Tough Loss to Kings a Small Setback in Playoff Push
by Mike Slane, nyknicks.com
Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni sent out a message right before his team took the court against the Sacramento Kings in their final game before the All-Star break.
“We’ll fight all the way ‘til the end,” he said in his pregame press conference. “There’s no reason we can’t make the playoffs, really. I thought that from the very beginning of the year, and I’m disappointed that we are where we are, but there’s time to turn it around and time to get going.”
It looked like the Knicks were beginning the turnaround on Tuesday when they built a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Kings, but then they showed why they still have a lot to work on after blowing the advantage and suffering a 118-114 loss in overtime at Madison Square Garden.
“For whatever reason, the spirit just let out,” D’Antoni said. “We’re not fighting.”
Wilson Chandler led the way for the Knicks with a career-high 35 points, while David Lee added 21 points and 10 rebounds. But it was Kings rookie Tyreke Evans who stole the show with 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as he almost single-handedly took the energy out of New York.
The Knicks have lost 11 of their last 15 games to drop 13 games below .500 for the first time this season and fall five and a half games back of the Miami Heat for eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The up-and-down season continues for the Knicks, who went 12-6 following a 3-14 start.
“We have to continue to play each game until the end of it,” point guard Chris Duhon said. “We have to play hard, continue to try to get better and try to win every game. You never know what could happen. We have to somehow keep our spirits up and continue to go out and fight each night.”
The Knicks fought against the Kings until the very end, but nothing seemed to click offensively as Sacramento chopped away at the big deficit in the final seven minutes of regulation. Things eventually got so bad for the Knicks in the fourth quarter that their final shot of the period was an airball on a three-point attempt from Duhon as the shot clock was expiring with two seconds left to play.
“They guarded it well and I just looked up, saw the shot clock going down and I was just trying to get it up on the rim,” Duhon said. “Give us a chance off the rebound.”
New York’s struggles began when the Kings switched to a zone defense in the second half and continued through the extra period. And it didn’t help that the Knicks’ best shooter was sidelined with a forearm injury on his shooting arm for the final 18 minutes of the game.
Danilo Gallinari left the game with 1:13 left in the third quarter after uncharacteristically airballing a free throw with his right arm before missing his second in a row while shooting lefty. He said he had no strength in his right hand after sustaining an injury to the muscle in his forearm for the second time during his second NBA season.
“It was the same thing that happened in the game against Orlando,” said Gallinari, who had nine points and eight rebounds before leaving the game. “It’s tough to find a reason why the muscle in the arm is weak, so probably with a couple of days it’s going to be back to normal.”
X-rays on Gallinari’s forearm after the game came back negative. He says he is still scheduled to travel to Dallas for All-Star Weekend, but he wouldn’t commit to remaining in the rookie/sophomore game and the three-point contest until he sees how his arm feels over the next couple of days.
“I don’t even think about that,” he said. “I will think about getting treatment tomorrow morning with the staff. I am trying to get this arm back healthy as soon as possible.”
And that’s what the Knicks will need him to do in order to have the best chance of turning the season around and making one final playoff push.
CHECK OUT WHAT I BOLDED.
Now let's break this down.
Mike D...ONCE AGAIN...has explained that this loss was because of a lack of energy but note that he changes the words to 'Spirit" to not sou d redundant because thats what he has been doing...giving us redundant excuses.
Duhon has no clue what he is doing on the floor. Duhon's quotes about fighting hard and hoping to come ouf of these slumps is just adding to the lack of "spirit" on this team. The "captain" has no answer and he says one thing and his team and himself never show it.
This news writer actually had the nerve to alk about "fighting to the end" and a "playoff push" PLEASE STOP TALKING LIKE THE KNICKS ACTUALLY TRIED TO WIN THIS GAME!
And here is the big mystery. Gallinari had problably his worst game as a knick and embarissed himself jsut as bad as Duhon and Jeffries did. Gallo is so off from the foul line that HE SHOT LEFT HANDED! Who the hell shoots with their opposite hand!?!? Not even Dwight Howard does that and he is the worst fuol shooter in the NBA!
Gallo had to leave the game because of a "forearm" injury". No people Gallo left the game because he needed an excuse to why he was SO BAD in that last game. Gallo is in a complete slump. He is only rebounding, everything else he is an F at right now.
Read this article...read what is bolded and tell yourself, "Is this not the most hopeless, lying team who have seen in the past decade?"