As I write, the New York Knicks are in a terrible tailspin, with a 2-7 record, which inclues six straight losses after a 2-1 start. What’s more, they cannot close out games or come up with a game-winning play when they need it, a trademark of good teams. Last night, down by -2 with time running out, and needing a 2-point basket to tie or a 3-point basket to win, they in-bounded to J. R. Smith, not exactly the guy you want with the game-deciding ball in his hands, as he is not what you would call a cerebral player. Of course, he put up a three that missed by a yard and the Knicks lost.
1. They are saying (supposed) super star Carmelo Anthony is ‘wasting’ another of his prime years. Please. That is the absolute worst thing you can think or say. The man is paid like $20,000,000 to play for the New York Knicks. He should not be worried about anything but that. And, others should not even bring up the subject. He’s playing below his standard and is shooting WAY below his standard. Melo should be thinking about what he can do to help the team: passing, drawing fouls, rebounding, playing defense, being a leader. That’s a prime year.
2. They are saying the team is struggling to master the Triangle Offense. Please. They should forget the Triangle for a moment and go back to what wins games: defense, rebounding, running, diving on loose balls, moving the ball, helping one another, and such. The LA Lakers are also in deep, deep water. But their star, Kobe Bryant, has said he’s loyal to the Lakers. That may not help much but it’s the right thing to say. And, the other day, Lakers’ coach Byron Scott, not tied to any system, ripped his team for their pitiful defense. That’s a start.
Here’s the truth: (a) it’s not all Carmelo’s fault, though he could play better; (b) it’s not the fault of the Triangle, though the coaching staff is worrying too much about their execution of that system. The truth is this: The Knicks have a bad basketball team, with so-so players, over-rated players, incomplete players and players that just simply do not fit together. As a result, they have no … identity. They don’t know who they are and no one knows what game they will play tonight. They need to re-do their roster and that will take 2-3 years. At the very least.