No Good Knicks
The once-celebrated NBA franchise New York Knicks team has officially crucified itself on (and off) the court this season and become the worst performances of Knicks’ history with only 5 wins in their season. The same Knicks team we congratulated on a surprising victory in a 95-90 victory in the LeBron James embellished season opener for the Cleveland Cavaliers. New York sparked a flame that day, but it quickly blew out.
Since 2001, the Knicks have been on a steady decline and finally hit rock bottom this season, and no, it’s not only the players and talent to blame. It’s the lack of focus from the big-guys. It’s the series of events like a sexual harassment case, poor damage control, and losing great coaches and owners like Pat Riley and Dave Checketts. The question remains: when can we expect them to start creating a team to take it to the top once again?
Starting from Scratch
Finally President Phil Jackson is putting up the white flag to surrender with his Knicks team. They’re clearing the roster and making room on the bench for a better future, but if they want that future, they are going to have to do it by buying free agents and running trades until the February deadline.
They have diddly squat for draft picks options until 2019 – and even in 5 years when they finally get a draft, it’s a second-round pick so it won’t exactly be the cream of the crop. Here’s a list of where their drafts ran off to for the next five years:
2015 second-round pick to the Rockets
2016 first-round draft pick to the Nuggets (swap picks)
2016 first-round pick to the Raptors (swap picks)
2016 second-round pick to Rockets
2017 second-round draft pick to the Jazz
2018 second-round draft pick to the 76ers (swap picks)
2019 second-round draft pick to 76ers
They’ve got nothing for draft picks, but what about free agents and trades? So far, they’ve dropped their starting shooting guard Iman Shumpert and key reserve player J.R. Smith (who’s looking sharp for the Knicks after hitting 29 points on Tuesday night) in a trade to gain over $30 Million in cap room for trades and drafts to come in the future.
History has shown us that the Knicks don’t do well when they spend fat-stacks of cash on big player names. According to Time Magazine The Knicks have ranked in the top three in spending since 1988, and in 12 of those 17 years, they won fewer than half of their games and averaged .449 winning percentage in those years.
Let’s shine light on Carmelo Anthony for a moment (I’m sure he’s used to that anyways). Excellent shooter, but what else does he contribute besides his name plastered all over the media? He averages .08 steals, 3 assists, .04 blocks… where is the defense? The Knicks are paying $21.39 million dollars for a shoot-only player - who’s shooting a .455 Field Goal Percentage and .344 percent from the 3 - all because he’s a “superstar”.
So, could the Knicks be better off building a team molded like the Atlanta Hawks squad? No elites. A team built for team work and dependability. They need a diversity of players sitting on their bench – some that rank highly in offensive efficiency, some in defensive efficiency, rebounds, turnovers, etc.
What to Expect for 2014-15
The Knicks haven’t won a Championship in over four decades (1973), and this year their odds are looking down-right ugly to make it to the playoffs, much less a Championship. Their projected Win-Loss Total as of January 9th came out to a pitiful 15-67. We haven’t seen something that bad since the 2012-13 Phoenix Suns team… and this could definitely end much worse.
It’s going to be a few years at least before we see a Knicks team we can fall in love with. They have only covered against the spread in 13 of their games this season – a measly 37 percent, and on their home court they have covered 4 out of 20 games, only 20 percent. As for the total, they are almost dead even with 18 games on the over and 19 on the under. Be sure to check in with our handicappers to get your free NBA picks on the Knicks projected total wins for the end of the season because that could hold some value down the road.