The NBA: D’Antoni Has No D

Tyson Chandler's presence hasn't paid a lot of
dividends yet on the defensive end.

*All images by the Associated Press. 

With Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert back in tow, one would expect the New York Knicks to walk all over the Charlotte Bobcats, especially since they were playing at the Garden. And with Stoudemire finishing with a double-double and Melo breaking the 30-point barrier again, it would seem all’s well that ends well for the Knicks. But no. Not when they allowed Charlotte to shoot 55% from the field. Not when they let the Bobcats make 64% of their threes or dish out 8 more assists. Not when Charlotte’s bench outscores NYK’s. Not when 6 Cats finish in double figures. For all his preaching about fast-paced ball, it’s apparent Mike D’Antoni has still not figured out how to make his players defend with consistency. Now the Knicks are at 2-4, tied for 11th in the East, and behind teams like Milwaukee, Cleveland and Toronto. In other news, LBJ is still his dominant self, Andrea Bargnani waxes hot to help Toronto to a 2-game win streak, and Superman gets another 20-20 night.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

TOR  over CLE, 92-77 – Raps are building some momentum as their Italian sensation seems poised to break out in a major way.
ORL over WAS, 103-85 – When Superman is a-flyin’ nobody can stop him.
CHA over NYK, 118-110 – Just when we thought the days when the Knicks getting booed at home were done.
BOS over NJN – 89-70 – Good game for rookie MarShon Brooks, but his Nets are going one way – down.
CHI over DET, 99-83 – Boozer busts out in a big way as the Bulls remain hot.
MIA over IND, 118-83 – The Pacers wasted a golden chance as Wade didn’t play. Then again, Indiana was never in this after the first quarter ended.
PHI over NOH, 101-93 – Jarett Jack continues to impress, but Jrue Holiday got the better of him on this day.
MEM over MIN, 90-86 – Tony Allen had a rare offensively productive night as the Grizz survive double-doubles from Love, Beasley and Rubio.
SAS over GSW, 101-95 – Timmy turned back the clock as the Spurs dampened Monta’s 38-point outburst.
DAL over PHX, 98-89 – Dirk dumps one over ol’ buddy Steve as Dallas occupies 9th spot out West.
DEN over SAC, 110-83 – Cousins showed up in a big way, but his numbers weren’t enough to tow the Kings to a win.
LAC over HOU, 117-89 – Lob City connected and Clips found a way to limit Lowry’s production. Rockets on a 2-game slide.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Monta Ellis (GSW) – 38
LeBron James (MIA) – 33
Carmelo Anthony (NYK) – 32
Andrea Bargnani (TOR) – 31
Dwight Howard (ORL) – 28

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Dwight Howard (ORL) – 20
Ryan Anderson (ORL) – 15
Kevin Love (MIN) – 14
Greg Monroe (DET), Brandon Bass (BOS) & Anderson Varejao (CLE) - 13

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
LeBron James (MIA) – 13
Steve Nash (PHX) & Rajon Rondo (BOS) – 12
Jarett Jack (NOH) & Jose Calderon (TOR) – 11

Jason Kidd and former Dallas PG Steve Nash duked it
out, with the Mavs coming out on top.

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Gerald Henderson (CHA) & Jason Kidd (DAL) – 4
A LOT with 3

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Javale McGee (WAS) – 5
Spencer Hawes (PHI) & Kenneth Faried (DEN) – 4

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
DeMar DeRozan (TOR), Jason Terry (DAL) & Richard Jefferson (SAS) – 5
Monta Ellis (GSW), Jrue Holiday (PHI), Iman Shumpert (NYK) & James Jones (MIA) – 4

Jan. 4, 2012 First Five
C – Dwight Howard (ORL) – 28pts, 20rebs, 3blks & 2asts
F – Andrea Bargnani (TOR) – 31pts, 7rebs, 3asts, 3 triples & 1blk
F – Carmelo Anthony (NYK) – 32pts, 6rebs, 5asts & 3stls
G – LeBron James (MIA) – 33pts, 13asts, 8rebs & 2stls
G – Monta Ellis (GSW) – 38pts, 7asts, 4 triples, 2rebs & 2stls

Honorable Mention:
Boris Diaw (CHA) – 27pts, 6asts, 3rebs, 3 triples & 1stl
Kevin Love (MIN) – 27pts, 14rebs & 2blks
Chris Paul (LAC) – 20pts, 10asts, 3stls & 2rebs

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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