Knicks fans, don’t panic. It’s not over. New York is currently on a 4 game losing streak, and fans are starting to become worried about their team. This team is built to become one of the top 5 teams in the East, so just enjoy the season.
The Knicks will get better throughout the season as the year progresses and they leave their bad plays in 2016. The bad road record needs to stay in 2016 as well, and having some energy going into road games is a great place to start. They’re currently 5–12 playing on the road. New York is coming off a hard, tough, road loss to the Houston Rockets. Instead of mourning because of the loss, you should be happy with what you’ve seen. The team played a hard fought game, down 12 going into halftime with no Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, keeping consistent Carmelo Anthony, and Kyle O’Quinn. The Knicks still played with a lot of heart. That game should have given a fresh dose of hope for the New York Knicks in 2017.
Adding three new players into the lineup, along with a new coach, New York needs to get better playing with keeping consistent chemistry. When they play together with good chemistry on the floor, you see a super talented team. For example, in the Indiana Pacers game, the Knicks were down 10 heading into the 4th quarter. Once the 4th quarter started, the Pacers couldn’t contain them. All 3 superstars were scoring, and their defense was on point, holding the Pacers to only 24 fourth quarter points.
A true sign of hope in New York City is Derrick Rose.
He’s playing good basketball again, averaging 20.1 points in the past 10 games. They’re only 2 teams that have 3 players averaging 20 PPG and that’s the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. New York can join that list and become the 3rd team to do that this season if Rose can raise his season average to 20.
The offense is there for them, they have tons of options on that end. It’s the defensive end of the floor that’s the problem. Their defense is averaging 107.6 PPG, 14.5 fastbreak points (26th in the league). The main problem for them is the opposing three-point percentage at 34.7, which is 7th in the league. We saw that in the Rockets game, when they gave up 21 3 pointers.
The risk that the Knicks needs to take is trading for defensive-minded Tony Allen. It would cost a lot, but they might make it work for Lance Thomas or 1st round draft pick. Tony Allen will answer a lot of questions on the defensive end and late games down the stretch. As we have seen in the Boston Celtics game on Christmas, New York didn’t have a way to stop the Celtics from draining 3s everywhere.
With Porzingis, Lee, Melo coming back for Monday’s game, you should expect a team ready for vengeance. They are currently in the 9th seed in the East, but only 2 full games away from the 5th seed. With the schedule and having teams like Orlando, Bucks (x2), Pacers, Pelicans, 76ers, and the Bulls, they should be able to start the New Year right.
It’s time for them to stop losing, and they will. They have gained valuable experience from those losses to the contender's type teams, which should help them beat those guys in the future. 2017 might be the year New York takes a big step up.