The first 17 games of the 2019-20 season have been par for the course for the New York Knicks.
Any early-season optimism has been crushed and steamrolled by the struggling franchise, which is now 4-13 after a Sunday-night loss to the crosstown Brooklyn Nets.
It’s already the second time this year the Knicks have lost to the Nets, who have taken over New York in one fell swoop over the summer following the signings of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
The losing is just a byproduct of the dysfunction that exists at the very top of the Knicks’ organization.
While James Dolan continues to pull every single incorrect string in the poor excuse that is this Madison Square Garden puppet show, president Steve Mills’ decade-plus-long survival with the organization has featured nothing but blindly followed the owner’s bidding.
It was that bidding that prompted the now-famous, impromptu press conference alongside GM Scott Perry on Nov. 10 that continued to lay the groundwork for blaming the Knicks’ struggles on head coach David Fizdale.
The Knicks were 2-8 at the time which was tied for their worst 10-game starts in franchise history.
It was revealed that Mills and Perry’s standing with the organization isn’t necessarily on sturdy ground, either.
That hasn’t stopped him from redirecting the focus on Fizdale — who isn’t exactly blame-free in this situation. However, he wasn’t dealt a good hand, either.
According to the New York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy over the weekend, Mills is “judging the Knicks in 10-game increments.”
They were 2-8 in their first 10 games and are 2-5 in their last seven.
That doesn’t bode well for Fizdale.
After winning just 17 games last season, the Knicks are currently on pace for 19 this season.
An overturned roster this offseason— though not a significantly improved one after Mills and Perry whiffed on marquee free agents — was expected to show some improvement compared to last year.
That hasn’t been the case.
Currently, on a three-game losing streak, the Knicks finish the second “10-game” increment that Mills will judge with a brutal stretch against the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Boston Celtics — three of the best teams in the East.
Those in no way are winnable games, which would leave the Knicks at 4-16 through 20 games.
If Mills is in full desperation mode, Fizdale’s dismissal is just around the bend —whether it is the head coach’s fault or not.