We all expected the Knicks to be in some sort of rebuilding mode this year, but to stay competitive while doing so. Instead, the Knicks are showing the same problems that they did last year. And I am not talking about a lack of talent, I am talking about a lack of effort and heart. This team has absolutely no heart. When they get down, they quit. That was the problem under ex-coach Mike Woodson, and through 17 games, new coach Derek Fisher has done nothing to change it. There is too much praise towards Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher. They may have won in other situations with superstars, but now they have to build a team from scratch. The players on the floor for the Knicks as of now were mostly chosen by Phil, and they have won 4 out of 17 games. The proof is in the pudding, and the Knicks stink.
Why does Jackson have to wait until Christmas to address roster issues, when he could address them now to try to better the team's performance? It just doesn't make any sense. Jackson's 11 rings have no impact on the situation at hand, and as of 17 games through his first season, he has failed. I can understand the argument that it is very early in his tenure and that he cannot be judged prematurely, but my issue is not as much with the talent that he chose, but the effort of the team. It is unacceptable for guys to stop playing during the game. There have been multiple occasions where J.R. Smith and others have quit on defense and packed it in, at halftime! The loss to Oklahoma City this past friday night was an absolute joke! They quit at halftime and counted their checks. The Knicks were promising at 2-1 with wins over the Hornets and Cavaliers, but when they got beat soundly by the Wizards, they folded, showing their true colors.
This isn't about the triangle meshing with everyone, its about basketball 101. The Knicks cannot box out, cannot rebound, cannot catch passes, cannot defend, and cannot manage the ball in late game situations. If the Knicks were 4-13 but gave 100% every game, I would not have as much of a problem with the state of the team right now. But something is wrong, Derek Fisher does not have the pulse of the team. Drastic changes need to be made immediately to this roster. These players are getting paid millions of dollars to play basketball and they are not giving maximum effort? That is a major problem.
There have been games where the Knicks have been smoked by teams that are headed to the NBA Lottery. It makes absolutely no sense. Yes, the Knicks were supposed to be a work in progress, but they weren't expected to be lottery bound. It is possible that these Knicks are worst than last years bunch. At least last years team was hovering around the 8th seed of the playoffs most of the season, for what its worth.
Another major issue I have with this team, Andrea Bargnani! Even when he is healthy, he is terrible. The Knicks talk like he is going to be the savior when he comes back from injury, but he missed three months last season, and has already missed 17 games this season. He is a waste of a roster spot, and the Knicks need to act now. Another thing I don't understand is that the Knicks drafted Cleanthony Early as a high pick, so why doesn't he play! He can't be any worse than J.R. Smith who has thrown up more bricks than a carpenter.
The Knicks need to make changes today, and if they don't, they are headed for the NBA Draft Lottery.