The calm was before the storm, and now has shown up slightly afterwards. It was all good before Christmas. Then there were 20 out of 27 games lost, a point guard disappearance, trade rumors, twitter fingers, and legendary “fights” (see what I did there?). They literally became the laughingstock of the NBA. They were nothing more than a complete joke of a franchise. And after it all, the Knicks managed to play some defense. They earned a much needed home victory against the best road team in the league, the San Antonio Spurs.
The future of the franchise is very much up in the air. But one thing is clear, the fans want Porzingis. Whether Melo stays or goes, the fans seem to be in unison that Porzingis is the answer moving forward. I’m a firm believer that Phil Jackson is the most immediate problem that should be fixed in this mess. He’s created controversy around his star, and since the offseason hasn’t done a single move to help the team.
Since Christmas, the Knicks have suffered 9 losses by 5 points or less. Since Christmas, the Knicks have averaged 106.9 PPG. Where is the DEFENSE?! Coach Hornacek has meddled with a couple lineups to find the best fitting pieces. My suggestion? Just play the hardest working five out there, regardless of contracts or stardom. On certain nights this team just seems to lack effort. The lapses on defense lead to loss of confidence on offense and the deficit balloons to double digits. The team isn’t good enough to give full effort for only 45 minutes and win the game. Without a 48 minute “leave it all on the court” performance, they’re doomed.
Through all the trials and tribulations, this team remains only 3 games out of the final playoff spot. Hopefully they get much needed mental and physical rest through All-Star break and go streaking in the right direction thereafter. The talent level on the roster is capable of more than just the 8th seed, but cohesion is a necessity. If there’s one thing that’s certain, the franchise will have to conduct a deep dive on this roster. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. But if it’s broken, get rid of it (re: Phil Jackson)!