this team continues to drive me crazy.
Before I get to what irked me last night there were positives. Kirk, Deng, Noc and Noah saved our butts. But there is something systemic that really troubles me about this team. Against arguably the second worst team in the NBA (Minnesota wins the honor) they barely won. They too-often drive into the lane which, for the Knicks, parts like the Red sea, only to dish out for a jump shot. Thank God we made enough jump shots to win but why not drive to the basket until they convince you they can stop you. Deng made some nice moves inside and as Stacy King reminds us like a broken record, that is always there for us. We seem tentative, scared, reactive instead of seizing the momentum and making the other team react. This was the Knicks we played, not Boston. We had open shots all night because the Knicks are pathetic and we only won by 5.
Skiles is irritating me more each game. In the 2nd quarter, Noc and Noah were on a roll. They had a great rhythm and were dominating in the paint. We were up by nine points. I believe with about 5 1/2 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter Skiles pulled them to bring Big Ben and Smith back in. Noc and Noah hadn't broke a good sweat. My sense was we could have upped the lead to 20 and blown them out at that point. I understand Skiles wanted to bring back the first team at about the 6 minute mark but isn't winning the game more important? The Knicks were dragging, waiting for the knockout blow and Skiles let them off the hook. Joe Smith lost his shot and big Ben had his usual panic attack when he has the ball within 1 foot of the basket, missing point blank layups. A 9 point lead that appeared to be headed to 20 turns into a 3 point lead at the half letting the Knicks back into the game. I blame Skiles for allowing the Knicks to hang around last night and giving them a chance to win the game.
Skiles inability to develop TT and Noah is well-documented by fellow BlogaBullers. This is getting beyond annoying. Our strength should be we are young and athletic. Skiles seems to favor the old and sluggish. I've watched the Knicks games and they cannot cope with an athletic team. They are naturally slow and poor defenders. The best way to lose to this team is to settle for jump shots, even if they are open jump shots. Skiles rotations does not facilitate developing our young guys nor facilitate an up-tempo, high-energy game.
I have not given up on the talent we have, but I am becoming more frustrated with our emphasis on using the tired, sluggish, old guys and tired, sluggish Skiles system. We should be an athletic, high-energy, running team that takes advantage of our good young talent and can tolerate the mistakes inherent with developing this talent. Skiles rotation and game plan kept the Knicks in a game that should have been a blow-out.