New York fans love to talk smack. This year is the first time in a long time New York Knicks fans have had the opportunity to have anything to talk about and they are definitely taking the opportunity to boast about their chances in the post season. Spike Lee is known for talking smack even if his Knicks are losing by 20, and recently Tracy Morgan has joined forces with Lee to add to the heckling.
Unfortunately, the Knicks are not built for the playoffs. They aren’t even built for big regular season games.
The Knicks are like the Suns ten years ago. They’re going to have a decent regular season, rack up a lot of wins, and then vanish like a puff of smoke in the playoffs.
The latest demonstration of this came Christmas day when the Knicks went head-to-head with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are only a .500 team this year and attempting to piece together the shards of a failing system. Yet, even against this marginal opponent, the Knicks looked overwhelmed. The fact that the Knicks lost isn’t the point; it’s the fact that the Knicks were truly outplayed in a nationally televised game they absolutely were pressing to win.
Predictably, Carmelo Anthony had a large scoring game with 34 points on 13-23 shooting. J.R. Smith also came to play with 25 points on 10-23 shooting. But the true failure of the Knicks came in how they produced points.
Against an admittedly poor Lakers defense the Knicks relied on too much one-on-one offense and poor offensive flow in the fourth quarter. Throughout much of the game it had been close, but in the fourth quarter the Knicks only put up 16 points.
The other factor is New York was outscored in the paint by Los Angeles' 23 points to NY's 46 points. This speaks directly to the shortcoming of the Knicks' lack of interior offense. One would think getting Amare Stoudemire back would fix this, but the Knicks are a below .500 team with Stoudemire in the starting lineup, so thinking he will help their offense is fool’s gold.
The Knicks play best with a small lineup. The problem is that it is this same small lineup that will be their shortcoming against well-balanced premier teams. Don’t think for a second I am putting the Lakers in this category, although they do have the tools. The Knicks simply have an offense that doesn’t match up well against teams like the Heat, Lakers, Thunder, or Grizzlies. They will put up some solid regular season numbers, but don’t expect a real playoff run from a team that plays as selfish as ever, despite their improved record.
Photo Credit: getty