If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again. This has been the tale of the tape for the Knicks this season. Last night’s loss to the Raptors marked the 13th game in which they’ve been defeated by 5 points or less. They seem to be so close, but yet so far.
We’ve gone from Melo and Rose trade rumors, to Noah’s season ending surgery, to Brandon Jennings’ waiver. What seemed like a promising start to the season has taken a huge hit. When things look on the cusp of optimism, they get shattered by a dose of reality. The Knicks do not appear to have a clear direction. For now, all they can do is just play the hardest working 5 on the floor.
Courtney Lee has emerged as one of those hardest working 5 in recent games. He’s done everything from hitting the three, getting mid range looks, and driving to the basket with confidence. His tenacity on defense has finally shown itself and he’s playing with a different level of hunger. With this in play, along with their young talent, they will still try to compete for a playoff push. They can use their veterans and still see what potential they have from their young pieces.
One area of slight concern is the injury bug that has bothered Porzingis enough to miss a few games. He is the most obvious future franchise player for the Knicks. However, they have chosen to proceed with caution until they are 100% sure he can play. It’s about the only thing they’ve handled correctly these days, his health. Playoffs or not, this 2nd year will be much needed experience to ensure he returns to complete form next season.
The Knicks currently sit in 12th place in the East, and 4.5 games back of the elusive 8th playoff spot. What seemed like a manageable number before All-Star break is slowly dwindling with only 22 games to go. Can there be a superhero conclusion to the season? Or will it be more of the same? You decide.