No Time For Knicks’ Finger-Pointing




VIDEO: Knicks coach Mike Woodson says his team “did not compete” against the Spurs

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The view from below is hazy these days for the New York Knicks. It always is at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, where the Knicks find themselves this morning after taking an epic beating from the San Antonio Spurs.

The inevitable next step for those observing the Knicks’ rocky 2-4 start to this season is, of course, the finger-pointing. Whether it’s fans pointing the finger at coach Mike Woodson or superstar Carmelo Anthony or media types pointing to Ray Felton or J.R. Smith (who made his debut against the Spurs), the finger-pointing phase of the game is upon the Knicks.

But now is not the time for this sort of tomfoolery, even in the aftermath of the worst loss of the Woodson era and a complete meltdown by that sold-out Madison Square Garden crowd that saw the beating. There are too many veterans on this Knicks team to just abandon ship after six games.

So there is a little adversity (Tyson Chandler‘s broken fibula, Smith’s delayed start, etc.) to deal with this season. The weight of the expectations that were sure to come after last season’s 54-win campaign should have been expected. The response needed for those challenges, however, is something that has been sorely lacking.

“It’s just unacceptable,” Woodson said of his team’s reaction to that 37-point hole they were in during the second half against the Spurs. “It’s my job to push them through it and try to get them over the hump. I know we’re a better team than what we’ve shown.”

There’s no doubt about it. The Knicks have the personnel to be among the top four or five teams in the East this season. But they’re not playing like a team that understands its limits, that realizes its potential.

And they can talk all about how embarrassed they are and how they have to compete to erase this ugly start. The fact is the Knicks are six games into an 82-game marathon (they were 6-0 at the same stage last season) and every player must do his own soul-searching to solve whatever issues New York collectively has.

This isn’t on just Woodson or Anthony, despite the boos and their status as the easiest possible targets. This is about a veteran cast of characters needing to remember what it was that made them a threat in the East last season and recapturing that vibe this season … before it’s too late.

Last season’s cosmic ride is over. This Knicks team won’t be able to (3-point) shoot its way out of trouble the way they did last season. They’ll have to dig in defensively, the way they did at times last season, and scratch, scrape and claw their way out of the basement (where they are currently being kept company by their neighbors in Brooklyn, another outfit struggling under great expectations).

Yes, Woodson has to play with his rotations and tweak a few things here and there. And Anthony absolutely has to crank up his energy and production to levels commensurate with a player who spent last season in the MVP conversation. By no means does that excuse everyone else from doing what they have to do to aid the cause.

Even a guy like Amar’e Stoudemire, who is clearly a shell of the All-Star he once was, needs to muster whatever he can to contribute to the greater good. When you’re in desperation mode, which is exactly where the Knicks must feel like they are now, a collective effort is what’s needed to mend things.

The finger-pointing, be it public or private, will only serve to hasten the Knicks’ demise as it tears away at the whatever is left of the fabric of a team that expected so much more of itself.

20 Comments

  1. #dwade#flash says:

    hey Greenfarb , shut your piehole

  2. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    I recall toward the end of last season when KD said about Melo: “That’s my guy.” “He can have it.”

    This, in relation to KD sitting out the entire last Thunder regular-season game in 2012-2013 campaign, which enabled Carmelo to, more easily, win the 2013 Scoring Title.

    “That’s my guy.”

    ???

    Was Kevin Durant hinting at the probability of acquiring Carmelo Anthony to the young and healthy OKC Thunder???

  3. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Carmelo Anthony (unless he extends with the Knicks, although it appears to be documented that he hasn’t signed a contract extension yet) should join (if he is a FA after this season) … the OKC THUNDER!!!!!

    Been thinking about this. The FA pool was great in summer 2013; however, it looks like it’s going to be even better in summer 2014. Or, at least, there seem to be more potential elite FAs after this season. Certain players that are superior to probably all the 2013 FAs.

    I figured this is the underlying Thunder strategy (at least I hope so). Allow the 2013 market to balance out the way it did. Then, in 2014, swoop in and get the best of the best of the best. They are under the salary cap. They will have more than enough money to go around, especially if they re-sign Kendrick Perkins at a much lower dollar amount. With the release of Kevin Martin, Perk and K. Mart combine for about $15 – $16 million off the books, potentially after this season. They potentially could be well under the cap, enabling tons of freedom to, not only keep their current superstars and future young superstars, but to also acquire 2 superstars (MVP-level guys). If Kevin Love wants Championships, come to the Thunder next year. If Carmelo Anthony wants Championships, come to the Thunder next year. They potentially could sign both of those MVP-caliber guys and still have a team payroll under $80 million!!!!! Incredible and genius IF this has been the plan all along for the OKC Thunder organization and Sam Presti, etc.

    They could still be the best team this season. With acquisitions of Love and Anthony, OKC Thunder will dominate for the next decade and beyond!!!!!

    I don’t want to release any secrets (or let the “cat out of the bag”), if this has been the Thunder’s plan all along because that could cause too early of a stir. I can’t help myself. I can SEE it! They could easily sign Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony after this season. Or even both! Kevin Love starting at his NATURAL C position. Carmelo starting at SF while Durant starts at SG (he played a lot of SG back in his Seattle days, and I think they both started on 2012 Olympic Gold team). Serge Ibaka at PF, as usual. Then, you got Sefolosha/Lamb combining more at SG. Or SF.

