For those obsessed with tracking NBA playoffs position even though it’s only late November, the Knicks began the week with a record of 4-10 before facing the Houston Rockets Monday to start a three-game, five-day road trip. The mark tied them with Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets for 12th place in the 16-team Eastern Conference. 

After meeting up with the Mavericks in Dallas last night (Wednesday), they will end their southwest outing tomorrow (Friday) in Oklahoma City against the hobbling Thunder, who have been playing abysmally with stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook sidelined with injuries. The Knicks will have 65 games remaining when they host the Miami Heat at the Garden Sunday night. Philosophically, their current seeding in the long race to the playoffs is irrelevant with nearly five months of basketball remaining. There’s a lot of time, and variables to come into play, to rise into contention as a low seed.

Realistically, that’s as good as the Knicks’ roster can muster. They are competitive and highly engaged on most nights but frequently outmanned. Head coach Derek Fisher is still searching for any combination of players, particularly late in games, that can produce winning results.

With only one player, Carmelo Anthony, among the top 70 in the league, Fisher’s crew is limited in how many victories it can squeeze out of its collective ability, which on the NBA scale falls in the category of below average. Case in point: Anthony led the Knicks in scoring with 14 points in the 91-86 loss to the Rockets Monday, despite sitting out the entire second half with back spasms. No other Knick reached double figures.

The evident truth is that they are in the midst of a strategic renovation with the goal, which on the surface seems attainable, to build a team that is a valid championship contender over the next three years. But while the team works on that—especially this season—die-hard Knicks fans will have to endure regularly being on the wrong side of the winning ledger.