|Carmelo Anthony, SF 12-24 FG | 6-6 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 32 PTS | -3
Melo forced the issue early, late, and often, although once again the argument can be made that no other real offensive option really existed. Anthony’s foul woes threw team rotations out of sync, and his torrid fourth quarter (20 points — no joke) was once again for naught.
|Amare Stoudemire, PF 10-19 FG | 4-5 FT | 12 REB | 0 AST | 25 PTS | -2
In his first game back from an ankle injury, Stoudemire’s former teammate, Boris Diaw, had him for lunch. That’s not funny.
|Tyson Chandler, C 4-4 FG | 3-5 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -9
After three alley-oop dunks in the first three minutes, it looked as though Chandler would run over the undersized, undermanned Charlotte front court. A mere six rebounds and one Byron Mullens career performance later, it’s Tyson who’s sporting the tire tracks.
|Toney Douglas, PG 6-17 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 13 PTS | -6
What won’t appear in the stat line: The terrible, run-killing fouls, ill-conceived passes, and inability to contain one of the worst three starting point guards in the NBA.
|Landry Fields, G 2-5 FG | 0-2 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -21
|Renaldo Balkman, PF 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -4
Mike D’Antoni is famous — nee infamous — for preemptively and often unjustly shooing certain players into the D’Oghouse. For as much as we’d love to see Balkman get more burn, tonight left us wondering whether “too much burn” might actually be part of the problem.
|Bill Walker, SG 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 6 PTS | +5
Though he canned a couple of timely threes, Walker was a liability on both defense and the glass.
|Iman Shumpert, G 6-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +1
Yeah, he hit some shots. Yeah, he looked very good for having just come off a semi-serious knee tweak expected to keep him out as long as eight weeks. But by far the most poignant takeaway from Shumpert’s impressive Garden return? Whether it was refusing to switch on screens — in one instance coming away with a steel — or yelling at his elders on the defensive end, you can tell the kid truly cares.
|Josh Harrellson, F 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1
Judging by the dearth of playing time, I’m guessing D’Antoni caught Jorts firing an air rifle at subway rats during shootaround.
Five Things We Saw
- Boris Diaw: His 27 points on 12-15 shooting (including 3-3 from deep) turned what was supposed to be an Amar’e Stoudemire coming back party into a a 2005 Phoenix Suns practice highlight reel.
- Gerald Henderson: He netted 24 on an equally absurd 10-13 shooting, including no less than three buckets down the stretch that squelched the Knicks’ feeble attempts at a late-game run. A career game, pure and simple.
- For the second consecutive game, the Knicks dug themselves in far too deep of a hole early, only turning to defense when the game — and the anxious crowd, resigned as they were to the boo bird’s song — were far out of reach. Lack of communication, an over-reliance on screen switches, and poor perimeter closeouts continue to be the hallmark of what was supposed to be a new-found defensive emphasis.
- Charlotte’s boob tube duo is really, really obnoxious.
- If you told a serious Knick fan in July that their 2012 season would hinge on a healthy, in-shape, engaged Baron Davis, well, you might’ve been stabbed. As it turns out, BD’s Garden debut can’t come soon enough, as the Knicks continued their newfangled fetish for offensive anemia with another round of errant lobs, contested mid-range jumpers (you know who you are) and panic-laden drives.