The New York Knicks better be careful. We’re a month away from the Trade Deadline and Phil Jackson may be itching to pull the trigger on a few players, old and new. Per reports Monday, Derrick Rose went missing from the team, which caused him to miss the game against the New Orleans Pelicans which resulted in another Knicks loss.
There are reports that Rose had a misunderstanding with coach Jeff Hornacek and many are saying this is the reason Rose skipped the game but, according to Rose it was due to a family situation back in Chicago. Either way, it doesn’t look good when one of your star players just leaves the team with a “no-call/no-show”. Rose was disciplined for his actions and will suit up for the Knicks next game but there is still a lingering issue there. And that is a problem for the Knicks.
The Knicks are currently 17-21, two games out of the 8th spot, but for a team, with this type of roster they should not be competing with the Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons to make the playoffs. Jackson had a vision and so far, it has failed. Now, the good part is, is that it’s still early and they have to time to right the ship but it won’t work.
The main issue with the Knicks is that they have a team full of players that are out to prove themselves. Rose is out to prove that he can still play after the Chicago Bull traded him after numerous injuries. Joakim Noah is out to prove that he still has gas left in the tank, Kristaps Porzingis is out to prove that he is ready to be an All-Star and Carmelo Anthony is out to prove he can be labeled a winner.
Nice roster but too many different agendas are causing the Knicks to fail. Then you add in the Jackson and Hornacek factor and the Knicks resemble a dysfunction group. Hornacek is the coach but Jackson is keeping his finger in the daily operations. The Knicks need structure. Maybe they listened to all the offseason chatter after the Rose and Noah signings and thought that the second seed would just be handed to them. This team reminds me of the Brooklyn Nets when they signed Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The talent was there but they didn’t have the right coach to give the team an identity.
In order for the Knicks to get back to winning, they must make the hard decisions. The team has not won with Melo as the leader. Rose has not been the distributor they hoped he would be and Noah is better off riding the pine. K.P has struggled this season as well as it’s too much hype surrounding his sophomore season. Hornacek is a good coach but he’s not the coach for this team.
The saying goes, that things will get worse before they get better. But, how much worse will Jackson let this get before he decides enough is enough? This is a man with 11 NBA Championships to his name. He has coached Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Shaquille O’Neal, and he’s just supposed to sit here twiddling his thumbs as his team’s struggles? No, Jackson wants to win and will do whatever he has to do to make that happen.
The Knicks rank 13th in the NBA in points scored but 25th in points scored against. There is no rim protector, no real slasher and they are consistently inconsistent beyond the three-point line. I admit, I had the Knicks challenging LeBron James and the Cavs but they have me believing that moves must be made.
Change starts at the top, and that means that Jackson must be willing to give up some authority, Rose must be willing to just play basketball, Melo has to become a team player and K.P. has to block out the media. If they can accomplish those goals, the Knicks have a shot. If not, come the end of the trade deadline this team will be no more.