Alan Hahn's post on New York Knicks | Latest updates on Sulia
Melo made a few poor decisions late in the game. There was also one early that epitomized #Knicks issues right now:
The Knicks led 32-29 in the final seconds of the first quarter when DeMar DeRozan raced down the court, beat J.R. Smith to the lane and went right at Melo. Rather than holding his position and drawing what would have been a textbook charge, Melo turned sideways and committed a weak foul for an and-one that tied the score.
Perhaps that's an example of what Amar'e Stoudemire is talking about when he suggested to reporters that the Knicks play with too much swagger and not enough grit.
“We got to get more greedy, from the standpoint of wanting to defend, wanting to win and having a sense of urgency," Stoudemire told reporters. "We have to want to win. We got to have the mentality to want to win. It don’t matter if it looks good or not. We just got to get it done."
Stoudemire should heed his message, as he twice lost his man defensively for easy scores in the second half -- once on an inbounds play -- and twice allowed Rudy Gay to drive at him for layups without any physical confrontation.
It starts with the stars and Melo's reluctance to take the charge there is nothing like the player we saw in November, who dove into the stands after loose balls and had floor burns from hustle plays.
The Knicks want to play easy right now, at a time of year where they are facing many teams already feeling desperation for their seasons. It is happening on offense, as well.
Immediately after the game, Mike Woodson grabbed Carmelo and privately showed him replays of the final offensive possessions in which Melo took the easy way out rather than attacking the rim.
On one, with the smaller Kyle Lowry on him, Melo passed the ball to Raymond Felton for an open three. Felton missed the shot. Had he hit it, Melo would have been lauded for being unselfish, but at that point, Woodson wanted his team to attack the rim.
"We had an opportunity where we could have drove the ball and got smashed and went to the line to make free throws," Woodson said. "We got to take advantage of that and we didn't."
Melo didn't disagree with his coach's criticism.
"Bad execution on my part," he said.