Sometimes in life you have to acknowledge you’re bad and you’ve made some serious mistakes. It’s around about that time you have to come to terms with the fact that you need to take a few steps back to take any forward. If you have guessed what I’m talking about by now, it’s the New York Knicks. And right about the NYK are 1-3 and coming off a loss to the Bobcats. The Bobcats.
The Knicks should never ever lose to the Bobcats and what’s worse is that Tyson Chandler fractured his fibula, leaving him sidelined for 6 weeks or 20 plus games.
I’m sorry but right now it’s major press-the-panic-button time.
First, let’s address the problems at the moment.
1. Melo should’ve gotten shoulder surgery over the summer, because at the moment he looks like he did in the Playoffs; sluggish, uncomfortable, inefficient and reasonably ineffective on a big scale.
2. Too many volume scorers. In my opinion ( Which is one of a volume scorer’s.), it’s not a bad thing most of the time to have a couple of volume scorer’s on a team and even though they are painted as the enemies of NBA basketball by modern statistics at the end of the day every team needs someone who has the guts to shoot, and ultimately get buckets. But in the case of New York we have: Carmelo Anthony ( Like I said he looks unhealthy so at the moment I’d list him as a volume scorer.), Andrea Bargnani (Who’s more of a volume shooter.), Tim Hardaway Jr., JR Smith and at times Iman Shumpert can be a little inefficient. It’s hard to have a productive offense when you have that number of shooters on the floor, all looking to create their own shot. This is why the Knicks shouldn’t have gotten rid of both Steve Novak and Chris Copeland, who are good floor-spacers and great shooters. Of course they lacked defensive ability but come back to me when you see Andrea Bargnani playing smashmouth D in the post. I will say though Metta World Peace has been great in his homecoming, great defender and floor spacer and he’s been putting up points too (Also striking fear into opponents ahem — Tyler Hansborough..). The Knicks need to sort out their rotation so that the offence isn’t clogged with guys who want to chuck up shots. This will mean more minutes for players like Prigioni, Stoudemire, World Peace and Udrih which raises questions about the fitness and overall health of the Knicks.
3. Defense. The defense has just been awful I can’t say much more just that it has sucked.
4. Cap space. Simply put the Knicks can’t sustain having Melo, Stoudemire, Chandler, Smith and Bargnani all on the same roster. Plus the Knicks are in dire need for a big but have no money to sign a half decent one.
Now with that off my chest we need to think of ways for the Knicks to take these steps back to go forward.
1. Give Hardaway Jr. and Shumpert keys to the offence (I can’t really include JR here because of the number of doubts I have about him so I’ll need to see him play.). I know you’re scratching your head at the moment but these guys are the future of New York basketball and they won’t develop into stars unless they get minutes and opportunities.
I know that Hardaway Jr. has started a little inefficiently but give him time he has great potential to become a serious offensive threat in the near future.
2. Make Melo fix his shoulder. As my old coach and lifelong Knicks fan Brendan said to me a while back, the Knicks will only go as far as Melo can take them and at the moment that’s looking like the draft lottery. I read a letter to the editor in Sports Illustrated that talked about individuals on bad teams. He mentioned what the 1952 Pittsburg Pirates’ general manager said to traded star Ralph Kiner, who tied the league for most home runs that season ‘We finished last with you. We can finish last without you.’ I know it sounds drastic and almost sacrilegious to even think of trading Melo because of where he has gotten the franchise but at the moment he looks like Monta Ellis, taking shots until they go in and it’s a possibility he may leave in free agency also.
3. The last thing we need to fix is the useless players that are taking other people’s money and shots. Get rid of Bargnani, Stoudemire, Udrih and Chris Smith, even just for second round draft picks. I remember the day I heard the news the Knicks actually traded for Bargnani I didn’t talk for a good hour afterward.
I know that there’s a high likelihood none of this will be addressed and that saddens me because I hate to see my New York Knicks looking like the Clippers of the olden days after such a great year last year. And please.
BRING BACK COPE!!!