Disappointing is the only way to describe the season that the New York Knicks had this season. Being a fan of basketball, I honestly thought with the lineup presented at the beginning of the season, the Knicks would’ve been one of the good teams in the Eastern Conference this year. However, their season tanked with lackluster play from their players and the often said inability to learn Phil Jackson’s push for the triangle offense. Losing still hurts, but it is now more acceptable by the fans with an upside hope for a great opportunity at a lottery pick.
Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee appeared to be a pretty decent line-up on paper prior to the season. No disrespect to other players on the team, Anthony and Porzingis was going to be a good duo in the Eastern Conference. Some even would’ve went as far to say that they could’ve made it out of the second round if they would’ve remained healthy, played as a team and had depth on the bench. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong went wrong this season.
Carmelo has been healthy for majority of this season but is not averaging at his career level. As they are now officially out of the playoffs, it is no secret that his playing time will diminish. Showing small flashes of his earlier years in Chicago, Rose was a good player this year for the Knicks. But the team needed more than a good player in Rose in order to win. Noah, plagued by injuries, really since entering his contract, has not provided the tenacity, defensive-driven out pour that the Knicks signed him for. He has not played a game since the beginning of February. Lee and Porzingis has held their own spots on a team that is desperately missing a lot of pieces. Both have shown up on both ends of the ball and has proved that they are a good fit within the teams future roster for winning.
So where do they go from here?
Besides Rose, the team will probably remain in tact. Justin Holiday and Ron Baker will become free agents, but will likely re-sign as New York seems impressed with their play. However, it will depend on other offers they receive elsewhere. Rose will become a free agent and likely will not re-sign with the Knicks. Even though his recovery time is a short one, the Knicks should consider looking for players that can compliment the team and lead them to be contenders. With the history of injuries, Rose is not the right guy to help New York on this drive.
Phil Jackson needs to go as president. Yes he is one of the greatest coaches and masterminds behind a dynasty. However, those were the yesteryear’s of the NBA. Since his on-boarding the team has struggled and has been one of the first five teams eliminated from playoff contention. Until he is able to accept the change of the game and that the triangle is not the best option for this league, especially for the roster of the Knicks, he will continue to average 50+ loses in a season as president.
It has to be understood that the Knicks will not become a championship team within the next two to three seasons. They have to go through the rebuilding process which starts with building around Porzingis. He has the potential to succeed as the star of the team following Carmelo’s reign as the leader. No need to wait for that to happen as Anthony is exiting his 13th year in the league. I would hate to see Porzingis waste all his talent in New York without getting anywhere due to the executives poor decision making. It is now or never for the Knicks.
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