- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- There were plenty of factors behind the New York Knicks' hot start last season. Strong perimeter shooting, stingy defense, efficient play from Carmelo Anthony -- it all played a role in New York's 6-0 start.
But the biggest catalyst was the team's ability to take care of the ball.
And that's what seems to be hurting New York the most right now.
Take Sunday's game for example.
The Knicks turned the ball over six times in the first quarter to help Minnesota take a 19-point lead.
New York battled back in the second half but could get no closer than within two down the stretch.
"Giving up 40 points in that first quarter, not taking care of the basketball, that came back to haunt us," Anthony said.
Minnesota scored 16 points off the Knicks' turnovers and outscored New York, 23-15, in fast-break points.
"We were kind of throwing the ball away and they were just scoring layups on the other end," Tyson Chandler said. "Between that and some breakdowns in communication we gave them a lot of easy buckets.
"I thought it was a lot of stuff that was self-inflicted," he added.
And it's been that way early on for the Knicks.
New York is turning the ball over 17.6 times per game thus far, the 20th-highest total in the league.
The Knicks finished last season ranked first in the NBA in turnovers per game (11.6).
Of course, last season the team employed Jason Kidd, one of the best lead guards in NBA history.
You can make an argument that the Knicks' high turnover rate is an indication that they miss Kidd, who made his coaching debut for the Nets on Sunday.
"Turning the basketball over is usually not our thing. We're usually pretty good in that category. These first couple of games it's been our downfall," Anthony said.
Mike Woodson also bemoaned a lack of ball movement from the Knicks on Sunday -- another indication that they may be missing Kidd's presence early in the season.
"We got to make two, three, four passes before the shot is actually jacked up," Woodson said. "At least have good court balance. We didn't have that tonight."
They also didn't have Kidd. Is this cause and effect?
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