There are so many unanswered questions swirling around the Knicks right now that they could change their logo to a question mark. Let us begin with, “Will Phil Jackson join their front office? Will Mike Woodson be fired? When? Will there be a March 19 boycott of the Knicks/Madison Square Garden? Is Carmelo Anthony interested in free agency? Can Ray Felton put his marriage woes and pending gun charge behind him? What will their draft position be, although it’s now owned by the Denver Nuggets—a deal point negotiated in the Carmelo trade? Can the Knicks get into the playoffs, and if Jackson does take over, what does that mean for Steve Mills, recently hired as president/general manager?”
Knick fans and journalist alike are asking, wondering, how did a team that won 50-plus games last season be close to losing 50 this season? They also question Jackson’s commitment to running the Knicks, taking into consideration his ability to build a team, his age (68), his lack of front office experience, his reported health problems and his cozy relationship with Lakers heiress Jeanie Buss, who herself aspires to control her family’s team that is now floundering under her brother’s stewardship. As a fan, journalist, exec or owner, one should question this, because it’s a conflict of interest, a point of concern.
If Jackson assesses the Knicks, he’d see that they really aren’t a bad team. Their problem is that most everyone of importance in their conference is better or has been playing better than they have, even taking into consideration Miami’s recent three straight losses, and four by Indiana—though there’s no comparison of those two teams and our Knicks.
Though they’ve lost two-thirds of their total games, the Knicks are on a win streak, with 16 to go. They could be an eighth seed. As Anthony and Woodson have reiterated, they’re taking this one game at a time. If they continue to get scoring from rookie Tim Hardaway Jr., J.R. Smith and Amar’e Stoudemire, with 20-plus points each, augmenting Anthony’s, as they just did against Philly, there’s a chance.
Even Felton contributed 13, knocking down threes and receiving Garden ovations, but with Tyson Chandler now out due to undisclosed personal reasons, the Knicks’ defense is even weaker. Philly’s ability to constantly drive to the basket proved that.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, only six of these next 16 games will be as comfortable for them as this one was.