Knicks Vs. Bucks: Carlos Delfino Breaks New York's Back, Opens Floodgates

If the New York Knicks had thought they'd heard enough criticism based on a relative lack of improvement already, get a load of what happens after the team lost to the Milwaukee Bucks 105-100. The Bucks are a simply brilliant defensive team, and they played up to it, limiting New York to only average output, with Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups each hitting the 20-point mark, but with the Knicks shooting just .438 (effective field goal percentage).

And yes, the Knicks are bad on defense. Carlos Delfino (a small forward, if it matters) ripped off 30 points on 8-13 shooting to lead the Bucks; John Salmons added 22 and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 19. Most importantly, the Bucks attacked the Knicks, drawing 37 free throw attempts. The Knicks (per usual) settled for more jumpers, and had just 22 free throw attempts.

Mike D'Antoni had Shelden Williams, the former Duke defensive stopper who has failed to make an impact at the NBA level for more than a few weeks at a time, start next to Stoudemire. It didn't work. Williams lasted six minutes. There are defensive players in the frontcourt -- Williams, Ronny Turiaf in particular. But D'Antoni has been unable to use them to give his team any sort of defensive power in the frontcourt. Will things come to a head between D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh over this?

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