The Knicks lost last night on a brutal Dirk Nowitzki buzzer beater. That happens sometimes when you play basketball — you play well — or, well enough to win — but you still lose. Unfortunately, the Knicks have made a habit of losing lately (eight of their last ten games) which makes the last-second loss sting even more.
What’s the source of the Knicks’ losing ways? Surely a team with Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler and… J.R. Smith…?… can’t be worse than the Detroit Pistons (at the moment, they are), or the Cavaliers (ditto) or the Hawks (same) or the Jazz (not quite, but nearly). The issue is complex but also laughably simple: This team doesn’t appear to give a shit.
Here’s a video from a timeout during last night’s game, in which coach Mike Woodson attempts to draw up a play for the team. From what we can tell, no one pays attention and then they walk away:
Do you blame the coach for not commanding the respect of the players? Do you blame the players for not respecting the coach? Do you blame the team leaders for not setting a good example? Do you blame J.R. Smith, just because? Whether you want to put the onus on “low-character” players or ill-fitting pieces assembled by management, the result is that these guys know they’re not going anywhere this season, and that mindset is showing in increasingly obvious ways.
Also heard in this clip: Metta World Peace and Beno Udrih were bought out and are no longer on the team. That bodes well.