The NBA season is winding down and for the Knicks, well, it’s been over for a while now.
Coming into this season, some touted the Knicks as a “superteam” with two former All-Stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah teaming up with Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. Now with only four games remaining in the season, the Knicks are looking at the NBA draft lottery once again instead of the playoffs.
It has been a bumpy road from the get-go with first year coach Jeff Hornacek trying to add an aspect of Phil Jackson’s triangle offense to his high pace style.
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It’s fair to say that the Knicks as a team did not buy into it and it showed, night in and night out.
Hornacek can only be blamed for so much of the Knicks' woes as he is not out there playing. But he can be held accountable for the lack of continuity with the team.
You could see there was a rift between the veterans and the younger players on the bench. There were plenty of instances during the season when the younger bench players would outshine the vets and it was clear that it did not sit well the older guys. Those types of relationships tear teams apart and that is what we have now.
The Knicks have a plethora of young players who showed that they are willing to buy into what Hornacek and Jackson are selling.
The likes of Willy Hernangomez, Ron Baker, Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Kristaps Porzingis all showed willingness to share the ball and play together as one cohesive unit.
The veterans, on the other hand, seemed to be focused more on themselves.
A visible lack of fluidity began to show among them on the floor, especially when guys came in off the bench. It seemed as though the vets did not trust the younger guys and sadly it looked like they did not want them to succeed.
That may not be the case, but subconsciously it might have. Regardless, it leaked through to the fans and the media, which is a recipe for disaster.
So what’s next for the Knicks? Carmelo Anthony has overstayed his welcome in New York. It may be time for him to waive that no-trade clause and move on from the organization.
It is now more than apparent that a team cannot be built around Anthony as the centerpiece. He is not a leader despite being one of the greatest scorers of his time at his position.
Melo has failed to reach his ceiling as a complete basketball player and wherever he goes next, I think he needs play in a less-central role.
Other than Anthony, the Knicks are going to have to ride out Joakim Noah’s huge deal for the next three seasons and there is no chance that anyone will want to trade for his bum ass.
The Knicks won’t have to wait that long to see the departure of Derrick Rose, who will be a free agent and likely end up with the team that offers him the most money.
Porzingis and Hernangomez have given hope to Knicks fans for a brighter future and will hopefully call Madison Square Garden home for a long time. Those are the two guys the Knicks need to build around going forward.
Having a perennial All-Star might look nice on paper, but when the wins don’t show up, it is time to take a good hard look at making some changes. While there have been some highs during Melo’s tenure in the Big Apple, there were even more lows and I think it’s time for him to move on.