Harris DeckerTen days ago, I wrote a post titled The road to Brooklyn: Previewing the next two weeks. In it, I lamented the Knicks struggles and looked ahead to the much anticipated matchup with the Brooklyn Nets on December 5th. At that time, the thought was that the Knicks could end up with a record of 4-12, losing to the Wizards, Trail Blazers, Clippers and Nuggets while beating the Pelicans.
Instead, the team lost every game on the road trip, capped off last night with a home loss to the 8-8 New Orleans Pelicans. They currently sit at 3-13, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Just one spot ahead of the Knicks are the Nets, with a record of 5-12. Needless to say, this much anticipated matchup has lost its juice.
What shouldn’t be lost is how bad the team is playing. They are ranked in the bottom five in the league in a slew of offensive and defensive categories, including field goal percentage, rebounds and assists. Another huge problem is that they are getting to the free throw line less than any other team in the league. In 16 games, the Knicks have taken just 286 free throws. To put that in perspective, the Houston Rockets have taken 597 free throws — or 311 more than the Knicks.
Now, we look ahead to Thursday when the 13th seed in the East takes on the 14th seed in the East from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The teams are both struggling, but that means that this game is even more important. A win could give either team some momentum as they try to turn the season around. A loss, like the many losses before could be just another reminder of how far there is to climb to get back to relevancy.