  4. Tex D Wizard of Basketball says:

    The team needs time to loosen up NY is not an easy place to play. They should open up a spot for a New York born ,bred playground God to play in the backcourt. Not one due to favoritism ,but one bad mother off the streets. That is the only remedy for this team.

  5. Flash C says:

    It’s early!!!! people need to calm down. Barganani is going to come thru. smith will be better, hardaway jr will be solid. world peace is contiually going to step up. Their rotation needs to be shorten and Melo needs his minutes cut down because smith and hardaway jr can light it up along with shumpert n felton.

  6. REALTALK says:

    The Knicks need to start with getting a really good PG cause Felton isn’t a starter!!! That’s their biggest problem then there’s the Melo issue of needing another scorer to play with. Melo like Lebron needs a Dwayne Wade.

  7. dd def says:

    all i can say is, look what having a rotating door has done for the lakers. the knicks have a lot of good pieces, and it’d be a shame to break it up after a rough start.

  8. wow, some bad feelings. i think that we are in for a good season. a season that has bad losses a great wins. and then we will fight to win a championship.

  9. Knicks Fan says:

    Sekou, very well written article. I could not agree with every word more. On paper this is a better team than we had last season. It should be working well, the core is still there which gave us our best winning season in a looooooooong time. We can compete we’ve shown that. WHat good would it do to fire Woodson midway or early into this season? What he’s done in New York has been nothing short of amazing. But you bring someone new in, trying to implement a new system you throw away a whole season. Like we saw when Melo first joined with Amare, it takes time to gel and build a team. I’m not sure what the answer is to get us back on track, but I don’t feel the right answer is to break up this group. I know we hurt when Tyson isn’t out there, he’s the voice for the team and we will continue to suffer as long as he’s out. I hope we can turn things around and fast, especially for Woody’s sake.
    Just my opinion.

    Side note – Can’t wait to see D Rose vs Uncle Drew today!

  10. eli says:

    yes a new winner!!!!!!! lets just go shopping for a new winner !
    anybody know a leader/winner that nobody wants?????????????

  11. DB says:

    Carmelo is NOT a winner, he is just a show off. Knicks wil only be an average team with him as a leader. We need a new leader, melo can follow

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Jalen Rose Voice … *DING*

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Carmelo Anthony (unless he extends with the Knicks, although it appears to be documented that he hasn’t signed a contract extension yet) should join (if he is a FA after this season) … the OKC THUNDER!!!!!

      Been thinking about this. The FA pool was great in summer 2013; however, it looks like it’s going to be even better in summer 2014. Or, at least, there seem to be more potential elite FAs after this season. Certain players that are superior to probably all the 2013 FAs.

      I figured this is the underlying Thunder strategy (at least I hope so). Allow the 2013 market to balance out the way it did. Then, in 2014, swoop in and get the best of the best of the best. They are under the salary cap. They will have more than enough money to go around, especially if they re-sign Kendrick Perkins at a much lower dollar amount. With the release of Kevin Martin, Perk and K. Mart combine for about $15 – $16 million off the books, potentially after this season. They potentially could be well under the cap, enabling tons of freedom to, not only keep their current superstars and future young superstars, but to also acquire 2 superstars (MVP-level guys). If Kevin Love wants Championships, come to the Thunder next year. If Carmelo Anthony wants Championships, come to the Thunder next year. They potentially could sign both of those MVP-caliber guys and still have a team payroll under $80 million!!!!! Incredible and genius IF this has been the plan all along for the OKC Thunder organization and Sam Presti, etc.

      They could still be the best team this season. With acquisitions of Love and Anthony, OKC Thunder will dominate for the next decade and beyond!!!!!

      I don’t want to release any secrets (or let the “cat out of the bag”), if this has been the Thunder’s plan all along because that could cause too early of a stir. I can’t help myself. I can SEE it! They could easily sign Kevin Love or Carmelo Anthony after this season. Or even both! Kevin Love starting at his NATURAL C position. Carmelo starting at SF while Durant starts at SG (he played a lot of SG back in his Seattle days, and I think they both started on 2012 Olympic Gold team). Serge Ibaka at PF, as usual. Then, you got Sefolosha/Lamb combining more at SG. Or SF.

  12. Courtsidelive says:

    Woody is a medicore coach. No good enough for this bunch of players. They need a despot type of coach. Lionel Hollins should be their guy!!

  13. ssj16 says:

    I personally don’t think this team is very good. All the personnel changes they made last year, coupled with the current injuries and I just dont see a high ceiling for this team to do much damage.

    I feel sorry for Knick fans, just such bad management over the past decade. As a Raptor/Laker fan, I can definitely feel your pain but at least we have a GM who may be able to push us in the right direction in Masai and I think Jim Buss has a lot of smart people around him who can help him right the ship.

  14. Needctochangeknicks says:

    Woodson cannot confront Anthony because Anthony is the reason Woodson is there. Knicks managment should start thinking about a trade that relieves the Knicks of Anthony, Smith and Amare.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Exactly!
      Woodson is scared to confront Melo, because Melo has the power to fire Woodson just like he did Dantoni
      Dantoni was basically fired because he wanted to trade Melo for Deron Williams so they can have a PG who is not as dumb as fat-felton to properly facilitate the offense and utilize all the of the talent that the Knicks have.