The New York Knicks have been slowly unraveling. The slumping team has dropped a fourth-straight game on Wednesday night (sixth-straight game at home), losing to the Indiana Pacers, 103-96. 11 games into the season, do the Knicks have anything in the tank? They were on the verge of beating the Pacers at home, but then didn’t. Yes, it may have been because of a controversial foul call on Iman Shumpert at the end of regulation, but that’s for another time.
From injuries, to old age, to trade rumors to Carmelo Anthony’s slump, the Knicks have been barraged with problems that have led the team to a 3-8 start, and a couple of days ago, I wrote an article recognizing this much. I finished it with a pie-in-the-sky observation, saying “They’re a few healthy players away from getting back into the mix of things.” Ha! Two games later and I couldn’t be any more wrong.
After coach Mike Woodson questioned his team’s efforts, the Knicks came out firing on all cylinders against the Pacers, going up 13-0 at the beginning of the game. And for 47 minutes they played inspired basketball. Anthony scored 30 points, J.R. Smith had 21 and Udrih finished with 19 points; the defense was unyielding, holding the Pacers to 35 percent shooting, but it was all for naught. The Pacers began to chip away at the lead, and it ended in a demoralizing loss for the Knicks.
Moral of the story? Even with the Knicks’ best effort, the team falls short.
Last season, it took the Knicks 28 games to reach eight losses. They’ve accomplished that in only 11 games this season. With the losses and sloppy play this season, the frustrations have been bubbling to the surface. The team has shown too many mental errors, too many poor-shot selections and a lot of lackluster late-game defense.
The Knicks have been struggling just to stay competitive and now this beleaguered, tired and banged-up collection of players will now embark on a four-game road trip. Will they survive, or dig themselves into a deeper hole? After their road trip, we may see the Knicks’ ever-expanding list of problems grow longer.