As the Knicks try to improve and sway their reputation as far possible from last year's losing team, a key component to becoming a better team is not only having that killer instinct to put teams away at the end, but also to beat teams much worse off than them on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, this year's Knicks squad has yet to master the craft.
Although Amar'e Stoudemire and Toney Douglas (who also had 11 assists) each poured in 20 points a piece, it doesn't matter how many points a team has if they can't lock the other team down. At times, the Knicks showed superb defense again a Pistons' offense that offered a balanced attack with six players scoring in double figures. Nevertheless, the Knicks failed to shut them down in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks, furthermore, were unable to execute on offensive end, missing shots that would have, at the very at least, kept them in the game in the closing seconds as they fell to Detroit 99-95.
Despite going on a 17-0 run in the quarter in an attempt to secure a victory, the Knicks were without the offense of Carmelo Anthony, who scored 6 points on 2 for 12 from the field in his worst game as a Knick to date.
Even so, the Knicks have enough depth and sufficient offensive options to fill in when necessary. Landry Fields and Roger Mason Jr. hit some shots early, with Fields aggressively gunning to the hoop and Mason Jr. knocking down those running jumpers, but the two failed to keep it up the entire game.
The Pistons, who were able to play at the Knicks pace all game long, were led by Tayshaun Prince's 16 points. Knicks broadcaster Walt "Clyde" Frazier appropriately named the fourth quarter "The Chris Wilcox Show" as the former Knick propelled his way to a 13 point-12 rebound performance in the win.