Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Plenty of Jeer after Latest Loss

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Plenty of Jeer after Latest Loss

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Carmelo Anthony was the first one to hear the booing from the home fans and the game had not even started.

Mike D'Antoni was targeted last by the Madison Square Garden crowd, which broke out the seldom-heard "fire D'Antoni" chants - at least this season - with the oft-criticized coach's team trailing by 10 points with just over a minute to play in Sunday's 106-94 loss to the Atlantic Division-leading 76ers, a debacle of a defeat in so many ways.

What the Knicks failed to do in between was more than enough to warrant plenty of criticism following another game that was supposed to test their championship mettle, only to once again reveal just how flawed they still are.

After having their losing streak extended to five games heading into tonight's apparent road mismatch against Eastern Conference leader Chicago, the locker room message board was wiped clean -- save for four chemistry-building phrases representing the components that allegedly would turn D'Antoni's team into a winner eventually.

Play Together. Play Hard. Play Smart. Have Fun.

The Knicks (18-23) came up empty on all those fronts once again, leading co-captain Amar'e Stoudemire to question their desire to compete with the league's best, not to mention their appreciation for the urgency needed to succeed as the season reaches its most critical juncture.

"I think we could've put up a better fight," Stoudemire said. "We've got to do a better job of knowing the importance of games. This was a big game for us, a conference and divisional team, and we've got to do a better job of really going after it."

The 76ers (25-17) went out and proved they are everything the Knicks aren't.

They played together. They played hard. They played smart. They had a lot of fun.

They treated Sunday as if it was not just another game in the midst of a 66-game, lockout-shortened NBA season. …

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