The 4-14 Knicks aren’t the NBA’s worst team. That’d be the 0-16 76ers.
The Knicks aren’t the NBA’s most disappointing team. That’d be the 4-14 Hornets.
The Knicks aren’t even alone in the cellar with those two. The 3-14 Pistons provide company.
But a lack of superlatives sure isn’t making anyone in New York happy.
Amar’e Stoudemire has criticized the effort of the Knicks, who’ve lost four straight overall and six straight against NBA-caliber competition. (They squeezed in a win over the 76ers).
In Carmelo Anthony, Stoudemire has a teammate who notices the same issue.
Melo, via Marc Berman of the New York Post (hat tip: James Herbert of Eye on Basketball):
“He has his opinion,” Anthony said. “Sometimes we go out there and it’s like we don’t want to be out there. We’re not giving effort like we’re supposed to. As leader of the team, he had the right to step up to the plate.”
The Knicks have a lot of problems, and effort is only one of them.
It’s easy to blame effort, because players believe they can control that. It’d be depressing for the Knicks to believe their season is slipping away and change is out of their hands. So, players often talk about effort because they can control it better than most problems.
Though playing harder would help, that alone won’t won’t fix the Knicks. They need better players, maybe a better coach (who might be a Fisher with a little more experience).
Still, Melo’s comments are pretty big indictment of the team. If the Knicks are mailing it in now, how will they respond if these other issues don’t improve and New York slips even further from the playoff race?