Not the Merriest Knicksmas, but a Happy New Year?
This Christmas was not one to put in the books for the New York Knicks. Facing off against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Knicks had a hard time staying competitive. Thanks to a 14 point deficit, the Knicks took a 109 to 95 loss at home. Now, while this season has been a constant uphill battle for New York, a New Year is on the horizon. Here are a few things the Knicks could use to have a better 2019.
The most obvious thing about the Knicks is that they are a very young team. While the focus for the front office has been to develop the young talent, the Knicks are in dire need of veteran leadership. Now of course, the Knicks have gone this route in prior seasons, as seen through the signing of a player like Jarrett Jack. However, it’s clear from the Christmas game that this young squad needs to be grounded. Perhaps that’ll begin to happen more when Kristaps Porzingis returns, but it’s increasingly clear that the team news a more seasoned voice on the court and in the locker room. With the trade deadline a little over a month away, the front office should really begin to put together a trade package for a weathered and experienced vet.
The thing with having a young team is that they like to get out and run. The problem is that the haste can create unnecessary mistakes. The Knicks have this problem. They tend to start games off well, but near the second half opponents are able to just pull away. Whether it be turnovers or bad shot selections, Fizdale needs to ingrain in his team that they need to let the game come to them. Forcing the issue, taking bad shots, and turning the ball over are all a winning formula for losing.
Of course, this should go without saying. However, thus far, a combination of the above has been an egregious problem for the Knicks. This is once again where a veteran voice will assist this team. It is nice to get out and run, but the team can’t continue to come up with empty possessions and turnovers.
This is more so for the 2019-2020 season, but the Knicks need help. In today’s league it is hard to get it done with just one All-star, let alone one that’s coming off a serious injury. The Knicks are in dire need of a dynamic free agent to run alongside Porzingis when he returns. While Kevin Durant and others have been rumored to consider the Knicks, the front office has to turn those rumors into reality. One player cannot fill all the holes in the Knicks’ game plan. However, if the the team brings in even just one more guy, New York may have a lot to say come next season.
The Knicks will have their chance at a rematch against the Bucks on Thursday night. Even if they win, the team still needs to make some serious changes come 2019. The trade deadline isn’t until February, so the front office has some time to weight their option. Additionally, its obvious that fans want more wins for their team come the New Year. If the Knicks want to make that happen, they have to make some real changes. For now, Fizdale needs to continue to push his players and get as much out of them as he can. The burden falls of making adjustments falls on the front office. Without any adjustments, the second half of this season will look remarkably similar to the first.
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