NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Knicks president Phil Jackson didn’t mince words after New York’s ugly season opener at Madison Square Garden.
“Not ready for showtime, were we guys?” Jackson said, according to the New York Post. “I can’t tell how long it will take.”READ MORE: NYC Mourning NYPD Officers Wilbert Mora, Jason Rivera After Deadly Ambush In Harlem
Wednesday’s debut of the triangle offense was a big dud in a 104-80 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Without ailing point guard Jose Calderon, the Knicks shot just 36.5 percent, including 17.6 percent (3 for 17) from beyond the arc.
Their defense was just as bad. Chicago shot 51 percent behind 21 points from Pau Gasol and 13 points from Derrick Rose in his return to the court.
“We’re going somewhere, but at the beginning of where we’re going it’s going to be difficult to get wins,” rookie coach Derek Fisher said. “We have to fight really, really hard to win games.”
They’ll have to do a better job of it. Some players admitted afterward that the team didn’t push hard once down big in the second half. J.R. Smith thought the Knicks “stopped competing,” while Iman Shumpert said “our energy died, and we can’t do that.”
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“Embarrassed? No, I am not embarrassed,” said Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who led New York with 14 points (5 for 13). “We will get better. I believe that. I know that and we have another shot at it tomorrow night.”
It’s not about to get easier Thursday against the Cavaliers in LeBron James’ much-awaited return to Cleveland.
Smith said the Knicks have to be prepared for a circus-like atmosphere against the rebuilt and dangerous Cavs.
“It’s almost like the Super Bowl for them,” Smith said. “The first game of the year, so many acts and what not to start the season off, comedians coming. I don’t know what to expect, honestly.”
“I don’t think we should watch the news, because it’s gonna be everywhere,” he added. “It’s just a matter of staying focused and being locked in. Of course you want to be a part of history and stuff like that, but we want to be on the good side, the team that came out and beat those guys. We shouldn’t get caught up in the hoopla. Just go out and play.”
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