Wilkens; Image: AP/ESPN

2005 continues to be a bleak year for the Knicks, and coach Lenny Wilkins is bound to take the fall for it. Another fourth quarter collapse resulted in a 98-81 loss to the way below .500 Toronto Raptors last night. The collection of embarrassing losses to sub-par teams is just another in a long line of disappointments for Knick fans, who are probably used to such mediocrity by now.

The Knicks may have even topped their two narrow losses to Chicago by allowing seven 3-pointers and 38 points during the final quarter in Toronto. Jalen Rose (who is Isiah Thomas' latest object of desire) led the charge with 24 for the Raps, who are essentially a starless team since trading Vince Carter to the Nets for a collection of role players. Jamal Crawford looked rusty in his second game back from a turf toe (!!) injury, and nobody else seemed able to pick up the slack on offense.

With Yao Ming, T-Mac and the Rockets arriving tomorrow for a Friday night contest, and the 31-9 Suns looming next week, it's only a matter of time before either Isiah's the new coach or someone like George Karl or Jeff Bzdelik gets the call as the new whipping boy. Sometime at the Garden tomorrow night, Jeff Van Gundy will be smiling.

Photo by AP via ESPN; Entry by Tom Thornton