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Knicks Struggles Continue, Losses Piling Up

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NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – The New York Knicks (10-33) have struggled to find any success over these past few weeks, and we have started to see the effects of the continuous losing. The dejected faces weren’t as visible in the beginning of the year and the continuity from this team has been scarce.  New York has dropped 12 of their last 13 games, and currently hold a four game losing streak after losing 105-108 to the Philadelphia 76ers.

This has already been slated as a rebuilding year, however the lack of progress towards wins can cripple a team’s confidence. The talent may not be there for the Knicks to be contenders, however there are things this team can control effort wise that are holding them back from growing into a winning team. Here are a couple key takeaways from this dreadful stretch from New York:

Where’s the Defense?

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Friday night, Indiana got wide open shots all night long.

(Photo Credit: Barry Holmes) Friday night, Indiana got wide open shots all night long.

  • New York has failed to show the necessary effort on the defensive end to disrupt opposing teams. During this recent four game losing skid, the Knicks have failed to hold the opposition to under 46% shooting from the field. Both the Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors shot over 50% from the field, and that’s hard to overcome when your offense is struggling as well. Coach David Fizdale spoke Friday night on how the Pacers were able to move the ball, which resulted in the high shooting percentage. To play effective defense, you have to communicate and move with the ball. Kevin Knox eluded to the fact that at times, they can be complacent on the defensive end. Defense is all about effort, and when you are 20 games under .500 there is no room for complacency. You can’t continue to give opponents uncontested shots, or have lapses on the backside resulting in layups. If the Knicks are going to take steps towards being a better team, they need to fix their defensive issues.

Stagnant Offense

  • Friday night, Coach Fizdale said his team moved the ball periodically but not enough. This has been the issue for the Knicks for much of this horrid stretch. Currently, the Knicks rank last in the NBA in assist ratio (14.6) and 24th in offensive efficiency. New York needs to build trust within each other to make plays, and convert on quality shot opportunities. New York also hasn’t taken great care of the basketball, as they rank 6th in turnover ratio. Opposing teams have been able to make the Knicks pay for their turnovers, by converting them for scores. When teams score off turnovers, it’s a huge morale dip and leads to opposing runs. New York doesn’t have the talent to go out and outscore opponents. The Knicks must do a better job of trusting their offensive sets and stray away from “standing and watching”. If they can get their ball movement to be more consistent and can protect the ball, maybe this team can win 20 games.

Barry Holmes is a Senior Writer for PureSportsNY.com. Follow him on Twitter @BHO732

(Featured Photo Credit: Barry Holmes/PureSportsNY)

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