In a New Year, Knicks Show the Same Defensive Problems


Serge Ibaka, shooting over the Knicks’ Willy Hernangomez, had 22 points for the Magic. Orlando’s Jodie Meeks scored 23.

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The Knicks face a problem with no apparent solution. It is as if they are caught in a perpetual loop. After one ugly loss or another in which their defense puts up little resistance, the Knicks begin to ring an alarm and challenge themselves to do better. The words soon ring hollow after another team puts up huge numbers.

The Knicks have shown no end to this cycle and to the question it raises: Can their defense be fixed? No, it seems.

Two nights after allowing a season-worst 69 points in the first half to James Harden and the Houston Rockets, the Knicks returned home Monday night and allowed 67 points to the Orlando Magic in the first half on their way to a 115-103 loss.

It was as if the Knicks had made a new year’s resolution and abandoned it after a day.

The Knicks had entered the new year on shaky ground. For the first time in more than a month, they were under .500 again. One of their star players was injured. They had…

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