The Knicks are a mess this year, and the game against Detroit was a perfect illustration. Carmelo Anthony was inefficient. He scored 25 points, but was only 8-for-20 shooting from the field. He turned the ball over a lot (seven times), fouled too much (five), and was such a complete ballhog (one assist) that one picture tells the whole story. (Thanks to @TheKnicksWall)
Andrea Bargnani was wide open on the wing, but Melo ignores him and takes a contested shot. Bargs has been a much better shooter (50.9% to 42.4%) than Melo this year, and there’s a wide open lane for him to either drive or make an entry pass if he doesn’t want to shoot. Just an awful play by Melo.
Amare Stoudamire, never known for his defense, inexplicably made one of the worst defensive plays you’ll ever see. Pistons guard Peyton Siva got the ball about 8-9 feet from Amare, near the 3-point line. Amare looked at him but then turned his back to look at the hoop, assuming Siva was going to shoot. Siva puts the ball on the floor and drives right by Stoudemire, but N.Y. was bailed out on the play when the rookie point guard was called for travelling. Watch the play:
New York is now 3-8 for the season, losing to Detroit, 92-86, on Tuesday and falling to Indiana in overtime, 103-96, Wednesday. Anthony scored 30 points against the Pacers, but needed 28 shots to do it. Anthony has made just 18 of his 48 shots in his last two games.
The Wizards came into their game against Minnesota desperate for a win, and squeaked out a tight come-from-behind victory, 104-100, after trailing by 12 at halftime. They were playing well over .500 ball with Wall in the lineup last year before ending the season on a six-game losing streak. The team traded for center Marcin Gortat before this season started, eying a possible No. 6 or 7 seed in the playoffs. But poor shooting (43.3%, 20th in league) and awful defense (104.1, 26th in league) has plagued them so far.
Wall (14 points, 16 assists) kept up his top-notch distributing, now second in the league at 9.8 assists. Nene had 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and was 7-for-12 from the field. Bradley Beal poured in 25 points to lead Washington in scoring. Kevin Love had 25 points, 11 boards and four assists for the T-Wolves.
The Rockets destroyed the Celtics, 109-85, behind newly emerging stud power forward Terrence Jones (24 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, and 10-for-12 shooting). In his last five games, Jones is at 12.2/10.0/2.4 blocks, 53.2% as the Twin Towers lineup of Dwight and Omer Asik has quickly been discarded — Asik now seeking a trade. The ragtag Celtics shot 32.3%, as their starting backcourt of Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford combined to go 6-for-30 (20%).
Sacramento got by Phoenix, 107-104, at home as DeMarcus Cousins (more below) was montrous inside and Ben McLemore (19 points, five rebounds) and Isaiah Thomas (19 points) chipped in as well. A shin bruise kept Eric Bledsoe out for the Suns, but Gerald Green (23 points, four assists, two blocks) had a fine effort in his place.
In a rather forgettable game, the Heat beat the Hawks, 104-88, even though Dwyane Wade rested. Atlanta had 24 turnovers in the game, and the only performance worth noting for either team was 15 points and 10 rebounds from Hawks backup PF Mike Scott — no relation to the Houston Astros star pitcher from the mid 1980s who shares the same name.
The Michael Jordan Award — DeMarcus Cousins — 27 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 9 FTM, 4 steal, 2 block, 0 treys, and 9-for-18 shooting…While the consistency isn’t quite there yet – three of his first 10 games this year have been sub 12 points and sub 8 rebounds – Cousins (21.8/9.7 this year) is slowly becoming a regular 20/10 guy who can sprinkle in a few dimes, thefts, and fly swats. I’ve seen him make very nice passes before, but this year he’s only averaging 1.5 assists per game after coming in at 2.7 last season. But regarding steals (1.9) and blocks (1.5), he’s been splendid so far. He’s also shooting 47.8%, a career-high. As for his team, they’re now starting rookie SG Ben McLemore and ex-UCLA defensive specialist Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at SF, after trying guys like Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Marcus Thornton in the starting lineup alongside Cousins and Vasquez, the only Kings to start all year.
The Nikoloz Tskitishvili Award — Markieff Morris — 3 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 3 FTM, 0 steal, 0 block, 0 treys, and 0-0 shooting in 11 minutes…He also accumulated five fouls in those 11 minutes. The inconsistency of the lesser players in the NBA is fascinating. Remember a week or so ago and I was talking about how impressive this guy was over his last four games (22/8, 69% shooting). Now, in his last three games, he’s grabbed just 10 total rebounds while making only four of 17 shots. His twin brother Marcus (they’re both Suns) was quite nice for Phoenix last night, though. He poured in 19 points in only 24 minutes, though it was rather hollow – 3 rebounds, 0 dimes, steals, and blocks.
The Allan Houston Hollow Man Award — J.R. Smith — 18 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 FTM, 1 steal, 0 block, 2 treys, and 7-for-15 shooting in 34 minutes…J.R. has only played five games so far this year after sitting out the first few games while still recovering from left knee surgery. The early returns are ugly, like most of this season for N.Y. He’s shooting 27.9% on 68 total shots, with just 11 dimes.
Todd Robinson is the publisher of Speedburner on Sports. Click here to read more of his articles.