Opening Tip: Errors making you mental?

December, 19, 2013
12/19/13
8:00
AM ET
BargnaniAP Photo/Morry GashWhat was Andrea Bargnani thinking?!?
There are a few positive things to take away from the New York Knicks' win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

First off, they got a win. And that's no small feat for a team that's been creative in finding ways to lose.

They also got a strong performance from Tyson Chandler. Chandler, in his first game back since fracturing his right fibula on Nov. 5, scored nine points, grabbed nine rebounds and made several key defensive stops late in the fourth quarter and in both overtimes to help the Knicks (8-17) escape from Milwaukee.

If Chandler can build on that and deliver on a nightly basis for New York, maybe the club can dig itself out of this hole and get back into contention in the Atlantic Divison.

But there were also several things on Wednesday that reminded you how this team fell 10 games below .500 in the first place.

On the top of that list was Andrea Bargnani's ill-fated 3-point attempt with 12 seconds to go in the first overtime and the Knicks up two. Had Bargnani held onto the ball, New York could have clinched the win.

Instead, Milwaukee took advantage of the extra possession and John Henson converted a putback to force a second overtime.

Bargnani's blunder was the latest in a long line of late-game mental errors made by the Knicks.

There was Iman Shumpert's touch foul on a Paul George 3-point attempt late in the Knicks' loss to the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 20. Then you had Carmelo Anthony's intentional foul on Dwight Howard that helped the Houston Rockets secure a win at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 14.

Finally, of course, there was Monday's meltdown against the Washington Wizards. The Knicks failed to foul Washington's Bradley Beal when they had one to give on the Wizards' last possession, and then they didn't call a timeout to set up a play with 6.9 seconds to go, sealing another late loss.

It makes you wonder if these are singular events or if this team's basketball IQ is an issue.

Up now: Chandler had a fantastic night in his first game back after missing six weeks with a broken leg.

The Knicks talk about Bargnani's questionable decision to shoot a 3 late in the first overtime.

J.R. Smith tied a Knicks record by shooting 17 3s.

What's next: The Knicks will take Thursday off. They play at home against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

Question: Are you worried about this team's basketball IQ? Do the mental mistakes in close games make you wonder if this team plays under pressure in the clutch?

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2