Knicks put up little resistance in blowout loss to Nets

Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play against the

Carmelo Anthony reacts after a play against the Nets at Madison Square Garden. (Jan. 20, 2014) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Jason Kidd was back at Madison Square Garden with a team that had some of the traits the Knicks displayed last season when he helped lead them. The Nets moved the ball, defended and knocked down shots.

Meanwhile, the Knicks played with little energy and no continuity on offense -- and their defensive strategy didn't work, either.

The result was a familiar one. The Knicks suffered an embarrassing 103-80 loss to their crosstown rivals that for the second consecutive game had Tyson Chandler critical of their strategy and game plan -- and, by extension, Mike Woodson.

"I think we came to play," Chandler said. "They out-schemed us."

The Knicks began the season with championship expectations, but at the midpoint, they are 11 games under .500 at 15-26 -- and the internal second-guessing has been constant.

After Thursday's blowout in Indiana, Carmelo Anthony said the Knicks didn't make the necessary "adjustments." After this game, Chandler said he doesn't think the Knicks should switch everything on defense and don't have the personnel to do it, and that Kidd, a first-year coach, was able to exploit that.

The Knicks repeatedly were late getting to shooters, especially in the corners. Woodson and Anthony both said they "were scrambling," and the Nets (17-22) made them pay. They shot 49.3 percent and hit 14 of 38 three-pointers in winning for the seventh time in eight games.

"I don't want to switch," Chandler said. "I personally don't like it. You come with a defensive plan and then every guy kind of mans up and takes his responsibility. I think switching should always be your last resort. That's me personally. And no, I don't think we're built to just switch."

The Knicks are in free fall again. Since their five-game winning streak ended, they have dropped four straight by a total of 75 points.

They're also 0-2 on an eight-game homestand that they hoped would enable them to make up ground. Instead, they're digging a deeper hole. They're being booed at the Garden and the "Fire Woodson" chants are starting again.

The Knicks' last two home losses have been by 37 points combined. They shot 33.8 percent on Monday, and in the last 32:44, they trailed by double-digits for all but 49 seconds. Late in the fourth quarter, there were loud "Broooook-lyn" chants. Most Knicks fans had left the Garden.

"We didn't even fight," Anthony said after leading the Knicks with 26 points and 12 rebounds. "I felt like we didn't fight as a team. Them guys from the jump ball just came in and it felt like they owned us.

"Just the way we've been losing hurts. We're not losing by two or three or four points. There's a large margin."

Joe Johnson scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half to help the Nets avenge a 30-point loss to the Knicks in December at Barclays Center. Andray Blatche had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Deron Williams, back after missing five games with a sprained left ankle, had 13 points in 27:21 off the bench.

"At this point, we're looking at the big picture," Paul Pierce said. "We are looking at how we are going to develop, how we're going to get better and how we are going to continue to move up in the East."

J.R. Smith had 15 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 11 for the Knicks, who got 20 points total from the four starters other than Anthony.

Pablo Prigioni returned after missing 16 games with a fractured big toe and started with Raymond Felton (2-for-11, nine points) in the backcourt, but despite the two-point-guard alignment that worked so well last season, the Knicks came out flat. They committed seven turnovers in the first quarter, shot 4-for-16 in the second and trailed 52-38 at the half.

After drawing within 52-44, the Knicks missed 11 of their next 13 shots and turned it over twice, and a 17-6 run gave the Nets a 69-50 lead.

"They played to our defense," Chandler said. "Knowing our rotations and knowing what we wanted to accomplish, kind of putting us in vulnerable situations."

And the Knicks did nothing to stop them.

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