There are no immediate or obvious answers for the Knicks’ thunderous decline. They are 3-13 and have lost nine straight games, tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the worst record in the Eastern Conference at the start of this week. To borrow a refrain from the Beastie Boys, there will be “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” where the Knicks will meet the Nets tonight (Thursday) at the Barclays Center.
There is a high probability that the Knicks’ inexplicable slumber will continue, even if they muster a win against the Nets, who have been equally as futile as the Knicks, with a record of 5-12 as of Monday. The Knicks have labored on both ends of the floor.
A confluence of poor execution and lackluster effort has flummoxed head coach Mike Woodson, who is wearing the losing streak with the heaviness of a ball and chain. “I’ll go back and watch the tape tomorrow, and it is going to be same thing all over again,” he lamented following a 103-99 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. “I thought coming down the stretch we played on our heels,” Woodson continued, “like the 0-8 we’re looking at here was staring us in the face instead of just relaxing and playing.”As a result, it became zero for the last nine.
“We have to fix our mental state,” said Carmelo Anthony. “I don’t know if we have to sit here and talk for hours. We have to do something.” Maybe Oprah is willing to entertain the Knicks for a soul-searching session.
Anthony is correct in assessing that their struggles go beyond physical flaws, although an elite point guard who can defend at the point of attack and facilitate easy baskets would alleviate many of the Knicks’ ills.
Amazingly, they are in the thick of the Atlantic Division race, an indictment of the sorry state of play of its five teams. Woodson is having none of it.
“I’m not even looking at that right now,” he said. “It’s great that we’re in that position, but I gotta find some identity with this team.”
To date, the Knicks
remain a mystery.