The Knicks beat the Hornets

Published: January 13, 2009

Nothing short of a miserable, ugly, horrible, frustrating game at New Orleans Arena tonight. The Hornets never got in an offensive flow and seemed a little unprepared for those New York Knicks running and gunning up and down the floor, as if the game plan was to keep Charles Oakley off the boards and John Starks off the free throw line.

I’ll try to keep this relatively quick and painless. Bullets…

  • Like I said, our guys seemed totally unprepared for this game. The Knicks were never standing still, catching the ball on the run and looking for the back door constantly. They mixed us up a million times with simple picks and hand-offs, and our defensive rotations were often much too slow or simply nonexistent. Luckily they didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, or this would have been a blowout loss for us.
  • I thought we’d climb all the way back from that double-digit defecit in the fourth and steal a win we didn’t deserve. If that had happened, right now I’d probably be writing about how much resolve we showed to knuckle down and come away with a victory on a night when everything was going against us. But instead it was the Knicks that came up with the big late shots and stops, while our guys were left scratching their heads.
  • Was it just me, or did we run very few pick and rolls for Chris Paul, especially in the second half? I didn’t notice the Knicks doing anything in particular to take that away, but maybe I just missed something. I would have thought we’d be picking and rolling them to death down the stretch.
  • Defensively, the Knicks played us pretty good, or at least they took away a couple of things we like to do and we kept trying to do them anyway. They crowded David West, resulting in a 6-20 shooting performance for him. They got out on our shooters, not letting us get many uncontested looks from deep. Peja, Posey and Butler combined to shoot 4-15 from three.

  • I got a text message from DJ Toney Blare late in the fourth quarter. It read “Note to D-West: you’re allowed to play D with 5 fouls.”
  • I’m sorry, but the addition of Antonio Daniels doesn’t seem to have improved our bench all that much. I don’t think he’s been playing bad, but we’re still sorely lacking in something I like to call “good basketball” when we throw a bunch of reserves out there. The effort seems to be there from a lot of those guys, but it’s not producing results. Perhaps it’s simply that the parts don’t compliment each other. I’d be interested to hear some thoughts on this in the comments.
  • Tyson started strong, scoring 10 points in the first quarter alone, including a pair of miraculous hook shots. Later he got a few calls against him and that seemed to throw him off his game. He battled hard for boards in the fourth but Byron opted to get more wings on the floor and pulled him for the final five or so minutes. He never got more than those 10 points, but he did end up with a dozen rebounds.
  • Most of the hustle plays belonged to New York tonight.
  • The Knicks outscored us 24-17 in the second quarter, which means we’ve now been outscored in the second quarter in 13 of our last 14 games. The only time we didn’t get beat in the second during that stretch was against the Clippers on Saturday. Yes, those same Clippers who were missing a bunch of starters, starting a bunch of reserves and reserving a bunch of D-Leaguers.
  • Mo Pete sighting in the first quarter. Yay says you, hold yer horses says I. Dude played just 3 minutes and 9 seconds before Byron stuck him back on the bench for the night. I believe Peterson is one of those guys who will happily accept a diminished role for the betterment of the team, but he has to be going crazy trying to figure out the method to the rotation madness.
  • Sean Marks didn’t see the floor tonight, but he did shoot 11-13 on 20-footers while I was watching him in warm-ups. You leave that guy out there with no defense in front of him, and he’ll make you pay.
  • There was no tribute to Bobby Phills tonight, despite it being the eighth anniversary of his death. He’s a forgotten man here in New Orleans. That makes me sad.

Moving on now to the road trip from hell. This loss to the Knicks is especially painful because we’ve got the Mavs, Cavs and Pistons lined up at the next three exits. What you made of, Hornets?

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