The Knicks have reached their MIDWAY point of the season and they are in the EXACT that you do NOT want to be in the Current NBA. They are TWO games out a Playoff Spot, but are not CLOSE to being in the contention for a HIGH draft pick either. The Knicks went 1-3 in the LAST week in which they had TWO losses in Overtime, they could have EASILY won those games and things would not be this BLEAK for the Knicks and their fans.
I have come awfully CLOSE to counting the Knicks DEAD for this season because they are showing NO signs of IMPROVING any time soon. This season was SUPPOSED to show PROMISE in the Knicks long term FUTURE, but their biggest ASSET Kristaps Porzingis has NOT been GREAT since the Knicks’ number TWO option on offense, Tim Hardaway Jr., has been OUT due to a Leg Injury. The Knicks DESPERATELY need Hardaway to get HEALTHY if they want to SALVAGE this season with a POSSIBLE Playoff run.
IF the Knicks somehow managed to get HOT and make the Playoffs, they will get SWEPT in the First Round of the Playoffs. It is much BETTER for their long term future if they start TANKING for a HIGH draft pick and further develop of the YOUNG players on the roster like Porzingis, Hardaway Jr., and Frank Ntilikina.
The Knicks need a LOT of help on BOTH offense and defense before they become a PERENNIAL playoff team, so it will be INTERESTING to see how the Front Office approaches the REST of the season, especially the Trade deadline. I do NOT expect the Knicks to be BUYERS on the Trade deadline, but it is still almost a MONTH away from today, so maybe things CHANGE for the Knicks.
I had said last week that the Knicks almost HAD to go 3-0 last week to keep up PACE in the Eastern Conference Playoff race, but instead they went 1-2, followed by an overtime LOSS last night. The Knicks have a really TOUGH game tomorrow against the Timberwolves in Minnesota, which they are for sure going to LOSE and then who knows what will happen the rest of the week.
The Knicks LOST in overtime to BOTH the Heat in Miami on Friday, and the Chicago Bulls at HOME last night. The Heat were in a SIMILAR boat as the Knicks going into that game, but unlike the Knicks, the Heat are on a SIX game WINNING streak which has PROPELLED them to the FOURTH seed in the East. The Knicks are currently the TENTH seed after being the NINTH seed last week.
The Bulls are among the WORST teams in the NBA and LOSING to them at HOME is INEXCUSABLE for the Knicks. They had MANY chances to WIN that game but could not get that BIG play that gave them the LEAD late in the game. They had to be BAILED out by Porzingis and point guard Jarett Jack to not LOSE the game in Regulation or the FIRST overtime period. Eventually the Knicks’ players ran OUT of gas and they LOST the game in SECOND overtime.
Their other LOSS of the week came against the Wizards in Washington last Wednesday, in a game that I knew was NOT going to end WELL for the Knickerbockers. The Wizards are led by one of the BEST players in the NBA in point guard John Wall, and the Knicks always have a TOUGH time defending an ELITE point guard.
The LONE win this week for the Knicks came against the Mavericks in Dallas on Sunday Night. The Knicks have NOT won many ROAD games this season, so it was SURPRISING for them to give a FULL effort for all FOUR quarters on Sunday. There was some MOMENTUM surrounding the Knicks following that WIN but they BOOTED it away last night with the LOSS to the Bulls.
After facing the Timberwolves last night, the Knicks will HOST the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday Afternoon and CLOSE out the week on Monday Afternoon in Brooklyn against the Nets. The Knicks beat the Pelicans a COUPLE of weeks ago in New Orleans, so they have a GOOD chance to WIN this game on Sunday. One of the RARE road wins for the Knicks this season came in Brooklyn, so maybe they will be able to REPEAT that feat this time around.
Time is running OUT on the Knicks’ HOPES of making the playoffs this season and they are in DESPERATE need for a BIG week. Maybe going 2-1 this week will HELP them CLIMB the Eastern Conference standings and bring BACK Playoff Basketball to Madison Square Garden, the MECCA of Basketball.