Knicks guards are missing the point

December 28, 1992|By Howard Blatt | Howard Blatt,New York Daily News

NEW YORK -- For the New York Knicks, it was more than jus another miserable weekend on the road, more than two consecutive nights of equal-opportunity giving to the NBA's sublime (the Bulls) and ridiculous (the Bucks).

This lost weekend in the Midwest served as alarming confirmation that, in this post-Mark Jackson era, the Knicks' offense frequently has no point at all especially if Doc Rivers isn't healthy enough to run the show.

First, there was that 27-turnover meltdown and loss of poise during a 28-point second half in that 89-77 reality-check defeat Friday in Chicago.

Then, Saturday night, Greg Anthony gave Pat Riley a frightening glimpse of life without Rivers he has a partially dislocated right shoulder. The guard who was supposed to be the brains of his UNLV team made a slew of rookie-like bad decisions once again and they played a large role as the Bucks snapped a club-record-tying, 11-game losing streak with a 102-100 overtime victory.

With the Knicks up 93-87 and less than four minutes left in Milwaukee, Anthony threw up a wild runner of a shot on a drive when he could have been looking to get the ball inside to Patrick Ewing (28 points).

"I've got to keep the defensive man honest," said Anthony, who wound up shooting 1-for-6 from the floor for two points on the heels of an 0-for-5, five-turnover night in Chicago. "I wouldn't take the shot back unless it meant I could make it this time."

Soon after that, Anthony coughed the ball up to Lee Mayberry for a basket that tied the game at 95. Then he missed an open 17-footer just before the buzzer that could've snapped a 98-98 tie and given the Knicks a victory in regulation instead of setting the stage for their eighth loss in 12 road games. In OT, Anthony who wound up with two assists in 32 minutes and the offense generated two points on 1-for-9 from the floor.

Riley refused to knock his second-year man directly, but he did lament not having a penetrating playmaker with the ability to turn nothing into something.

"Sometimes your first and second options get taken away," Riley said. "There are times when the defense dictates....One thing we need on this team is a slasher/driver who can take the ball to the hoop and create something."

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