The New York Knicks are 0-2 since Thursday’s trade deadline came and went. They’ve suffered a loss to the lowly Orlando Magic in a double overtime game, and then they blew a double-digit lead to the Atlanta Hawks, who were on an eight-game losing streak prior to last night.
With the Knicks falling further out of the playoff picture (they’ve never really been in it), the question begs to be asked: should the Knicks have made a trade before the deadline?
Granted, there weren’t any really great offers, but it’s not as if this current club has much going for it, anyway. This doesn’t mean the Knicks should have just dumped off assets or made a trade for the sake of making one. Though the lack of action was disappointing, but Steve Mills and James Dolan were careful not to get pulled into giving up a pick or Tim Hardaway Jr. However, this roster looks like it needs a shake-up.
So it’s hard to say the Knicks should have made a deal while applauding them for not getting suckered into a bad one. But currently, this team is 21-35. There are 26 games remaining. If the Knicks went .500 the rest of the way, which would be an improvement (they’re 2-8 in their last ten), they’d still only have a 34-48 record — hardly desirable. Heck, even if the Knicks won 75% of their games from here on out — 20 wins, rounded — they’d finish with a 41-41 record. Is a .500 season really the end goal? It would put them in about the 5th or 6th seed in the East, and if they were lucky, they’d win one round of the playoffs, but how much is that worth?
The worst part of this recent skid is the tell-tale signs that things aren’t improving. Carmelo Anthony has been going off offensively, and it hasn’t had an effect. Raymond Felton has stepped up his play considerably the last two games — nothing. Tyson Chandler is looking a little more spry, but it hardly matters. Since Andrea Bargnani’s injury and the return to small ball, a movement many felt could turn around the season, the Knicks have had the fourth best offensive rating in the league, but the sixth worst defensive rating. Their offensive potency doesn’t even matter; the team is 6-8 since Bargnani’s injury.
The Knicks should have been trying their best to acquire assets — young, cheap players or draft picks. It’s easier said than done, but it’s the better outcome to this season. The Knicks wouldn’t necessarily have to tank, but if they miss the playoffs, at least they could have still had some youth and a pick. And if they did miss the playoffs, that pick could’ve been in the lottery (so long as it’s not too highly protected). For now, the Knicks have a hole to crawl out of to make the playoffs, despite how little it may really mean.
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