A day later, this one still stings. I have all these notes in front of me, but last night's loss was remarkably simple (and as StarksMiddleFinger put it in the game thread, worthy of a tongue-swallowing). The Knicks shot the ball better than they should in the first half and took a 14-point lead with them into halftime. In the second half, they treated the paint like it was hot lava, heaved mindlessly from the perimeter, and drop-kicked whatever momentum they'd accumulated deep into one of them Great Lakes. The three-pointer, as they say, is fool's gold. As with each of the previous three horrid losses, the opponent deserves plenty of credit. While New York chucked away its lead, a pair of Timberwolves practiced outright sorcery. Michael Beasley mercilessly ripped nets over, around, and through hapless Knicks, a spectacle made doubly nauseating by Beasley's post-basket preening and his Snoop Pearson haircut. Meanwhile, Kevin Love babysat the rim like a mother bird in a squall, scooping up every wayward egg and returning it to the nest. Love's 31-point, 31-rebound line is mind-boggling, but how about the fact that he had 9 offensive rebounds in the second half alone? Between Beasley's outside touch and Love's second chances, it seemed like the Wolves went nary a possession without some points. Credit where credit is due.
As with each of the previous three horrid losses, though, the Knicks practically invited the onslaught. Untimely threes peppered the rim and backboard, nobody boxed out, nobody moved the ball, and, most frighteningly, no leader emerged in a time of need. Not D'Antoni, who couldn't (or wouldn't) talk his Knicks out of their perimeter poop-flinging. Not Raymond Felton, who dribbled himself in circles and repeatedly shunned his big men in favor of jumper-feeding. Not Amar'e Stoudemire, who stumbled into traffic on drive after drive. That's really what concerns me most. Four games into this downward spiral, nobody's been able to rally the troops for any meaningful stretch of action.
I see that a lot of us feel a rotation shuffling, a trade, or even a firing is the only logical response at this point. I will always champion organic growth and evolution, but it's getting harder and harder to dispel those ready to pull the plug on some aspect of this team.
Maybe we'll look back at this week (which could be book-ended very neatly by another loss to Houston tomorrow) and laugh, or maybe we'll wonder why we ever held out hope. In our narrow scope, this stretch seems devastating, but there is quite a bit of time ahead of us. It's not too late (not even close) for this stretch to serve as a launching pad for a team-wide turnaround. For that to happen, somebody within the organization must share the fanbase's level of aggravation and channel it into a productive spark. The Knicks need leadership, and they need it right now.
Forgive me for being corny, but it's nice to have a community of fellow Knicks fans when the team is struggling like this. Let's not give into vendettas or sniping at one another. Meanwhile, I hope everybody's local weather is as nice as mine. Get some fresh air and forget about these Knicks for a bit. If you must subject yourself to reading more about last night, at least let reasonable folks like Alan Hahn and BK take care of you. <3.