- (Photo: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
The New York Knicks seemed to self-destruct Tuesday night without their starting point guard Jeremy Lin; suffering a 112-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Lin, the Harvard graduate who rose to fame in February after solidifying a starting position on the team, is currently recovering from a knee surgery that is guaranteed to keep him out for an estimated six weeks. Lin's 14.1 points and 6.1 assists per game may have been the missing factor in his team's loss to the Pacers.
The team's remaining point guards, 32-year-old veteran Baron Davis and 26-year-old Toney Douglas, managed to contribute six points, and three points and two assists respectively. Although forward Carmelo Anthony managed to score a season-high 39 points in the game, the team seemed to collapse in the fourth quarter.
J.R. Smith, the 26-year-old shooting guard coming off the bench, managed to facilitate the ball with the highest number of assists for the team with four. Without Lin available to lead the team in assists, interim head coach Mike Woodson said his team was self-destructing.
"We somewhat self-destructed I think. We kind of lost our composure," Woodson said after the game. "We played solid for 3 quarters then turned it over in critical times. We got away from our defensive strategy. We controlled for 3 quarters and then they made the run and we couldn't stop it."
Although Anthony managed to score 39 points, he admitted to being frustrated with the loss after the game.
"To give it away like that - that's frustrating," Anthony said. "But we move on to Orlando now."
Still, Woodson took the blame for the first team loss after Lin's surgery.
"I have to take the blame for it because I have to get them to do it for 48 minutes," Woodson said. "We hadn't been giving up 40 points in a quarter - that was the key to the game I thought."
The remainder of the team seemed to express its frustration with Smith being ejected with 10 seconds left in the game for a hard foul. In a question and answer session with fans after his surgery, Lin also spoke about his own frustrations with not being able to help his team on the court.
"I hope I'll be back for the playoffs," Lin told his fans. "It's killing me to watch the team without being able to play but I need to make sure my knee is 100 percent before I get back on the court so we will wait and see."
The team will play against the Orlando Magic on Thursday, where they will fight to keep the No. 8 seed in the eastern conference and enter the 2011-2012 playoffs.