The 2014-2015 NBA season has been a painful one for New York Knicks fans. The team currently has the worst record in the league at a dismal 10-42 heading into the All-Star break.
The Knicks are on pace to finish with the worst record in franchise history, and there does not appear to be much hope for fans in the future. Though the Knicks are well out of playoff contention, they will have to play without their top player, Carmelo Anthony.
“Him and his team were thinking real hard about shutting him down after the All-Star weekend at MSG because the Knicks have had one of the worst records in the NBA the entire season,” said senior Arseniy Leontyev.
Anthony has missed several games this season while dealing with soreness in his left knee. Now it appears that season-ending surgery may be the only option for Anthony, after leaving Monday night’s game against the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Anthony said that he was continuing to deal with the soreness in his knee, and that he has to decide if he will play in the All-Star game on Sunday.
Without him in the lineup, the Knicks are 0-12 this season. The Knicks do not have any other players capable of carrying the Knicks offense.
Anthony averages the most points by far for the Knicks at 24.2 per game. Second on the list of New York’s top scorers is Amar’e Stoudemire with 12.2.
Given the Knicks’ place in the standings, some fans think that it would be smarter for the Knicks to let Anthony take time to fully heal now and be back to full health for next season.
“When you take the $124 million contract he signed this summer into consideration, along with the team’s current situation, it would be a lot smarter for him to just work out with the team and avoid the risk of in-game injury,” Leontyev said.
With or without Anthony playing for the remainder of the season, there are bigger problems at hand for the Knicks. The organization itself is in chaos under Phil Jackson’s first year as the president of basketball operations.
Knicks fans are beginning to turn their back on Jackson, whose arrival in New York brought hype and hope for a better future for the Knicks.
Instead, Jackson, who won two NBA Championships with the Knicks as a player in 1970 and 1973 and a record 11 more as a coach for the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, has a team that is not suited for today’s NBA.
Knicks fans have lost faith in Jackson’s old-school triangle offense, which won him six titles with Chicago. Most of the points scored in today’s game are close shots from right around the basket, or three-pointers. Jackson’s triangle offense focuses on creating midrange shots, and it is costing the Knicks big time.
If Jackson wants the Knicks to be successful, he will have to adapt his strategy to better suit the style of today’s NBA and endure a rebuilding process that could extend beyond the Jackson era in New York.
Despite any coaching and strategy adjustments, the Knicks current roster does not have the look of a playoff contender.
Even though there is still a third of the season left to go, Knicks fans may find themselves already looking forward to draft day.
“They’ve recently cleared some cap space by trading away J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in order to be able to push hard for free agents this upcoming summer,” Leontyev said. “There is always a chance that free agents will turn them down so they’re really hoping to draft well in 2015.”