Getting blown out should be a rare occurrence for most teams. Of course, such defeats are necessary to experience because it helps teams learn from their mistakes going forward.
Unfortunately for the now 10-13 Knicks, the month of December has not yet been very kind to them. In rather frustrating fashion, New York has been pummeled early on, facing deficits against the likes of the Bucks, Mavericks, and most recently, the Jazz, that have proven to be too insurmountable to come back from.
On Wednesday, the Knicks fell behind more than thirty points. A dismal first quarter (in which they were outscored 29-11) proved to be their early undoing. The Jazz paraded all over them and New York was unable to slow them down. In turn, their own offense suffered, perhaps because they were discouraged from their lack of effort on the defensive end. All in all, this was a game to forget. Unfortunately for the Knicks, the style of such a defeat has looked to be a recurring nightmare as of late. Here's a look at more observations from the loss:
--The Knicks' starters simply didn't have it on this night. As such, Derek Fisher opted to turn to his reserves (specifically those who have otherwise been out of the rotation) for help. Sasha Vujacic looked decent in the pick and roll as backup point guard. He helped create spacing and was a team-high +20. He, along with Kyle O'Quinn and Lou Amundson, were the only Knicks with positive plus/minus.
--The Jazz proved to be very physical with the Knicks. Teams are beginning to realize that if they push harder enough, New York will begin to back down. The Knicks have little bark to their bite. Aside from, arguably Kristaps Porzingis, players have little resilience. Opponents are effectively playing bully-ball, and Wednesday was no different.
--The Knicks did not have an answer for Utah all night long. The hometown team bested the Knicks in field goal percentage, rebounds, assists, and more. They were stellar across the board, pouring in the points, moving the ball well, and attacking the boards.
--Carmelo Anthony continues to struggle and has not found his rhythm yet this month. While this night might have been an exception for them, the Knicks have previously been able to provide support and pick him up on bad nights. There have been too many of those for him, however. The Knicks need their star to take over games and carry them, every once and a while.