At the All-Star break the New York Knicks are sitting with a record of 10-43. That is thirty three games under .500, thirty two and a half games out of first, a winning percetange of 0.189 and last in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks started the season winning two out of their first three games but after that endured a seven game losing streak. The Knicks had multiple losing streaks over five games including a ten game losing streak and a sixteen game losing streak. During a twenty-seven game stretch the Knicks were victorious in only one game.
Coming into the Season the Knicks looked like a viable playoff team in the Eastern Conference. With adding Jose Calderon, and the idea of him and Andrea Bargnani running the triangle would be a sight to see. That has not been the case, Andrea Bargnani has only played four games thus far. He also was inactive for the first thirty-three games of the season.
The injury bug was not exterminated, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Pablo Prigioni, Jose Calderon, Cleanthony Early Cole Aldrich, Tim Hardaway J.r and Travis Wear at some point or another wear affected by injures.
Carmelo Anthony being the franchise player signing a five-year 124 million dollar extension with the club over the offseason, has been in and out of the lineup since November with a knee injury. He has been playing through his injury “It’s tough. Some days you’re able to do some things; some days you’re not.”
Anthony also resorted to saying that surgery is his last option, but with a season that has been a bust; Anthony has to make the decision of keep playing in a “lost” season or get season ending surgery.
Rookie head coach Derek Fisher was inserted into the job by his former coach Phil Jackson. With claims that his predecessor Mike Woodson lost the locker room, Fisher had to get it back.
With Fisher coming from the offensive mindset of the “Triangle,” that offense was implemented into the Knicks. The Triangle would be the foundation of the offense in the first quarter but once the game got out of hand, the triangle was no longer to be seen.
Regarding the locker room, there were internal problems at the beginning of the season. With the Knicks not having the start they wanted rumors came out that Anthony told Hardaway J.r that he was going to beat him up. They came out and stated that an argument accrued but they also said they have no problems with each other.
Also Forward Quincy Acy was fed up with the team effort and got into a scuffle with Washington Wizards point guard John Wall on Christmas Day.
With the roster the Knicks have assembled this season they have seven players with four years or less experience which include three rookies. With the Knicks having a young roster, and Fisher being a young coach, he had to galvanize his young players when down in games.
In a game against the Houston Rockets, Fisher made an attempt to rally his team when down and delivered this speech in a time out.
Phil Jackson being a former Knickerbocker and now President of Basketball Operations, he admitted that the Knicks disaster start to the season was “my [Phil’s] responsibility.” Even before the Knicks losing got out of hand, Jackson questioned the team of having a loser’s mentality.
When he first got the position, he told the media that the first year would be touch but his job is to change the culture of the franchise. Jackson has been parsing the jobs that Fisher, General Manager Steve Mills, and Owner James Dolan have done.
Recently, Knicks Owner James Dolan was in the news for calling out the loyalty of a Knicks fan. The fan sent him an email that he has been a fan since 1952 and called out the actions of the owner. In response Dolan said
On January 7, 2015 the Knicks were 5-33 and had an opportunity to clear some salary cap. The Knicks executed a trade with the Cleveland Cavalries by sending guards J.R Smith and Iman Shumpert. The Knicks also waived center Samuel Dalembert the same day. With all the moves made, the Knicks cleared over twenty million dollars in cap room.
J.R Smith time in New York ran out by him not being focused on the court. Smith also had a hard time learning the triangle offense and not being that second scoring option. For Shumpert, his defense was never the question, his offensive game did not take off. The young prospect the Knicks drafted in 2011 and a crowd favorite are now contributing to a playoff team.
The Knicks received multiple players and draft picks from this trade but only kept Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas. These players were thought to be waived but roster spots had to be filled. The Knicks also called up D-League prospect Langston Gallaway from the Westchester Knicks.
These players brought tough meaningful basketball to the team. These players were fighting for season long contracts, and they performed well. Even though the team was struggling at the time, they made an impact with their energy. That energy and efficiency they provided on their ten-day contracts were rewarded by all three players being signed to the roster for the rest of the season. All three players have been inserted into the starting line up as well.
Even with the season the Knicks are having, there is an All-Star among them. Carmelo Anthony will be representing the Knicks in the game which will be played at Madison Square Garden. Anthony is averaging 24.2 points and 6.6 rebounds.
After the All-Star Break the Knicks will have twenty-nine games remaining elven of their opponents have winning records. The trade deadline is four days after the All-Star Game. Teams around the league are highly interested in veteran point guards Jose Calderon and Pablo Prigioni and power forward Amar’e Stoudemire. The only way Stoudemire would be an option to teams if a buyout accord.
Sources around the league have stated that Anthony will most likely “shut it down” after the All-Star Game. With the thought of losing their franchise player, The Knicks should be playing with no exceptions.
Even though Anthony is not playing, players on this roster will be playing for future contract opportunities. Wether it is with the Knicks or another team, players will be playing for their future. With that in mind, do not expect the level of play to fall of, due to the fact they are playing for other incentives.
If the Knicks second half season mirrors their first half of the season, The Knicks will be eligible for a top lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.