With the trade deadline on the horizon and the All-Star Break soon to follow, the New York Knicks have disappointingly found themselves six games below .500 and out of the playoff picture. Despite being two games back of the tenth-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the loss column, pessimism is starting to cloud over the Knicks.

New York finds themselves in a three-game losing streak and with four defeats over their last five games. Defense was a strong suit for most of the month of January for New York, but in these last five games, the Knicks are giving up 115 points. They’ve squandered good offensive performances in these last five games, including a 25-point performance by the inconsistent Evan Fournier, a 23-point performance by RJ Barrett which included a 30-point performance by Fournier, a career-high 36 point masterpiece from Barrett and a dominating 19 point, 21 rebound night by Mitchell Robinson.

The inconsistency continues with New York. When the defense is good, the offense is futile. When the offense is flourishing, the defense lacks.

It’s time to face the music, Knicks fans. Go ahead and rip the bandaid off.

This team isn’t good, especially as currently constructed. Plus, with the Knicks surely destined to be underdogs in 13 of their next 14 games, it’ll make for an uphill battle to make the playoffs. This team is not suited for an uphill battle.

Do you trust this team to put together a string of combinations in an uphill battle?

If they do make a move at the deadline that moves the needle in the Knicks’ favor, how much better could the team get and at what cost? Will it be worth it to be buyers and end up being a play-in exit?

We’re sounding like a broken record but many people are to blame for the fall of the Knicks. Some blame goes to Julius Randle for his inconsistent play, Evan Fournier for his inconsistent play on offense and colander-like defense, Nerlens Noel for his inability to catch a ball, Kemba Walker for being another turnstile in the backcourt and Alec Burks for having an awful month and not being able to make a layup. Blame also goes to Tom Thibodeau for his incredibly puzzling and troubling rotations combined with his decisions on who to run the offense through and drawing plays in late game situations (where he insists on having Burks inbound even though history has shown he struggles mightily at it). But most of the blame goes to Leon Rose. He is the one who built a roster that doesn’t fit the Thibodeau mold (Walker and Fournier signing; trading for Cam Reddish) and is the one who gave contracts to Walker, who has bad knees, Noel, who has struggled to stay healthy and Randle, who, again, is hot or cold on any given night.

This is a warning to Knicks fans. While Rick DiPietro of ESPN Radio NY continues to be emotionally invested in this team, his morning show co-host Dave Rothenberg has already stopped caring. It’s time to become numb again when the Knicks play. Rip the bandaid off because the window of winning immediately has closed.

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