Moke Hamilton, NBA Analyst He stood, still somewhat talented, but not as tall as usual. Amar’e Stoudemire stared blankly for a moment after being asked a simple question whose answer should have been easy enough to find.
Moke Hamilton, NBA Analyst
He stood, still somewhat talented, but not as tall as usual. Amar’e Stoudemire stared blankly for a moment after being asked a simple question whose answer should have been easy enough to find.
What do the Knicks have to do to dig themselves out of the deep 9-20 hole that they have found themselves in?
“That’s a great question,” Stoudemire said with a sigh.
And after discussing some of the things that he thought went well for the Knicks during Friday night’s 95-83 loss to the Toronto Raptors, it was obvious: Stoudemire does not have the answer.
Neither does Mike Woodson, J.R. Smith or Carmelo Anthony.
In fact, things have become quite repetitive for the Knicks and the losing has become routine. Woodson discussing the team’s injury woes and Smith saying that the Knicks need to make shots has become as redundant as unguarded opponents prancing into the Garden’s orange paint and getting unobstructed lay ups.
Wanna know what else has become repetitive? Loud boos raining down from the rafters of the World’s Most Famous Arena.
Under normal circumstances, an NBA team would swallow its pride and do something—anything—to change its fortunes. But alas, the Knicks are not exactly a model of conventional thinking.
According to an ESPN.com report, James Dolan went out of his way to assure his team that no changes were forthcoming. The idea, according to the report, was to galvanize the troops and rally them behind their head coach.
But, at this point, a declaration that no changes are coming sounds more like complacent resignation than a vote of confidence.
Resignation: that was the theme in the team’s locker room on Friday night after the Knicks dropped to a miserable 4-12 at Madison Square Garden.
Still searching, still wondering, still blundering.
As the losses have piled up, so have the questions about what the Knicks may or may not do with everyone from Woodson to Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler. The constant speculation and a nightmare of a season has taken a visible toll on everyone from Andrea Bargnani to Stoudemire.
At some point, the question of whether or not this team has quit must be asked when listless efforts become the norm and when players stop having insightful answers to the simplest of questions.
It is beginning to look and feel about as if it’s about that time.
At this point, most NBA teams would make the somewhat obvious, even if not necessarily correct move—they fire their head coach.
Or, if the head coach has the support of his front office, then one or two roster altering moves are made.
But standing idly by, like this? Even when the team’s star player is set to enter unrestricted free agency and—by the looks of it—has little incentive to stay? It is now that the Knicks opt to stand pat?
At the very least, that is odd. At most, it is stubborn and shortsighted. But alas, those three adjectives have come to describe this franchise quite well.
The Knicks desperately need something, it is just sad that nobody seems to know what it is.
On Friday night, despite leading by as many as 12 points and beginning the fourth quarter ahead by five, the Raptors trio of DeMar DeRozan, John Salmons and Jonas Valanciunas combined to score 23 of the team’s 29 fourth quarter points and stole a win from beneath the Knicks’ noses.
Valanciunas’ career-high 18 rebounds came with 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting while Kyle Lowry—a player the Raptors are openly shopping and have discussed trading to the Knicks—contributed a 15-point, 11-assist double-double.
At the end of the night, the Knicks stood around, responding to questions but providing no real answers. And with Anthony nursing his ankle and not making the trip to Toronto to battle the Raptors in the second of the home-and-home series, there is no immediately available solution.
One thing is for sure, though, something needs to change.
It is sad that nobody seems to know what does, but it is even sadder that the Knicks’ brass is apparently oblivious to that readily apparent fact.
Moke Hamilton is the NBA Analyst for SNY.tv and, along with Lead Writer Harris Deckers, hosts the Knicks Blog Podcast each and every Wednesday. Follow him on Twitter: @MokeHamilton