The New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks met before this Sunday's contest and agreed no one would play defense, because they are both tired and getting ready for the playoffs. OK, that's not true -- the agreement part, I mean. It is true that no one is playing defense.
Carmelo Anthony poured in 20 points for the Knicks, but the Hawks' balanced attack has helped them to a 65-60 lead at halftime.
Marvin Williams, Jeff Teague, and Joe Johnson combined for 39 points on 15-of-18 (!!!) shooting. Tyson Chandler is sitting out with a sore knee, so it's not a terrible surprise that New York has struggled to defend.
Here's what jumps off the stat sheet:
• Carmelo is still the Knicks hero, the one it needs if not the one it deserves. Anthony took nearly half the Knicks total field goal attempts in the first half. He leads New York with 20 points.
• As I mentioned, no one is playing defense! The Knicks shot 60 percent from the field, and still trail by five ... they were able to "hold" Atlanta to "just" 59 percent from the floor, which is "not" "bad."
• Here are two guys to watch in the second half: Amare Stoudemire and Josh Smith. Stoudemire is working his way back from an injury, but has 11 points and missed just one shot in 10 first-half minutes. Smith has enjoyed his best season as a pro this year, but has yet to get it going Sunday. If he wakes up in the second half, the Knicks could be in trouble.