Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony aren’t about to call out their teammates, but both know full well that their bench was outscored 25-6 in Thursday’s 105-102 loss to the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden.
“We’re doing a good job of playing together, playing team basketball,” Stoudemire said after scoring a season-high 34 points, but missing a potential game-tying 3 pointer with 11 seconds remaining.
“We just need a little more production off the bench. If we can get those guys to come in, that second unit to play a little bit harder for us, then we’ll be OK.”
Toney Douglas accounted for all of the Knicks’ bench scoring and he managed six points on 2-for-7 shooting.
Jared Jeffries, Bill Walker and Renaldo Balkman combined to go 0-for-6 for zero points.
The Bulls bench, meantime, tallied 25 points, led by CJ Watson’s 12 and Jimmy Butler’s seven.
Stoudemire and Anthony combined for 60 points and the rest of the Knicks accounted for 42. Landry Fields (17), Iman Shumpert (10) and Tyson Chandler (nine) had 36 of those.
“It came down to a two-point game,” Anthony said. “You can go back and pinpoint a lot of little stuff. The turnovers in the second quarter (11), the 26-6 bench points (actually 25-6). The little small stuff, you can pinpoint that. But for the most part we played extremely hard tonight and we gotta pat ourself on the back for something.”
The Knicks will have to use their bench as they head to Boston Friday and then return home Saturday for the Nets, but right now it’s not giving them much at all.
The five starters each played at least 36 minutes, with Anthony playing 39+ and Stoudemire 41+. Fields played more than 42 minutes.
Baron Davis is still a week away from potentially changing the dynamic, and head coach Mike D’Antoni conceded Wednesday he had “no clue” when Davis would return.
In the meantime, two other point guards, Mike Bibby and Jeremy Lin, didn’t play a single minute against the Bulls.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.