Well, it hasn’t been pretty. Knicks fans have sounded like some horrible fans, demanding more and more from their players.
The demand from Knicks fans has been fair considering that this team has potential and can be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
We saw it last year, plus the team retooled and reloaded. So, excuse fans for being upset with a start in which they are only two games above .500. But remember, Knicks fans, this is the best start to the season the Knicks have had in a long time.
Enjoy the start this team has had because it’s been forever.
But the truth needs to come out, and here is what we’ve got over the last few games with the Knicks.
RJ Barrett needs to step up. Julius Randle is somewhat struggling right now. Hard to call a double-double-a-night player “struggling,” but he is. This is the perfect opportunity to rise and carry the load and show the fans, league, and most importantly, the front office that he is a quality NBA player. But Barrett has hurt the agenda, struggling mightily over the last two weeks or so. In his last eight games, he’s averaging just 10 points on 28% from the field and 18% from deep. A less than stellar 70% on two and a half shots from the line. He’s also averaging less than one three-pointer made. Barrett’s struggles, which mirror that of the one he had at the beginning of last season, could not have come at a worse time for him.
The starting backcourt needs to wake up now. The grace period of “gelling together” has concluded. At what point does the narrative turn from “they need time to gel with their new teammates” to “these guys are simply not good.” We might be getting close. Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker have been struggling mightily for most of the season while some viable and handsome options for Knicks fans are available on the bench. It might be time for Walker and Fournier to start looking over their shoulder as Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley continue to play well.
Walker may have more of a leash, considering that, before the season started, Rose made it clear that Walker was the starting point guard, and Rose is happy in the role he is in. Fair enough. But Walker hasn’t been playing at starter caliber. Fournier hasn’t either. He shocked us by dropping a 30-piece on the Celtics in game one, and that was his peak. Quickley has undoubtedly played better than Fournier this season. Fournier’s leash has to be tighter than Walker’s.
But we saw last season with Elfrid Payton. Payton, who did not sign overseas as expected, was literally an extra body because they needed a fifth player. He was awful in every aspect of the sport, providing absolutely nothing for the Knicks, but head coach Tom Thibodeau refused to change the starting lineup.
Should Knicks fans want a lineup change? Yeah.
Should Knicks fans expect a lineup change? Yeah.
Will Knicks fans be disappointed night in and night out that there has not been a change in the lineup? Yeah.
The synonym of deodorant works here, too.
The good and constant performances by Rose and Quickley has been a fine deodorant for the Knicks, but they need to address the root of the stink, and it’s been, Fournier and Walker.
Featured Image: Matt Slocum/AP