With the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in full effect in Toronto, we take a look back at the first half of the regular season for the New York Knicks.
By Robby Sabo
Hope and optimism seems like ancient history at this point.
It was the middle of November and fans of the New York Knicks were giddy. The thought that Phil Jackson actually hit a home run with the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft wasn’t just a realistic shot, it was coming to fruition right before their very eyes.
This guy Kristaps Porzingis, from Lativia of all places, could actually ball. Suddenly all that booing from the Barclays Center on that draft day seemed like a silly thing to do.
Carmelo Anthony made the situation even rosier as he started to play the best overall team-ball of his life. Without the real existence of a point guard, Melo was leading the way through not just scoring the rock, but finding open teammates as well. He had truly morphed into the leader young Porzingis and this Knicks squad needed.
New York was lingering around the .500 mark and flirting with a playoff spot.
Then, suddenly, the wheels came off.
Melo hurt his ankle on an unfortunate play involving an official, KP slowed down dramatically and looked fatigued in almost every game he participated fully in, and Jackson was forced to fire second-year head coach Derek Fisher.
Losing 10 of their 11 games the Knicks have now fallen to 23-32, a full five games out of a playoff spot in the East.
Today we reflect on the pre-All-Star break Knicks and dish out appropriate player report cards.