Column: Knicks' season and future teetering on the edge
The New York Knicks are putting themselves in a dangerous position. Trading Carmelo Anthony before the deadline was the smartest move the team could have made in order to save face from this failed experiment. Anthony has been playing well, especially as of late, but after each 40-point scoring effort coming in a loss you have to wonder when enough is enough. As Morgan Freeman once said in The Shawshank Redemption, "every man has his breaking point."
If Anthony has not hit his breaking point that moment might happen tonight when New York takes on the defending champion Miami Heat. In order for the Knicks to compete, they will need another huge scoring effort from Anthony and that still might not be enough. Anthony has scored at least 40 points in three of New York's last four games and they somehow have a 1-3 record over that stretch.
The Knicks now have a 21-36 record and things do not look like they are getting better. We have to ask how did they get to this point and it is hard to locate just one reason. The biggest factor is that it has become evident that Anthony cannot do this alone.
Anthony cannot carry the team on his back to victories night in and night out. Anthony's playing style is just not catered to that. When Anthony becomes just a volume jump shooter, his shots stop falling at some point in the game. For the Knicks to be the serious championship contender that Anthony wants them to be he needs another legitimate star along with him. Since New York was not able to accomplish that at the deadline, they have to hope to acquire another player during free agency that can convince Anthony to stay.
Now, New York is forced to play the waiting game. Although Anthony has been saying all the right things this year, actions speak louder than words. There is no guarantee that Anthony will return to New York, as there should not be. The team has not proven that they are going to put the right pieces around Anthony that are needed to win.
Anthony has consistently said that winning is his No. 1 goal. That just may not be possible in New York and this disaster of a season is evidence. If Anthony truly wants to win, he will have to look elsewhere. The players that have been put around him in New York are just not getting the job done.
The supporting cast has provided one headache after another for coach Mike Woodson.
There has been J.R Smith's extreme immaturity along with his inefficient shooting numbers. New York needs Smith playing aggressive smart basketball, not finding himself benched for reasons that should not be an issue with a 28-year-old man.
Iman Shumpert was maddeningly inconsistent before suffering another knee injury. It is uncertain how this will effect the rest of his time with New York.
Raymond Felton struggled to stay on the court with one nagging injury after another. Now, Felton will find himself in another court after being brought up on criminal possession of a firearm charges.
All of these factors have to be adding up and all signs point towards Anthony getting out of New York and Knicks management will have nobody to blame but themselves.
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