On Sunday the New York Knicks had their first two weeks of game play punctuated in dramatic fashion by the San Antonio Spurs. To say the 31 point karate chop to the throat was not indicative of the way the New York Knicks have been playing throughout the season thus far would be a complete misnomer. The Knickerbockers currently sit at 2-4 in the Atlantic Division, a division in which others appear to be struggling as well. However, the fact that their divisional adversaries are terrible is not any reason to take the Knicks losing record lightly. It is only right that teams who cannot separate themselves from the lower NBA life forms be designated as the same.
The Knicks have played down to the competition several times this season. Some will rush to blame the early season missteps on the absence of center Tyson Chandler and JR Smith. But they'll need to pump their brakes on that one. The game versus the Spurs only marks the second complete game he has missed. The Knicks were already feeding roaches with their crumby record before Chandler's injury versus the Charlotte Bobcats, a Bobcats team against whom the Knicks suffered a loss to on November 5th. That loss marked their third in a row. The Knicks then bested Charlotte on November 8th only to see their early season hopes of getting on the right track smothered to death against the San Antonio Spurs.
For weeks fans have been prattling on talmbout "Wait until JR Smith gets back, that's all we're missing is JR Smith!" Well, JR Smith did return against the Spurs-and his return may have been a big reason why the blowout was so all-encompassing. He finished the game with a 5 points on 1 for 9 shooting after missing five games due to the being suspended under the league's substance abuse policy. He also shot 1-5 on three pointers as well. We can expect for Smith to be integrated into the line up sooner than later as the Iman Schumpert is likely shown the bench, or perhaps even the door via trade. While that isn't a bad thing, Murphy's Law dictates that the Knicks lose more than they gain. In the short term that loss will likely be Schump's defensive intensity. Though Smith can lock in when inspired to do so, Shump is still better at it.
Yes, it would be really nice to have Amar'e Stoudemire contribute significantly on either end, but that's not happening. I'm not saying you can't "dream the impossible dream" regarding STAT and his incredible disappearing knee, but don't get upset if you're disappointed for the zillionth time. Other than Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks have no player that can score consistently from 15 feet on in towards the basket. A hypothetical Iman Schumpert transaction would be smart if it included a low post scoring threat, a bit hasty and perhaps borderline stupid otherwise. But the Knicks will have to pull that trigger soon if this span of mediocrity is to be exercised. It has only been six games in for the New York Knicks and things aren't looking good, but Knicks Nation doesn't need to worry too much. The team simply needs to keep afloat until Chandler returns in a month or so. This is something they will likely be successful in accomplishing in the rather putrid Atlantic Division. While nothing about the Knicks says contender, the team will at least be within arm's reach of .500 in a month or so.