Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points, but 22 came in the first half as the New York Knicks once again stumbled offensively in the fourth quarter to lose a 90-84 heart breaker to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Anthony scored 14 points in the first quarter on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor, and had 22 by intermission on 8-of-11 shooting. However, Anthony and the Knickerbockers couldn’t muster much offense in second half scoring only 31 points, including only 12 in the fourth quarter. Anthony went ice cold shooting 1-9 from the field and now the Knicks fall to 4-6 overall, and 1-4 at home.
“We are just not getting it done the past couple of games,” said Anthony. “You can’t attribute it to anything else but not getting it done, not making it happen.”Late-game play calling is what separates the best coaches from those who end up posting
New York has combined for only 24 points in their last two fourth quarters played, and as a result have lost two very winnable games. After scoring 22 points in the first half, Anthony did not make a basket in the third quarter. He went 1-for-6 in the fourth quarter, many of the shots taken with less than two seconds left in shot clock.
“I think we should just get into our offense quicker, ” said Anthony. ” I should stay away from the ball with 2 seconds left on the clock. Other than that, it’s just a matter of getting into our offense quicker, making quicker decisions and not allowing teas to put pressure on us.”
Late-game play calling and questionable substitution pattern was put into focus on Coach Fisher after the game. The Knicks coach indicated after the game that he needs to do a better job putting his team in position to win.
“I have to do a better job of putting guys in a better position to be successful out there,” said Coach Derrick Fisher. “It is my job to make the situation better from the bench.”
Arron Afflalo, in his second game as a Knick, posted 14 points and a team best four assists in over 30 minute. Afflalo missed a potential tying shot with 22.9 seconds left, and could not duplicate only 35 seconds earlier when he tied the game on turnaround jumper with 59 seconds left. However, Mo Williams would respond back to Afflalo’s shot with a tough pull up jumper of his own to give the Cleveland the lead for good.
“You have to give them credit,” said Afflalo. “I thought that Mo Williams made some tough shots down the stretch. Conversely, we missed some open opportunities. I missed a lot of open, make able stuff down the stretch in the fourth quarter that could’ve extended the game. You just have to give the credit; they made the plays to win the game.”
Rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis managed 11 points and seven rebounds. The 20-year-old had already made some NBA history in his brief NBA career. He came into Friday averaging 11.6 points and 9.0 rebounds in just 24.7 minutes per game. He is the first rookie in NBA history to have 100 points, 90 rebounds and nine 3-pointers in the first nine games of his career.
“We have to execute better offensively,” said Porzingis. ” The triangle maybe took us longer to get in our spots and to execute. We tried to get sme wide open shots but we fumbled the ball and didn’t get clear shots at the end. Those were bad shot, contested in last second.”
Despite the 4-6 record, the New York Knickerbockers and their fans have a lot to be optimistic about as they once again went toe-to-toe with the defending Eastern Conference Champions. It is a learning experience for these Knicks and one that is made them one of the most pleasant surprises in the NBA even though they have a losing record.
“There’s no question that these guys are definitely committed to each other, they’re doing the things we’re asking them to do,” Fisher said on Friday night.
“You have a lot of new guys that are continuing to form together as a group. I do think the grit is there. There’s a brand of basketball this team is capable of playing and they’re showing those characteristics…We’re learning a lot as we go,” he said.