Knicks' Bobcats and Hardaway (48125)

It’s only the first week of November, so urgency isn’t the charge. But the Knicks certainly should be concerned by their 1-3 start after losing at the Garden to the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night by 102-97.

Coach Mike Woodson might as well provide his players with name tags. They seem to be unfamiliar with each other offensively and defensively. Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani and rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. have all been significant components of Woodson’s early season rotation. World Peace has acquitted himself well while Bargnani and Hardaway have staggered out of the gate. Hardaway, after shooting 2-7 against the Bobcats, is 11 for 34 overall and a meager 3 for 18 on 3-pointers.

“We just gotta stay patient with him,” said Woodson. Hardaway missed all seven of his 3-point attempts in a 109-100 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at MSG. “He’s just a young rookie trying to figure it out.”

Hardaway said, “I just gotta do all the little things out there on the court to make it easier for everybody else.”

Bargnani is simply not being incorporated effectively into the offense. The Knicks’ defensive struggles compelled Woodson to keep the seven-footer on the bench during crucial moments of games.

“It isn’t the offense I’m worried about right now,” said Woodson. “Defensively, we are all over the place.”

And Tyson Chandler injuring his right knee versus the Bobcats doesn’t help matters. Nevertheless, Bargnani took only five shots in 23 minutes—23 less than Carmelo Anthony. Such an imbalance is counterproductive to the Knicks being a good offensive team.

Furthermore, with the return of J.R. Smith from a five-game suspension this Sunday against San Antonio, shots will be at a premium. Heading into tonight’s (Thursday) rematch with the Bobcats in Charlotte, the Knicks barely resemble the team they hope to be.