How many times this season are we going to say that the Knicks have hit an all time low? It seems that every couple weeks the team drops another disgraceful notch, and this weekend was the latest. No one knew how the team would react to the death of Stephon Marbury's father last week, but the sense was that they had come together as a unit out of the tragedy, and many might have thought this unity would carry over onto the court. A home and home series against the woeful 76ers provided the perfect opportunity to grab a couple easy wins and get back on the right foot. Instead the Knicks lost both games, the latest by nearly 30 points at home, and all seems wrong once again.
The losses are one thing, but management's reaction to the current state of the team is what's really getting people up in arms this morning. After the Sixers loss Saturday, James Dolan reportedly gave Isiah a vote of confidence, telling him he's happy with the job he's doing managing the team. He was seen leaving his post-game meeting with the coach laughing and smiling. Isiah appears more concerned of his players feelings rather than their basketball play, saying that there are no current plans to adjust the lineups. He feels any sudden movements may shake the confidence of his fragile players. "My players daily hear a lot of negative comments about them," Thomas said. "My job is to keep them motivated and feeling good about themselves."
Of course, this should be seen as a shot at the booing, frustrated fans, who Isiah now apparently blames for destroying the confidence of his team. Thanks, coach. His job is not to keep the 15 players he signed and coached "feeling good about themselves," it is to win basketball games. And plain and simple, that has not happened this season. How anyone at the organization can look at a last place team as anything other than a failure is baffling. But the team's official stance is still to stay the course.
There is one bring spot to all of this, that there have been several other major disappointments in the (L)Eastern Conference this year. Despite all the turmoil and blowouts, the Knicks are still only a few games out of the last playoff spot. This team has shown flashes of competence this season, and they've still 60 games left to figure itself out. Are we hopeful? Sometimes...but not right now. Not after this weekend.
Photo of Isiah Thomas during the December 2nd loss to the Phoenix Suns by AP/Kathy Willens