For the third straight season the Knicks will miss the playoffs. It’s back to the drawing board for team president Phil Jackson, more change is ahead.
Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.
The Knicks know all about change, they specialize in it. When it comes to growth, however, this team has failed. What Jackson and his team instead do well is repeatedly send their fanbase into a nightly misery.
Watching the Knicks playoff hopes officially get extinguished by the Miami Heat, this past Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, was symbolic of everything that’s gone wrong this season.
It was the Knicks, not the Heat, who were supposed to be fighting for one of the last two spots in the Eastern Conference playoff race, at least that’s what they’d have us all to believe.
There was Ron Baker, an undrafted rookie guard out of Wichita State, starting in place of Derrick Rose and his “sore left knee”. It wasn’t exactly the vision Jackson had in mind when he traded for Rose last summer.
Rose, along with Joakim Noah were last summer’s change for the Knicks. Noah wasn’t even in the building Wednesday night, he’s now serving a 20-game suspension for violating the anti-drug policy in testing positive for a PED.
The Knicks will tell us all about how talented a team they are, but the proof is always in the numbers. The numbers tell a different story.
Three straight seasons without a playoff berth for this team. They’re next to the bottom of the league in defense, again. The offense, again, isn’t much better. The ball doesn’t move and the team can’t seem to decide if they’re running the triangle or not.
An aging superstar player, Carmelo Anthony, watching as another season ticks off on his career without any playoff games. A young talent, Kristaps Porzingis, who’s growth arguably was stunted by this team’s inability to pick an offensive system and stick with it.
A team president, in Jackson, who’s running out of time to prove he knows what he’s doing.
A head coach, Jeff Hornacek, who might be coming to the realization that no matter what he does, Jackson’s triangle offense is here and he’s going to have to coach it, like it or not.
Yet, let the Knicks remind us all how talented they are. Individually? Sure. As a team? Maybe someone needs to show them their current place in the conference standings.
Change happens all the time in the NBA. It’s not working? Scrap it. Trade someone, fire a coach. Growth, however, is the key to finding success. Growth is a key the Knicks, under Jackson’s guidance, have yet to find.
This summer the Knicks once again will be about change. They may bring in a free agent who plays defense or knows how to shoot. They’ll also once again, have a chance to draft a top NBA prospect.
What else needs to happen this summer, besides the annual talk of change?
The Knicks should be implored this time to bring in players who are willing to be all-in with whatever the game plan will be, most likely the triangle offense. As long as Jackson’s in charge, the triangle offense, for better or worse, is in the picture.
Enough with the Carmelo Anthony saga. The frustration on his face Wednesday night against Miami told the story, it’s time for the Knicks to part ways with him. It’s better for both sides.
Start there and that’s at least better than the usual song and dance the Knicks have been selling fans for the last three summers.
This summer, the Knicks must bring in the type of change which encourages growth.