The New York Knicks are the epitome of defeat.
While giving fans signs of hope through small stretches of the season, this Knicks team is not playoff worthy even in this talent lacking Eastern Conference.
With the only real bright spots of the season having been the emergence of Tim Hardaway Jr. in his rookie season and Carmelo Anthony lifting his game to a new standard in his contract year, success has been an aspect of the game that has eluded Mike Woodson and the Knicks, and with the recent arrest of Raymond Felton, the final blow has been dealt.
But, alas the Knicks are the same team that in the early 2000′s would spend big money, and get small returns. The Knicks season is officially over, it was over a long time ago, but this latest 126-103 loss to the Golden State Warriors leaves one thought reminiscing through my mind, how long? How long until all this antichrist ownership by James Dolan ends? How long until the Knicks can realize the error of their un-savvy front office ways? How long until this Knicks team can bring pride back to New York?
This erroneous Knicks team would be fallacious to believe striking positives can be drawn from this season, and with every lackadaisical step in the wrong direction taken, the primary goal of re-signing Anthony is looking more distant by the second with big markets such as Los Angeles and Chicago competing for the superstars’ signature.
With the uncertainty of an Anthony return, the fact remains simple. This Knicks team remains, and will continue to remain, hapless, misguided, and to some extent, bipolar. Throughout the history of the Knicks, there has been a fluctuation between success and mediocrity, with the latter proving to be the more likely occurrence in this era of New York basketball.
From mistakes stretching from overpaying busts such as the infamous Eddy Curry, to off the court distractions (sometimes even on the court) by J.R. Smith, and now Felton having been arrested for illegal possession of a weapon.
Can this Knicks team win a title anytime soon? Unlikely.
Can this Knicks team make the playoffs in the next two seasons? Doubtful.
Who’s to blame for this dysfunctional Knicks team? Majority goes to the ghost of General Manager’s past, and the fact that both Denver and Toronto own the majority of the Knicks future, but some blame must go towards the players.
Due to the substandard play by the 2013-14 Knicks, it is likely that the already youth oriented Orlando magic will have the Knicks lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Anthony could leave, and the playoffs now seem as distant as the Knicks making a wise decision.
Coming into the season, the depth chart for the Knicks looked loaded, as it seemed as though in camp the roster could take the shape of Felton, Pablo Prigioni, and Beno Udrih leading the point guard corps; Iman Shumpert, Smith, and Hardaway Jr. manning the two guard spot; Anthony and Metta World Peace providing a balance between offense and defense at the three; Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Kenyon Martin providing solid depth at the 4 with all three proving to be capable players of starting; and finally Tyson Chandler, Jeremy Tyler, and Cole Aldrich rounding off the depth at the five.
Though, at first glance, at this current stage of the season, that depth chart does not look as if it is anything special.
Felton was coming off a much improved 2012-13 season in which he finished with 13.9 points per game, 5.5 assists per game, and 2.9 rebounds per game. Instead he has fallen off the map proving to regress on the court, with his efficiency being one of the major points in the Knicks regression, while also getting arrested on charges of an illegal possession of a firearm off the court.
Shumpert was expected to break out after showing promise through much of his short campaigns in 2011-12 (lockout), and 2012-13 (torn ACL), but instead has only managed to post 6.9 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game, and 1.2 steals per game while dealing with trade rumors surrounding him for majority of the regular season.
Though, Bargnani really only had endured one real season worth noting in his time in Toronto, that season was enough to convince Glen Grunwald to trade three-point specialist Steve Novak, big man Marcus Camby, and three draft picks in exchange for the inconsistent big man.
That decision has backfired dramatically, as Bargnani could potentially miss the rest of the regular season, and while he did suit up, he wasn’t particularly good as he averaged 13.3 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 1.1 assists per game, and 1.2 blocks per game.
As the mistakes both off the court, and on the court (primarily) pile up, the Knicks are pushing Anthony further away, as well as pushing away any hopes that they have of potentially making the playoffs.
This Knicks team is nowhere close to winning, and with every wrong step, the misery is expected to compile further potentially resulting in another rebuilding period.
This 2013-14 season is lost, and I would expect the coming seasons to be lost as well, meaning that mediocrity awaits New York basketball not only in the short term plans, but in the long run as well.