Throughout this season, many fans have remained hopeful about the New York Knicks. Even with their bad play, they are within striking distance for a playoff spot and close to hitting stride.
Two nights ago, all hope was lost. Fans gave up up on this team like this team gave up on the court last night.
The Knicks Season is Done
It was a disgusting performance. The Los Angeles Lakers got to the basket at will. It looked like the Lakers were playing an exhibition game against a team from overseas, which might be an insult to an oversea team.
For a game that was on their home court, a game that was winnable against one of the worse teams in the NBA, and a game that we heard was must-win, the Knicks played without any effort.
From the opening tipoff to the final buzzer, the Knicks did not threaten the young Lakers. This is a veteran team with a good group of talent that cannot compete with young kids. The Lakers ran circles around the Knicks’, as Walt Clyde Frazier would say, “Swiss cheese defense.”
Their play was effortless, gutless, and heartless. Phil Jackson, has to go. Carmelo Anthony, has to go. Joakim Noah, has to go, even if you have to eat that contract. I wrote about how Knicks should keep Derrick Rose a few weeks back. But now, Rose has to go. It is time to break it down completely. No more signing or trading for older players so that the Knicks can sell tickets and try to have a winning season. It is time to blow this whole experiment and have a true rebuild.
Jeff Hornacek and the young players should stay. The blame cannot always be on the coach. He needs to be given a chance to coach his way and given a chance to develop young players. And the young players need to be given a chance to prove what they are capable of doing without any superstars around.
Pairing up Kristaps Porzingis with a younger core will help his growth and development because that is what this season should be about now. The Knicks need to follow what the New York Yankees did this year. They got rid of all their veteran players with value at the trade deadline. This allowed the young players to come in and perform knowing they would play.
This is the route the Knicks should take for the remainder of the season. Without the superstars, the younger players have a better opportunity to flourish. And in turn, it will allow the organization as a whole to evaluate what they have and which needs they can address through the draft and the offseason.
In New York, a total rebuild is considered “sinful.” There is no such thing as a rebuild in the biggest sports market. But they’ve hit rock bottom. They gave up last night. It is time to give up on them.
Phil Jackson facing the media with Knicks owner James Dolan during the New York Knicks Press Conference at Madison Square Garden, New York, USA. 18th March 2014. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)