Held to a mere three pointer in the final 4 minutes of last night’s 105-100 loss at Chicago, the Knicks have now dropped 8 of 11 games since the salary dump of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford. Knickerblogger‘s Mike K. considers New York’s play over that stretch and concludes, “it™s not the quality of these two players, but rather the lack of depth at the guard spot which has caused the team to perform so poorly.”
Prior to the start of the season, I called the guard spot the Knicks œdeepestœ. Mike D™Antoni had a rotation of Chris Duhon, Crawford, Nate Robinson, and Mardy Collins with Anthony Roberson (above) and Marbury on the bench. However since then, New York traded Crawford and Collins, Robinson hurt himself, and Marbury has Marburied himself off the team. This has left the Knicks without any depth at guard. Over the last few games Duhon has played more than 40+ minutes in just about every game, Richardson has slid over to shooting guard, and D™Antoni has so little confidence in Roberson that he™s used 5 forwards on the floor instead of playing the team™s summer league signee.
(video footage/analysis courtesy Pick Axe & Roll)
Keeping Roberson over Renaldo Balkman (above) is proving to be a mistake. For the last two games, the Knicks have had two healthy guards on the roster: Duhon and Roberson. Yet Roberson has racked up consecutive DNP-CDs. In other words D™Antoni thinks so little of him that he can™t even break into the rotation when he™s the only other guard on the team! What does that say about the Knicks ability to scout players? To make matter worse, two players that the Knicks chose Roberson over, Balkman and Von Wafer, both recently started & had good games for their new clubs.
Granted New York might not be suffering this much if not for two unfortunate incidents. One being Robinson™s ill-timed injury, the other Mobley™s failed physical. Had one or both of these players been available to play, some of the above problems may not have been as glaring. Although the end of the bench may not be the worst place to make a mistake, right now these bad decisions have cost the Knicks a handful of games.