In their last 19 games, the Knicks have as won as many games as the tanking 76ers (two).
Now, Knicks president Phil Jackson is trying to explain some of the mess.
Ian Begley of ESPN:
Marc Berman of the New York Post:
That evaluation has to please Tyson Chandler, who was miffed about talk he harmed the Knicks’ chemistry before they traded him to the Mavericks. Obviously, he wasn’t the whole problem.
I also wonder how much Jackson is seeing the Knicks’ record and then looking for the cause rather than vice versa. Perhaps, the Knicks really are resisting the culture change. But I wouldn’t rule out that the players just aren’t good enough to compete, and Jackson is looking for after-the-fact explanations.
Someone like, say, J.R. Smith can act the same way. When his team hasn’t lost yet, he’s eccentric. When it loses, he’s a malcontent. The only change might be the perception.
Either way, Knicks fans should be encouraged Jackson is so concerned about the future. The Knicks got into this mess – having too many undisciplined and/or unproductive players – by too often seeking the quick fix.
If Jackson keeps the Knicks focused on maximizing cap room and keeping – or, dare I say, adding – draft picks, they’ll have a much better chances of eventually succeeding. Jackson’s term surely hasn’t begun how he hoped, but this is where he earns his high salary.