- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Every weekday throughout the season, ESPNNewYork.com will tackle a burning question about the Knicks in our "Opening Tip" segment.
Today's Burning Question: Raymond Felton says the Knicks can get complacent at times. Is this something that you’ve seen? Are you worried that this is a lingering issue?
With three months of the NBA season in the books, it’s clear there's plenty to like about this team. They are 13 games over .500, 2½ games ahead of the Nets in the Atlantic and 1½ games back of Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference.
But New York’s lax approach to defense of late has Mike Woodson worried.
To Felton, the Knicks’ lack of consistency on both sides of the ball is evidence they don’t play with intensity for 48 minutes.
“I think as a whole, sometimes what we do is, we kind of get complacent and get relaxed,” Felton said on ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s “The Michael Kay Show” on Thursday. “I think when we get relaxed we allow teams to stay in games and a lot of our games end up close when they really shouldn’t be.”
Thanks to some porous perimeter defense, the Knicks allowed Orlando to score 31 first-quarter points in Wednesday night's Knicks win.
Going back further, on Sunday, they allowed the Hawks to shoot 60 percent from the floor and score 50 points in the paint. That came a night after they were embarrassed in Philly. To Felton, it feels like sometimes the Knicks can get too comfortable on the court.
“I think, not tooting our own horn, but I think we’re a lot better than a lot of teams that we play,” said Felton, who has had struggles of his own on defense since coming back from a fractured right pinky. “ ... [But] once the game is close at the end, anything can happen.
“I think once we understand that and we just jump on teams from the beginning all the way to the end and put the game away, I think we’ll be fine.”
Question: Do you think the Knicks can get complacent on the court? Are you worried that this is a lingering issue?
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.
18dKevin Pelton and Chad Ford