- Ian Begley, ESPN New York Writer
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The New York Knicks look like a team that's tanking. Problem is, they don't have a pick in next year's draft. So they can't use that as an excuse.
They lost 102-91 to the Blazers on Monday, their sixth straight defeat. They haven't loss six straight since March 2012, when Mike D'Antoni was coaching the team.
They have dropped seven of their past eight games and are just 3-10, tied with the Brooklyn Nets for last place in the Atlantic Division.
Awful start: The Knicks were non-competitive from the start against Portland. They fell behind by as many as 22 in the first half thanks to sloppy defensive rotations and a stagnant offense.
The Knicks' rotations on the perimeter were a step slow, allowing Portland to hit 6 of 15 first-half 3-pointers and shoot 48 percent overall in the half. The Knicks missed their first six 3-pointers and were lucky to trail by just 17 at the half.
Where's Shump? Are trade rumors affecting Iman Shumpert? The third-year guard was held scoreless in 23 minutes. He had two turnovers and a steal. The Knicks were outscored by 22 when he was on the floor.
What's the point? This seems to be a theme we hit on nightly, but once again the Knicks had a tough time stopping the opposing point guard. Damian Lillard had 23 points and six assists. He routinely got by Beno Udrih, the Knicks' starter. New York entered play Monday night allowing point guards to score an average of 21 points per game. Not good. You can bet that Chris Paul is looking forward to Wednesday night.
Also, Nicolas Batum torched the Knicks for 23 points.
Carmelo carries 'em: Carmelo Anthony had a strong night with 34 points and 15 boards. Kenyon Martin had 10 points, six assists and five boards in 24 minutes, and Amar'e Stoudemire had 10 points, six rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes. J.R. Smith was held to six points in 25 minutes.
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The New York Knicks look like a team that's tanking. Problem is, they don't have a pick in next year's draft. So they can't use that as an excuse. They lost 102-91 to the Blazers on Monday, their sixth straight defeat.