Have the Knicks quit?
February 28, 2010
By Lawrence Prezman
How would you feel if you worked at a company that you knew was going to dump you at the end of the year and that said company has made no secret of its plans to go out and replace you with someone far better? I’m guessing you wouldn’t quite give 100 percent.
Meet the New York Knicks.
The Knickerbockers dropped their eighth game in a row (3-5 ATS) on Tuesday night, 110-106 in Boston. The only good news was that Tracy McGrady played, but it’s looking more and more like that 26-point effort on Saturday night in his first significant playing time was a mirage. T-Mac followed that big night up with 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting in a loss to the Bucks on Monday, a game that he left early with pain in his surgically repaired knee (and the Knicks scored a season-low 67 points). So it was a bit surprising that McGrady played in the second of a back-to-back Tuesday in Boston, when he had eight assists and six points on 3-for-8 shooting. Clearly his body isn’t going to let him perform at a high level on a nightly basis.
Since starting the New Year with a three-game winning streak, the Knicks are 4-17. Some lowlights: a 50-point home loss to Dallas that was the team’s worst-ever loss at Madison Square Garden and second worst anywhere; a 21-point loss at wretched Minnesota, which remains the Timberwolves’ biggest win of the season -- and Minnesota had lost by 27 at the Garden just a week earlier; a six-point home loss to the Kings that allowed Sacramento to end a six-game overall losing streak and 11 in a row on the road – Sacramento entered with a 3-22 road record; and then Monday’s 83-67 home loss to Milwaukee, the Knicks’ worst offensive performance since 2007.
At this point, the Knicks are David Lee, McGrady (occasionally), Al Harrington, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and a bunch of D-League personnel. There’s not a single player on the team that you would consider a good defender – the Knicks allow the sixth-most points in the NBA and the fourth-worst opponents shooting percentage. Only Gallinari and Chandler seem sure to be back next year, and they are probably just good role players at best.
The Knicks of course have gone “all-in” for this summer’s free agent class by dumping future first-round considerations and prospect Jordan Hill for McGrady and cap room. But that has left a bunch of guys either playing out the string or simply putting their own stats first to earn a big new contract somewhere else. I mean, the Knicks have allowed a half-crippled McGrady to be the centerpiece of their offense despite having two fairly solid building blocks in Lee and Gallinari. And why has Eddie House been allowed to hoist up 37 shots and average more than 30 minutes a game since coming over from Boston?
And by the way, don’t expect any help in this year’s draft, because the Jazz get the Knicks’ first-round pick.
There’s really no reason to expect this team to get any better the rest of this season. It’s arguably the most disjointed team in the Association right now and why would that change? And look at March’s schedule, which features 10 road games (nine of those against playoff contenders) and just six at home.
Knick fans better hope LeBron or D-Wade comes to the Big Apple this summer, or else it could be another long basketball decade in New York.
Well, there’s always the Nets.