approach or the fact that the Bobcats were an undermanned, undertalented team that played particularly poorly for even those meager circumstances.

    We got our answer on Wednesday night and it wasn't the one that made the Knicks look good.

    The Cavaliers beat them 91-81 in Cleveland to put off any dreams about a winning streak and restore nightmares about watching games like this for the rest of the season.

    It was a really ugly performance by the Knicks, which is really saying something in this month of cascading ugly Knicks performances.

    Some of the changes to the offense from Tuesday night remained in effect as Carmelo Anthony continued to move the ball (six assists) to teammates and Amar'e Stoudemire took a more active role in trying to put the ball in the basket.

    The big differences this time were that Anthony moved the ball to teammates who settled for jumpers because they seemed to think there was a dragon living in the Cleveland paint and Stoudemire kept doing his lower the shoulder while running straight ahead until getting whistled for an offensive foul thing.

    Stoudemire turned the ball over six times, which pretty much negates anything good that came from his 19 points, and his "defense" was particularly rancid.

    Offensive virtuosos like Samardo Samuels and Ryan Hollins can make the best of defenders look bad, but it would have been nice to see Stoudemire at least try to take them out of their game.

    The rest of the non-Meloites did their best to make you long for the halcyon days of last week when Anthony would take on entire defenses by himself without entertaining the notion of throwing a pass.

    There were 22 turnovers overall, several of which were of the passing-into-thin-air variety, and "point guards" Iman Shumpert and Toney Douglas were so concerned with ball movement that they shot 6-of-21 from the floor.

    You could find negatives about nearly every player on the floor, but the biggest collective complaint has to do with the team's energy level.

    The Cavs went eight minutes or so with just one field goal in the second quarter and the Knicks built up a lead that melted away when the Cavs finally found their range again.

    At that point, the Knicks pretty much gave up and, with the notable exception of Tyson Chandler's overexuberance, sleepwalked their way through the rest of the proceedings.

    Offense was settling for the first shot -- good or bad -- they could find and defense was just standing around watching a guy named Alonzo Gee audition for the dunk contest.

    Melo shot 14 times, making five, and is now sporting tape/bandages/cybertronic healing devices on both hands after hurting his right thumb against the Bobcats. Giving him a night or two off to get back to something resembling full strength seems like a peach of an idea, although it won't be Friday in Miami.

    Maybe Saturday in Houston, then, and give him three nights off before the schedule picks up with the Pistons back at the Garden. Baron Davis, who was scratched shortly before Wednesday's game, should be back by then and maybe there will be something resembling an offense for the team to put into use.

    Until there is, it's going to take opponents like the Bobcats for the Knicks to look like a halfway decent NBA team.