Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
If you want to know just how bad things are for the Knicks right now, just read what Julius Randle had to say about the loss to the Wizards:
"It should've never gotten to that point, to be honest with you. We should've never been in that position. Just from top to bottom, how we approached this game was terrible. It can't happen. This can't happen."
Randle and other Knicks said they weren't focused during the morning shootaround; those focus issues bled into their loss to a Wizards team that was missing six of its eight top scorers.
"I thought our approach the whole day was terrible. From shootaround on. I think we had a bad approach as a team, collective, from top to bottom, myself included," Randle said.
Credit the players for an honest assessment after one of the worst losses of the season. If your looking for people to blame for the focus issues during shootaround, you can point your finger at several different corners of the organization - players, interim head coach Mike Miller, his coaching staff.
But the idea that an organization dedicated to building winning habits wasn't mentally prepared against a depleted opponent is troubling, to say the least.
"We had a lack of focus. I don't know what it was, it may have been a day off or something. But I feel like we was a little sluggish and that usually leads into the game. It's just the basketball gods," Damyean Doston said. Later, he added, "We'd seen that (Washington) had guys out and I think our focus went out the window. So we've got to have better focus."
The Knicks fell to 7-24 on the season with Monday's loss; that's the second-worst record in the NBA. The only questions remaining in the short term for New York are: which players is the front office going to trade? And what do they get back in those trades?
Several players recently have been anxious over the uncertainty that comes with the trade season, per sources. That's not unique to the Knicks, of course, but it's noteworthy given how the season has gone for New York.
It's also worth mentioning because the Knicks have seven players with fully guaranteed contracts beyond this season. Those contracts are easy to move, assuming there are teams interested enough in the players to offer the Knicks something of value.
Marcus Morris is sure to have a robust market; several teams have expressed interest in point guard Dennis Smith Jr. The Knicks will likely take and make calls on those players - and players all over the league - ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline.
Sadly for Knicks fans, that's the next date that truly matters for this team in yet another lost season.