In a galaxy far, far away, the New York Knicks are actually a well-run franchise with plenty of hope for the future. Not on this planet though. This team has had their best month-long stretch in a long time, including their best win of the season over the Heat. None of that changes the fact that the future still looks bleak. Mike Miller’s Knicks are 7-11 with some solid wins. No doubt, Miller has had them playing better, but that does not change the narrative for the season. The Knicks currently sit at 11-29 on the season, in 14th place in the Eastern Conference, and 8 games behind the 8th place Nets.
The narrative for this season has been one word: Disaster! Really, it all started in May when the Knick’s name was called too early in the NBA draft lottery. Not only were they missing out on the consensus number one pick in Zion Williamson, but they also missed out on who I thought was the best prospect in that draft, Ja Morant. The Knicks ended up with the third pick and wound up taking RJ Barrett. The disaster continued once free agency began. About two hours before the free agency window opened, it was announced that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving would be heading to Brooklyn. After a year and a half of waiting for this huge free agency class, the Knicks wound up with Julius Randle.
The theme I am chasing here is settling. The Knicks settled for RJ Barrett (although he seems to have an extremely bright future). They settled for Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, and Bobby Portis. All of this settling has made the 2019-2020 NBA season a disaster for the New York Knicks.
The Knicks have been in talks with the Pistons recently regarding the availability of Andre Drummond. Who struck up the talks seems to be unknown still. What Knicks fans do know though, is that they do not want anything in the way of Mitchell Robinson becoming a star.
That is exactly what they think Andre Drummond would be. He is an expiring contract who will be seeking a very large contract in the offseason. He may take minutes away from Robinson, and if they share the court he will definitely take some space away from Robinson.
This trade could make sense if the Knicks were floating around .500 and wanted Drummond to make a run at a 5 or 6 seed. As it is, the Knicks should not even be thinking about the playoffs, but only of developing their two future stars in Robinson and Barrett. In almost every way, this makes no sense, but don’t forget. This is the Knicks.
Knicks Putrid Offense
The Knicks are ranked in the bottom five in the league in almost every offensive category. This includes points per game, field goal percentage, and assists per game. Isolation ball is a common theme for the Knicks offense. The only problem is the Knicks do not have a really good isolation player. They all think they are good, but this team has one real shooter to speak of, and only two or three guys can take defenders off the dribble.
Right now, the most important thing for this offense is for RJ Barrett to develop into an all-around scorer. He has been better since the year turned over averaging over 15 points per game on 43% shooting. RJ is getting to the free-throw line more often, but he definitely needs to improve his free throw shooting. He needs to improve as a shooter in general. He is shooting right around the same clip that he did in college. That needs to be higher if he wants a sustained career as a guard in this league.
A Knicks Bright Spot?
The most news that Knicks have garnered in the last month had nothing to do with the players on the team. It came from a fan who hit a half-court shot to win a prize. It seemed great and everyone went crazy, except for social media of course. The prize for this gentleman was $1,000…in scratch-off tickets. The Lakers gave away $100,000 to a fan who hit a half-court shot. The Knicks, on the other hand, are giving away lottery tickets.
The Knicks are one of the most valuable franchises in all of sports. The fact that they are giving away lottery tickets while other teams give away cash prizes tells you everything you need to know about the man who owns this team.
Over the next week, the Knicks have games at Milwaukee, at home against Phoenix and Philadelphia before traveling to Cleveland next Monday.
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