Interesting couple weeks for the Knicks, huh? Theyve all but signed an official concession to playoff elimination the tragic number is 10, by the way. Additionally, they have lost to every team not named the Magic since Feb. 27, have had the team president personally provide triangle instruction and have surrendered at least 104 points in six straight games.
And now the future face of the franchise, Kristaps Porzingis, admits the team is confused and he is frustrated. His state after the Knicks were rolled, 120-112, by the Nets on Sunday was representative of the current state of the team, which is a veritable mess.
Its pretty high, Porzingis said of the frustration level sweeping the Knicks, who face the Pacersat home Tuesday, blizzard permitting, hoping to end a three-game losing streak that has made the misery meter show 12 losses in 16 games.
Where exactly is the confusion?
From top to bottom. A lot of stuff thats not clear. So its hard to play like that, Porzingis said.
Hey, they didnt get to 26-41 by accident. But they only need to win every remaining game to avoid a fourth straight losing season.
The situation is tough. Were not doing the right thing. Were just not working together right now, Porzingis said. Whatever games we have left, we have to give everything we have so we can finish the season not regretting anything. As players, we got to give everything we have.
Though so very much has been made of the triangle offense and the Knicks attempts to incorporate it down the stretch while determining which players will be suited for the system next season, the Knicks defense has not quite conjured up images of Bad Boys. Marshmallows and babies butts, yes, Steel Curtains and Doomsday, no.
Against the Nets, the Knicks surrendered 39 points and 55.6 percent shooting in the first quarter and fought uphill all game. The Nets crushed the Knicks with 19 3-pointers, including a team-record 14 in the first half.
I dont know what the thinking was coming out at the start of the game, but we gave them wide-open shots and they kept making 3 after 3after 3, coach Jeff Hornacek said. You cant be off to those starts in the first half and think youre going to win a game.
So, the defense stunk. The offense?
Its pretty random. We have some plays that Jeff draws up, but most of the time its after free throws or so, [and] were running triangle, Porzingis said. But we never really got it all together and were able to execute the way we should have. Its been a lot of confusion.
First of all, we dont know the triangle that well.
Guess Phil Jackson will be on the court showing a little more stuff, which Derrick Rose had hinted at, though Jacksons little pointer session last week was overblown, Hornacek said.
He just wanted to show the guards a couple things. There were five things, three of them we do, one of them was probably a little new and one of them we do out of timeouts. Just a reiteration of those things that are out there with the guards working together, Hornacek said.
Still, the Knicks might want to re-visit the drawing board. Or Freuds couch.
Rose, who seemingly places the triangle somewhere between food poisoning and stainless steel splinters on his favorite-things list, was appreciative of Jacksons input but recently grudgingly noted, Do I have a choice? Carmelo Anthony took nine shots Saturday. Then he took nine in the first quarter Sunday. Might want to balance that consistency thing.
Through all the frustration and confusion, Porzingis tries to be a glass-half-full, 7-foot-3 Latvian guy. He says this season has been a challenge, but it will make him better.
Thats how I always take it as a challenge. Its a tough year, but Im just trying to get individually better and working on my game every day so one day we can make steps forward and hopefully win big some time, Porzingis said.
I think this year is a really good experience for me.