The New York Knicks had a golden opportunity going into the weekend to win 2 games against the division leading Toronto Raptors. Two wins would have put the Knicks one game back of the division lead and the 4th seed — that is awarded to division winners — in the Eastern Conference.
Instead, the Knicks lost both games and find themselves 9-21. They are 5 games back of the division lead and 13th in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks were short handed and it showed in both games. They played both games without Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, and Pablo Prigioni. Metta World Peace missed the 2nd game of the back to back after playing in the first game.
The Knicks held a lead at home before being outscored 29-12 in the fourth quarter on Friday. They sorely missed Anthony’s ability to score down the stretch, losing 95-83.
In Saturday night’s game the Knicks fell behind by 21 before cutting the lead to 8 in the fourth quarter. However the comeback attempt — led by Toure Murry and Amar’e Stoudemire — fell short as the Knicks lost 115-100.
The Knicks are not getting production from key players, and with the injuries it is even more apparent. New York is getting virtually nothing from Iman Shumpert. Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith are hit or miss, and lately it has been more of the latter. Even Tyson Chandler only had 2 rebounds in Saturday night’s game, although he did have 16 points.
To make matters worse the Knicks next five games are against San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Detroit and the defending champion Miami Heat. If the Knicks continue their poor play — there is no reason to think they will not — they will lose all 5 games. The Knicks would be 9-26.
Who knows where that will leave the Knicks in the standings, even with the futility of the Eastern Conference.
It is possible the Knicks can get back Anthony and Felton in the coming days, but that is still no guarantee the Knicks will start winning games.
Asked about the mindset of the team, J.R. Smith said, “I don’t even know right now.” Whatever their mindset is, it certainly can not be a positive one.
Time is running out on the 2013-2014 New York Knicks. They need to win games now.
If not, a season that started with high expectations could be a lost cause less than a week into the New Year.