The New York Knicks Are Who We Thought They Were
Whatever positive thoughts you think about the New York Knicks, please hold those for after my negative rant. The New York Knicks are and have been the biggest joke of a franchise for a very long time. They are off to yet another uninspiring start after a fraudulent beginning to the season where 16 of their first 22 games were at Madison Square Garden and were actually over .500 for a short period of time.
However, every time it seems that these kids are finally getting it together, they blow a late fourth quarter lead or get blown out at home and are right back to where they started. Right now they’re 21-27, about 4.5 games out of a playoff spot. There’s no reason to be a buyer at the deadline because even if they do make the playoffs they’re going to be embarrassed and most likely swept.
The Knicks are in a perpetual state of futility, and there are so many issues as to why they’ve been in a re-build for essentially twenty years. There have been some great moments as of late, and this team is much more exciting than last year’s, with a lot of guys who actually care about the city. Enes Kanter and Courtney Lee have brought a lot of energy to the court, but they just aren’t talented enough for the Knicks to even be a mediocre team. Here are what I think are the Knicks biggest problems, problems that have lingered for many years.
The biggest thing that has been haunting the Knicks for years has been three point defense. Even in the “glory days” of Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks were never able to guard the three, a strategy that most teams in the NBA use nowadays.
It seems as though many teams have followed in the Golden State Warriors’ footsteps and the Knicks have never learned to defend this even though it’s been a pretty obvious strategy for years. On this year’s team you constantly see the Knicks getting caught in ball screens or caught ball watching, only to see a wide open opponent drain a three. It’s disheartening and it’s one of the main reasons why the Knicks can’t close out games.
I think the thing that bothers me the most about the Knicks is that they always have to be different with their draft strategy. Since they took Frederic Weis back in 1999 I’ve never once trusted the direction the Knicks go in their draft. If you want me to be completely honest, I still think that Kristaps Porzingis was the wrong choice in the 2015 draft. I thought the Knicks should have taken Frank Kaminsky, who is a very serviceable player for the Hornets and does not have any health concerns.
This year they decided to take Frank Ntilikina, another relatively unknown European player who was more of a project than a surefire prospect. I know in both years there weren’t many can’t miss prospects when the Knicks drafted, but the fact that they continued their tradition of taking complete unknowns is CRAZY to me.
We’ve seen it with Carmelo Anthony and now we see it with Kristaps Porzingis. The Knicks have had a serious “me first” issue and have never had the coach or the management to hold these players and managers accountable. Carmelo Anthony could essentially do no wrong in the eyes of Mike D’Antoni, Mike Woodson, Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis and Jeff Hornacek. Boy, I’m out of breath.
Anyway, Melo and now Porzingis can essentially do whatever they want because they are the superstar of the Knicks, even though neither ever earned it. Melo was a lazy player who was a great scorer in his prime but didn’t play good defense unless he was playing Lebron James, did not pass the ball, and was a black hole on offense. Porzingis is a 22-year-old who acts like a 10-year vet, constantly taking off games for soreness, complaining about being tired, and overall having a poor attitude as of late.
On top of all of this, the past few seasons have been a disaster as James Dolan handed off the keys to the team to an uninspired Phil Jackson, who has more problems than a Jay-Z song. Jackson was constantly battling with Carmelo Anthony and alienating himself from the rest of the team.
It’s never going to end no matter how hard we try. The Knicks are a doomed franchise until James Dolan sells the team. Those three examples just scrape the surface on what issues still remain within the Knicks organization. It starts at the top, where James Dolan is by far the worst owner in sports. Without him gone, there is no hope. I don’t care how lanky Frank The French Prince is. I don’t care how “tough” they play, even though they haven’t played defense in years. I want a competent team that can compete for a championship. Is that too much to ask?