In his first home game as coach of the New York Knicks, Derek Fisher and his team fell to the Toronto Raptors in a 81-76 preseason meeting last night.
The triangle offense made it’s MSG debut and was just as disappointing as last week’s opener against the Boston Celtics. Things looked good early for New York taking an early 8-0 lead but were horrific offensively from that point as the team still tries to gasp the new triangle offense. They managed just four more points in the first quarter and would end up shooting 37.3% overall for the game.
“At this point, it is not about the final score,” said Fisher. “It is really about how we are playing basketball. Are we starting to understand what our purpose is offensively and defensively each possession?”
Carmelo Anthony scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting in 15 minutes for the Knicks. J.R Smith was the only player to score in double figures for the Knicks with 10 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. had a tough night as he shot 2-of-12, 0-for-6 from 3-point range. As a team, New York shot up many bricks as they were 3-23 from beyond the arc,
“When we actually did run the system, we got whatever we wanted,’’ Anthony said. “Some people knowing it better than others.
We got to get to a point where everybody’s on the same page.’’
Anthony made it known again that he is willing to be patient, and make this offense work.
“I go out there and I don’t have a choice but to make it work. Whether it takes now or it takes later, we don’t have a choice but to make this work. I told you all early on, media day, I’m willing to take that chance to try to make it work and be patient with it.”
The bright spot on the evening for the Knickrbockers was the play of Iman Shumpert. It was Shumpert’s second straight start at the shooting guard spot, and he was clearly the best player on the court for New York. The fourth year guard tallied 6 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, and had a team-high plus/minus of +1. He also made a statement that the team is still adjusting from the iso-heavy offense that Mike Woodson had for the past several seasons.
“Everyone wants to come down and iso whenever the triangle stalls,” said Shumpert. “It’s just the natural reaction.”
Smith echoed the same sentiment, and believes it is going to be a huge adjustment.
“It’s definitely a big adjustment, but I think it’s an adjustment in the right direction,” Smith said. “Learning how to play with other people is, I think [the right thing. It shows because teams who won play together. It’s not just Melo, it’s not just me. It’s everybody collectively touching the ball, making cuts, stuff like that, scoring the ball, getting assists. It’s not just two or three people scoring.”
The Knicks will get little time to study film as they will head to Syracuse Tuesday as they meet Philadelphia at 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.