It doesn’t get much worse than this, does it? Losing streaks, trade rumors, inconsistent play and lack of defense. Follow that up with a 1-9 record (after starting 6-1) in games decided by less than 5 points. That’s a recipe for disaster. Let’s get into it.
He said, she said. Sources close to the situation. All of the above have been mentioned when discussing the possible trade of Carmelo Anthony.
As said before, I’m an advocate of Melo remaining a Knick, while Phil Jackson does his job and gets the necessary pieces to compete. We all heard by now the rejected Knicks-Cavs trade offer of Kevin Love for Carmelo Anthony. Why the Knicks even offered this deal is beyond me. KP is the clear direction of the franchise and they want to trade for a player who plays the same position, with a similar game. The ONLY way this trade makes sense is if the Knicks insert KP at the 5 spot full-time. This would mean that the Knicks are convinced that Porzingis is ready defensively to man the paint (and not pick up ticky tack fouls). It also insinuates that Noah would have to be traded or come off the bench, and I’m not so sure you paid a guy $72 million to come off the bench.
With Rose, Melo and KP scoring the ball, they’re in need of hustlers that can do the dirty work and also knock down an open jumper. Courtney Lee shows spurts but has been relatively inconsistent for majority of the season. The big man rotation of Noah, O’Quinn and Hernangomez becomes a “pick ‘em” on a nightly basis. Each of the bigs has provided major contributions, but never on the same night. The starting 5 spot is there for any of them to grab permanently, but neither of the three have made a case to dominate the minutes.
The Knicks biggest struggle is defense, as they’re still averaging 105.4 PPG. This is a combination of personnel and schemes. Going back to the recent days of JR Smith and Iman Shumpert, the Knicks pick and roll defense has been terrible. Maybe they think they have the roster to get it done. Newsflash: It’s not working!
Last night we watched the Knicks constantly switch the pick and roll with Brandon Jennings ending up guarding Dirk in the post on numerous occasions! For a team that wants to make the playoffs, that cannot happen. The guards aren’t fighting through screens hard enough and mismatches occur all over the floor. The communication breaks down on the help and the rotations are not fast enough. The players talk all the time off the court but can’t seem to get it right on the court.
Unbelievable. FIX IT Hornacek! FIX IT, Jackson!
In my last entry I noted the Knicks needed to finish the month 6-4 to get back to .500 and back into the playoff picture. We watched them squander that away like no other. They currently sit 7 games under .500 and 3 games back of a playoff spot. With all the turmoil, it just leads one to think; it doesn’t get much worse than this, does it?