The Knicks are off to a slow start against Atlanta. Here are a few observations from the first half.
ANOTHER STRONG START FOR MELO: We’ll start with the good news, Carmelo Anthony doesn’t appear to be laboring from his sore groin. He shot 7-for-12 in the first half and is carrying the Knicks offensively for the third straight game. He blew by Josh Smith for a dunk on his first basket and has been active again in the paint.
The bad news is that New York can’t find offense elsewhere. Anthony has outplayed Atlanta’s Josh Smith for the most part with 19 points, 5 boards and 4 steals in the first half. Three of those steals came from striping Smith.
Without Anthony, the rest of the team is shooting 8-for-25. On the flip side, Smith and Joe Johnson are carrying the Hawks. Smith has 17 and Joe Johnson has 12.
TURNOVERS: They are killing New York and so far the main culprit in Baron Davis. The Knicks are without Jeremy Lin for the third straight game and although Lin is no stranger to turnover woes, he usually seems to inject more energy in the offense that Davis currently is. But the veteran point isn’t the only one, the Knicks have 11 turnovers, led by Anthony, who has four.
SECOND QUARTER WOES: New York normally expects a big push from the bench, nicknamed “Mobb Deep,” but super subs struggled to find offense in the second quarter with Anthony on the bench. There were moments when the offense ran through Josh Harrellson, who is still trying to find his legs since returning from a broken wrist. J.R. Smith missed all six of his shots and Steve Novak didn’t even attempt a shot in nine minutes.