OAKLAND – The Knicks arrived late to the arena because they were stuck in traffic. But they might as well just driven straight to Denver.
The Knicks waved the white flag even before tipoff Thursday night, sitting both Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony against the most talented roster in the NBA.
The result was predictable: the Warriors led for the final 46 minutes of the game, bombarding New York with ball movement in a 103-90 victory. The Warriors were so smooth, so dominant and unselfish, they assisted on 41 of their 45 field goals.
The Knicks were a path of little resistance – trailing by as many as 25 points — and a disappointment to fans searching for competitive basketball.
The defeat dropped New York to 14-12 on the season, and 2-2 on their current road trip with Saturday’s game in Denver representing the final stop. Golden State improved to 23-4 while getting 25 points from Klay Thompson and a near triple-double from Kevin Durant (15 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists). And maybe Thursday was not a good barometer given the circumstances, but the Knicks have played three games against championship contenders (including the Cavs twice) and have lost by an average of 24.7 points.
As if the task wasn’t daunting enough, New York’s team bus was caught in traffic traveling over the Bay Bridge from San Francisco to Oakland. They arrived at the arena at about 6:45 for a 7:30 tip. Then they were pummeled, with Draymond Green again stifling Kristaps Porzingis (eight points, 4-for-13 from the field). In his three career games against the Warriors, Porzingis is averaging eight points.
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant beat the Knicks with ease Thursday night.
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Porzingis said on Wednesday he has been looking forward to face Green again, which Green said after the game fired him up.
“That kind of p—ed me off and made me want to go a little harder,” Green said. “Keep that to yourself. Don’t let everybody know that you’re going after me.”
Joakim Noah was again miserable while missing 7 of his 10 field goals. His low point was losing a jump ball to point guard Steph Curry.
Since last season, the Knicks are 0-11 without Anthony. And over the last three seasons, they’re 7-46 when he doesn’t play.
Rose’s absence was expected because of his sore back, but Anthony’s scratch was a surprise since he was adamant about playing the last two days. The All-Star revealed he hurt his shoulder diving for a loose ball on Sunday, and the hindrance not only prompted him to sit out Thursday’s game against the Warriors, but also negatively affected his shot in the previous two games.
Joakim Noah fights with Curry and Draymond Green for a loose ball.
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Still, the fact that the Knicks were overmatched against the Warriors – regardless if Anthony played – probably played a role in his absence.
“It was just the fact that the motion, I was doing workouts (Thursday) and not being able to get that full strength,” he said. “It was no way I could go out there be at the top level at full strength going up a team like this. I wanted to play it safe.”
Anthony felt good enough to practice Wednesday and pledged to play in Oakland. But he changed his mind after Thursday’s morning shootaround. He expects to return for Saturday’s game in Denver. In his previous two games – or since the injury occurred during the first quarter of the victory over the Lakers – the forward shot just 7-for-31.
Over his last 10 appearances, Anthony shot just 35 percent.
“Totally (the injury impacted my shot). That’s everything being able to extend your follow through, rebounding, passing the ball,” Anthony said. “In the Phoenix game (on Tuesday), there were a couple of crosscourt passes I tried to make to Courtney (Lee). The strength wasn’t there.”
The Knicks started Brandon Jennings at point guard and Lance Thomas at small forward. They combined to shoot 6-for-22, and most of the team seemed to just be going through the motions in the second half. But the Knicks had given up this game long before that.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News