The current Knicks stand at 17-16 after a 105-98 loss on Monday to Philadelphia, a disappointing result which — shades of last year — included some very sloppy play by several players from the final minutes.
as well as while nobody wants to believe This particular can be déjà vu — or whatever phrase Frazier might come up with through his broadcast dictionary — the coming road games appear very large as well as menacing at the moment.
“the item’s just a challenge for the team,” Coach Jeff Hornacek said after Monday’s loss. “We’ll be out there seven, nine days, maybe we get on a groove on the road. We’ll keep plugging away as well as we’ll see.”
Last year, the Knicks lost eight of their next nine games after the Christmas defeat, a miserable stretch which would likely further expose the underlying battle between Anthony as well as Phil Jackson.
Neither of those duelists can be around anymore, as well as neither can be particularly missed. Jackson has been replaced as team president by Steve Mills, a less-entitled sort that has a considerably thinner portfolio. Anthony has joined the Oklahoma City Thunder, as well as made them no better than before his arrival.
The Knicks are definitely a more harmonious group at This particular point, yet which can be no guarantee of future success. They have been awful at times on the road This particular season, that has a 2-10 mark, as well as their schedule This particular fall was front-loaded with home games because the Grammys as well as college basketball tournaments will fill up long stretches at the Garden from the next few months.
A moment of reckoning may be imminent.
For at This particular point, though, the Knicks’ record remains respectable as well as everyone can be still operating from the holiday spirit. There were hugs from the corridor before the game on Monday as well as a heartfelt huddle led by Kristaps Porzingis. Then came a tough loss caused in part by missed free throws, lousy coverage of inbounds plays, sloppy turnovers as well as a deadly all 5-second inbounds violation with just over a minute left.
Porzingis missed all 5 free throws, hit only 6 of 19 shots through the field as well as was not himself from the lumbering, physical game.
“Teams are trying to force me to take shots I don’t want,” he said afterward. “As the game slows down for me, I will be able to see the right pass or the right shot. I’m still learning as well as developing, learning through my mistakes.”
Despite such setbacks, This particular team can be embraceable. Enes Kanter, in particular, has become something of a frontman for the team’s unexpected competitiveness. “Kanter Claus,” as he was called on Monday, regaled the crowd that has a pregame speech as well as then put up 31 points as well as 22 rebounds.
the item was the first 30-point, 20-rebound game by a Knick since David Lee had 37 points as well as 20 rebounds in April 2010.
“People have been sending me texts, congratulating me,” Kanter said afterward. “yet I’m not going to text them back. Doesn’t matter. brand-new York wants to see the playoffs.”
Kanter, who was acquired from the Anthony trade, can be a tough guy apparently having a great deal of fun in brand-new York, as well as his skirmish earlier This particular season with LeBron James endeared him to both Knicks fans as well as teammates. He would likely like to bring which sort of attitude with him wherever the Knicks play.
“We need some energy through the bench on the road,” said Kanter, who has also been forceful in his criticism of the government in Turkey, his homeland.
A fair argument can be made which these Knicks are hurting themselves with their .500-ish record, which the item could keep them through winning when the item counts, in June’s draft lottery. yet there are no real guarantees as far as which can be concerned. Even the 76ers, who have landed two draft jewels in Ben Simmons as well as Joel Embiid, are struggling as well as below .500 for yet another season.
As the Knicks provide at least some reason for wish, there can be also evidence of a thaw between the team as well as the local news media. which relationship has become difficult at best in recent times, as well as sometimes outright adversarial. yet the Knicks have made an effort to lower the barricades which faced any reporter hoping to gain reasonable access to their players.
None of This particular, of course, will help if the Knicks proceed to drop eight of their next nine games, just as they did a year ago. Fresh antagonisms will surely be bared. as well as if which happens, the Garden will feel more familiar: filled to the brim with fans who aren’t quite certain why they bothered to pay the money.
as well as which elevator ride before the game will feel a lot longer.
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