It’s panic mood in Knicks nation. After getting blown out for the third straight game on this West Coast trip, many of the New York Knicks’ weaknesses have been exposed. Three younger, faster, and hungrier teams embarrassed them.
Who is to blame? This clearly isn’t the same Knicks team from the beginning of the season, but this might be the true Knick team.
Since their impressive 18-5 start, the Knicks are only 20-20. The record doesn’t disappoint fans as much as their recent play does. After putting up their worst offensive performance in quite a few years against the Warriors, the Knicks followed it up with a game with the Nuggets where they didn’t even belong on the same court as them. Defending young and explosive guards has been a problem all year for the Knicks, and Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard and his Blazers beat the Knicks for the second time this season. Lillard had a double double with 26 points and 10 assists.
The depth of the Knicks is starting to wear down and Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson is struggling with rotations.
I have pointed out all season long that Woodson’s rotations have been a problem all year for this team. We have seen it with Jason Kidd, as he looks tired and not the same player as he was in the beginning of the year. Woodson has finally realized James White isn’t a starter in this league. Chris Copeland has been seeing increasing minutes only because the Knicks have been getting blown out.
Woodson has to do some serious evaluation of his rotations. Kenyon Martin is going to be a huge part of this team going forward with Amar’e Stoudemire out and with Tyson Chandler banged up. Chandler is a warrior but Woodson may not be able to play him the 32 minutes a game he’s been playing him. Kurt Thomas should be not be starting over Marcus Camby, who is said to be healthy but for some reason hasn’t been getting minutes under Woodson.
This team is old and we knew that going into the season. With Carmelo Anthony and Chandler banged up, Woodson is going to have to thing hard and come up with better schemes and smarter rotations if he wants the Knicks to finish in the top three seeds in the Eastern Conference. They can not fall to the No. 4 seed, where they possibly see Miami in the second round, where they might not even get to if they keep this play up.
Playing a five game west coast road trip is tough I get that, but this recent play is inexcusable. The Knicks clearly aren’t a championship level team and right now are playing terrible. You can’t even call them mediocre. Teams like the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, and Chicago Bulls would never come out and play this poorly and get themselves embarrassed like this. In city rival, the Brooklyn Nets are only one game behind the Knicks in the Atlantic Division race and three seed in the East.
The Knicks have to wake up now before it’s too late.