The theme of tonight’s game was defense and the lack of it. The Bobcats had six players in double figures led by Boris Diaw’s 27 points on 12-15 shooting. Gerald Henderson also torched the Knicks for 24 points on 10-13 shooting. Charlotte put on a clinic from the field shooting 55 percent overall and 64 percent from downtown.
The return of forward Amar’e Stoudemire and guard Iman Shumpert wasn’t enough but both put up big numbers. Stoudemire had 25 points and 12 rebounds while the rookie Shumpert provided a spark off the bench scoring 18 points, grabbing five rebounds, dishing three assists, and playing harassing defense with two steals. Carmelo Anthony dazzled the Madison Square Garden crowd with 32 points as well.
Despite the gaudy numbers put up on offense the Knicks struggled on defense. The additions of assistant coach Mike Woodson and center Tyson Chandler haven’t yielded results up to expectations. Fans booed the team’s lack of defensive effort on the court. To make things worse, Chandler appeared visibly frustrated with his teammates lack of rotation as the Bobcats scored numerous uncontested baskets in the paint.
The final blow came when Shumpert limped off the court towards the end of the game after re-injuring his knee. Shumpert immediately went back to the locker room. Mike D’Antoni said the injury would be okay.
The Knicks have one day to address their defense before hitting the road to face the Washington Wizards. The Wizards come into the game winless with six losses to start the year. The Knicks enter the game with a 2-4 record.
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