Before this NBA season, the New York Knicks were destined for a playoff appearance. They signed former MVP Derrick Rose, Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah with other quality assets including Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee. Some went as far as to say the Knicks were a superteam.
Fast forward to now, the season’s nearly ending and New York are 26-39: 12th in the East. If any team can make a suprise run, it’s the Knicks. Other teams in the contention such as the Bucks, Hornets and Heat are either derailed by injuries or underhanded. Making the playoffs also could really benefit for New York, as it would cure Carmelo Anthony’s ongoing frustration and help retain Derrick Rose.
The time is now, so here are three things that the Knicks have to do to make the playoffs.
1. Sign A Lockdown Defender
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) March 4, 2017
If any teams’ defense can be historically bad, it’s New York’s.
With an opponent points per game average of 108, they haven’t been quick to make improvements nor even made an effort to pick up a better defender. There is still time to get a quality free agent, and there is some good options left.
An interesting player would be Tony Wroten, who hasn’t played in the NBA since 2015 but still could be a great backup point guard. Despite his season being cut short with injuries, Wroten was putting up 16.9 points and 1.6 steals a game in the 2014-15 season. Not only could he solve their defensive problems, he could be a key piece to turn around the Knicks year.
With many players waiting to get their chance, it’s obvious what New York have to do. Sign a player to help them defensively.
2. Fire Phil Jackson
Here’s what: We have brought change to the Knicks team. The real dimension of change is how much the players what to unite in this change
— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) July 15, 2016
This might be a bold move, but it has to happen.
Could it be more clear that the ‘triangle offense’ is not working? Jackson is not even the coach and still forces players to run an old style of offense which is not a good fit.
Jackson has also frustrated numerous players with his openess about trade talk. Carmelo Anthony was almost begging to stay in New York when the trade deadline came around. Complaints and hatred is all he brings to the team. Maybe his ways worked out on the Bulls and Lakers, but the Knicks are not his kind of system.
3. Utilize Kristaps Porzingis
— NBA (@NBA) November 19, 2016
The Knicks have a once-in-a-generation player in Kristaps Porzingis, so they need to take advantage of his abilties to the fullest.
Although putting up 18.1 points and 7.3 rebounds a game, he is overshadowed by Anthony and Rose who take up most of the usage. New York’s best thing to do at the moment is to run through Porzingis, that means using him on the post/perimeter to make offensive decisions.
If they utitlize Porzingis, he will not only help them now but also in the future.