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MMPG: Team of the Weak

New York Knicks

You might not realize this, Al, but you have teammates. You don't have to shoot every time you touch it, bruh. (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

The New York Knicks had four days to prepare for the Minnesota Timberwolves -- the Western Conference's second-worst team; a team that came to Madison Square Garden losers of 13 in a row. With all that time to get ready, the Knicks got blown out at home, 120-107, and Kevin McHale got his first win in nine games since taking over for Randy Wittman on Dec. 8.

Afterward, Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni criticized his players for their shoddy defense and questionable shot selection, then complained the next day that his team was "in crisis." The next time the Knicks hit the floor, they lost to the Denver Nuggets -- no surprise -- but surrendered 117 points. The Knicks (11-18) have lost six in a row overall to reach the bottom of the Atlantic Division, and it shouldn't come as a surprise that they have allowed each of their opponents during that stretch to reach triple digits.

New York is one of the worst defensive teams in the league, allowing opponents to shoot an unconscionable 48.3 percent from the floor. It is also surrendering 108.3 points per game, which is the worst of any Eastern Conference team.

The Knicks' problems aren't limited to defense. D'Antoni has brought his seven-seconds-or-less, hurry-up-and-shoot philosophies East, but it hasn't been nearly as successful because he doesn't have talent compared to what he had in Phoenix. Newly acquired Al Harrington has taken 300 shots in his first 16 games -- a team-leading average of 18.8 per game -- but he is only making 43 percent of his shots. Well, at least the Knicks will have money in 2010, right?

By Michael Lee  |  December 29, 2008; 10:15 AM ET
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Meanwhile, back at the Booth, any update on Heywood?

Posted by: joe2chase | December 29, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

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