As the Knicks continue to spiral out of control, things are getting rather blurry. Many of their losses are beginning to look exactly the same, largely in part because they falter again and again in all too familiar fashion.
On Tuesday, New York kept pace with the Blazers early on, but they seemed content with competing for only a portion of the contest. There was a point where the intensity just wavered; the Knicks let up, started to go easy, and from there on out, Portland took control and never looked back. This team, now losers of 15 of their last 18, has forgotten how to win. They are in a funk, and seemingly don't recall the necessary mannerisms and/or actions to carry themselves in a confident manner. There are fingers to point in plenty of directions, ranging from the players who just give up well too easily, back to the coaching staff that allows such a let up in the first place.
Here's a look at what went wrong in the Knicks' latest defeat:
- Earlier in the week, Langston Galloway had a difficult assignment guarding Dwyane Wade, and this matchup provided him with even more trouble. Collectively, Galloway, Jose Calderon, and even Arron Afflalo failed to stay in front of the likes of Damian Lillard (30 points) and CJ McCollum (25 points). The two guards had their way with the Knicks' backcourt, running circles around the defense while creating and subsequently cashing in on high percentage looks.
- Tensions are obviously beginning to run very high for the Knicks. Frustration is setting in, and it's clearly affecting the way this team plays and handles itself on the court. Robin Lopez received a technical foul for the second straight game after visibly jarring with officials, getting in their faces and even went on to mock them following the game's end.
- The Knicks tallied just 11 assists; clearly the ball movement was not where it needed to be. Players aren't working to open things up for one another, and that same necessary enthusiasm obviously isn't there. The team is down for the count, and therefore, they're not doing what they need to do on either end of the floor.
- Ironically enough, Carmelo Anthony (23 points on 10 of 20 from the field) continues to find success because he can create for himself. That said, there's only so much he can do to help put others in the best positions to score. The players around him have to want to attack and aggressively pursue such opportunities, but that same desire isn't there.