Are these guys the real deal yet?
The good news is that the Knicks played damn near perfect in the first half, looking a lot like last year's team. The bad news is the Knicks played terribly in the second half, looking a lot like last year's team.
Even with a win at home over the Bucks to start the season, they have convinced me of only one thing: They aren't there yet. A 25 point lead at halftime disappearing means you took your foot off the gas pedal and dozed off. Coach Mike Woodson will need to nip that in the bud from now.
New York needs to find a consistency that can avoid roller-coaster endings. Milwaukee managed to chip away and eventually gain the lead in the fourth quarter before Tyson Chandler came to the rescue and made a couple huge plays on both ends of the court, including a monster block to deal a victory.
It came down to sloppy ball play. New York led the league last year, averaging only 12 turnovers and never having more than 20. Wednesday night they turned it over 22 times --14 in the second half alone.
It was just amazing to see the fireworks of the first half from the Knicks starters and how complete they looked with everyone gelling and then a meltdown.
One New Yorker took shots at Amar'e Stoudemire, who didn't even play, claiming he was the reason the Knicks slipped up.
I blame this on Amare's hair. It's a distraction— N.K Knight (@NK_Adjei) October 31, 2013
Amare deserves a suspension for disorderly conduct for that Wiz Khalifa streak— N.K Knight (@NK_Adjei) October 31, 2013
The truth is, games like this do happen and they can't be predicted, but if the Bucks were a more dangerous team that has playoff potential such as say the Bulls, Pacers or that team down in Miami, the outcome would have been different.
If the Knicks didn't have championship aspirations this season, a game like this wouldn't matter. It would just be another W, but if they plan on making it out of the East -- Knicks fans, you don't actually believe that will happen, do you? -- this can't be a constant pattern like last season.
Basketball games are won in four quarters and not two. If Carmelo Anthony didn't step up and make back-to-back baskets with under three minutes left to put the Knicks up five, and if Tyson Chandler didn't add a couple dunks of his own, the spark wouldn't have been enough.
"I knew I wasn't going to lose tonight, said Chandler. I knew I had to come up big for my team."
These endings need to be avoided.
Next up, New York will be taking on Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on the road. This will be Rose's first home game since 2012 and also comes after LeBron James and Co. spoiled his return Tuesday night. Expect him and the Bulls to go off.
There are a lot of things the Knicks can learn from tonight, both positive and negative. New York has the potential to be a top four team in the East, but if you agree with owner James Dolan's idea of them winning an NBA championship this season continuing the extreme highs in the beginning and barely winning at the end, get your head examined.