With Melo Sidelined, What's Next for the Knicks?

Posted by Richard Kagan on Thursday, February 19, 2015 with No comments
Last year Phil Jackson came to the New York Knicks, his former team, at the behest of owner James Dolan.  Carmelo Anthony, the star small forward signed a large contract to stay a Knick.  It was supposed to be a brighter day for Knick fans, some of whom weren't born the last time it won an NBA title.  At this point in the season the franchise wasn't supposed to be 32 games behind the East leading Atlanta Hawks.

Jackson knows about winning titles. He's collected 11 rings by coaching and coaxing all that he could from players such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippin, Dennis Rodman, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal.

The prevailing thought was at least Jackson had a proven star in Anthony that he could build a team around. This season, by Jackson's admission, has been a dismal failure. The Knicks were 5-36 after 41 games, the worst record of a Knick team; they're currently 10-43, 12.5 games behind the 8th seeded Miami Heat. They went on a 16 game losing streak that ended in January. Anthony scored even in a new offense, designed to get others involved. The triangle offense didn't fit the players the Knicks had on their roster and now, Jackson is re-making the team. Amar'e Stoudemire, brought in a few years back to give the Knicks credibility just made a deal to have the Knicks buyout his contract.  He and his injured body are on to Dallas and better days.

Carmelo, now known by his first name, has been playing with an injured knee for weeks. It got bad enough that he was scheduled to undergo surgery to have 'Patellar Tendon Debridgement." Anthony will miss the rest of the season and will be inactive for 4-6 months. Hopefully, he will be ready for next season.

"This is a necessary step for him to take," said Derek Fisher, his coach.

Anthony could score with the best of them. At the All-Star break, he was 2nd in the League with 24.2 ppg.  In the fourth quarter, the ball went to Anthony.  Every time the Knicks needed a basket, the ball went to Anthony. Most time he produced.

Even with a great scorer, the Knicks didn't win. Now, they don't have him. Guard Langston Galloway, who came to the Knicks on a 10-day contract, was such a breath of fresh air, that he was signed for the remainder of the season. So were other players. It appears that the Knicks are making this up on the fly, kind of like the Triangle but MJ or Kobe isn't on the team to bail it out.

Somehow the Knicks need to find a team without their go to guy. They need to find an identity.  Maybe Phil Jackson doesn't have Executive management skills.  Maybe he is in over his head.  He'll have to find the surface without Carmelo. There are 29 games left to discover, learn and grow.  That is hard to do under the media microscope in New York.  One thing is for certain: the Knicks are in the land of the Unknown.